Once you unlock your Android’s Bootloader, changing the kernel is one of the many things that you can do with your Smartphone. The kernel is the piece of software that let’s the Android system to communicate with the hardware. Having a custom kernel has many advantages as follows:

  • Overclocking the processor
  • Provision for Undervolting the CPU (for battery saving)
  • Two way call recording
  • Zram script (improves performance)
  • Init.d support (boot time tweaks initialization)

  • Custom CPU scaling governors
  • Custom I/O schedulers
  • Support for EXT 2/3/4 file systems
  • Pre-Rooted device
  • Custom Recovery on Android

Sony Xperia Devices have a locked bootloader by default which prevents users from flashing a custom kernel or a custom ROM. Unlocking the bootloader enables you to flash a kernel in your device.

Usually kernels are ROM specific, hence the user is advised to do enough research regarding the particular kernel the user is about to flash.

Requirements for Flashing Kernel on Xperia devices

Two techniques to flash a kernel in Xperia phones are listed below

Method 1: Using Fastboot (Android SDK)

  1. Open the folder where you have installed the SDK. Example: C:/Users/XYZ/android-sdks/platform-tools
  2. Now place the kernel IMG file that you wish to flash in this folder
  3. Rename it to boot.img
  4. Now press Shift + Right click and select Open Command Window here
  5. Now Power Off your phone
  6. Press and hold the Volume Up button and connect the device to the PC using USB cord.
  7. A blue led will light up on your phone
  8. Now type the code: fastboot devices into the CMD window.
  9. If it returns a numeric value the phone is successfully connected in Fastboot mode.
  10. Now type the command fastboot flash boot boot.img Fastboot - Android SDK
  11. If everything goes right it will show a success message and that’s all you successfully flashed a custom kernel
  12. Disconnect your device and power it ON to boot into your system with the new kernel

Method 2: Using Flashtools

  1. Once you install Flashtools, go to the directory where you installed it. Example: C:/Flashtool/drivers
  2. Install the Flashtool-drivers.exe
  3. Once finished open Flashtools/Flashtools64 depending on your PC’s processor (32bit or 64bit)
  4. Now click on the lightening button on the upper left corner.Main screen
  5. select Fastboot mode and press OK.Fastboot mode
  6. A window called as the Fastboot Toolbox will appear.Fastboot Toolbox
  7. Now Power Off your phone.
  8. Press and hold the Volume Up button and connect the device to the PC using USB cable
  9. A blue led will light up on your phone
  10. Now Select the option Select kernel to flash
  11. Navigate to the folder where you placed the downloaded kernel IMG file and select it
  12. Flashtools will flash the kernel and show a success message on the main screen
  13. Press Reboot system

Done! Let us know your experience of Flashing a New Kernel on your Xperia with these methods.

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15 Comments

  1. Ancycker
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    can i ask?? where should i download kernels in step # 11. Navigate to the folder where you placed the downloaded kernel img file and select it

    • Posted January 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      You may download it to any folder you wish to. Just navigate to the same folder as described in step 11. Hope this solved your problem.

  2. Nishan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    Iwant updet my ST18i. I was rooted. but then sow this messeg. plz help me.

  3. Nishan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    I was rooted. but sow this massege what can i do now?

    • Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

      Only rooting your device wont help, your device’s bootloader should also be unlocked.

      • ayink
        Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        sir, my xsola was rooted n bootloader also be unlocked but the problem same with nisham on the top. please help

        • Posted March 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          This is a very unusual error. Make sure you have the latest version of flashtools. Also make sure you’ve installed the device’s adb drivers from C:/flashtools/drivers

          • Raja Sekar
            Posted February 13, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

            Even i too facing the same issue when i try to flash kernel in img format. please help us

          • Probablybrickedmyphone
            Posted June 29, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

            Sir…while flashing the kernel in .img format via fastboot mode…phone didn’t turned ON bt showing black screen…before flashing the kernel, i unlocked the bootloader of my xperia neo l…now nothing is working…Atleast is there nythng that i can do to get it to previous firmware?….
            PLZ help…!!

  4. tanmay
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Hi I have the latest version and I am using Windows xp I cannot see the adb in the driver folder.

  5. tanmay
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Pls help me!!

  6. zaka
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    can you help me?
    just flashed kernel, stuck in logo, and led indicator became pink, after that my phone is shutted down

  7. Saad
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    plz help
    usb device not recognized xperia ray in windows 8

  8. saad
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Plz help
    usb device not recognized xperia ray in windows 8

  9. عبد الملك المهدي
    Posted August 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    How can I do for the phone system st18i

5 Trackbacks

  1. By [How To] UnderVolt your Rooted Android Device. on November 27, 2012 at 6:09 am

    […] Having root access isn’t enough to UV your device. The kernel should also support UV. Stock Kernels do not support UV, only custom kernels so. So it is necessary that you flash a custom kernel with UV support before you go any further.(xperia users can see how to do the same here) […]

  2. […] Having root access isn’t enough to UV your device. The kernel should also support UV. Stock Kernels do not support UV, only custom kernels so. So it is necessary that you flash a custom kernel with UV support before you go any further.(xperia users can see how to do the same here) […]

  3. […] Refer to this guide to flash the “boot.img”(kernel) […]

  4. […] Once you downloaded the kernel file and fulfilled other requirements, flash the kernel using this tutorial. […]

  5. […] the downloaded kernel. Follow this tutorial to flash the […]

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