HTC Hero Kernel Source Code Released!


If you’re the type that likes to root your device, mod it, hack around and really dive into the guts of Android then you’ll be happy to know that HTC has just made public the HTC Hero Kernel Source Code on their developer website. This is hugely important because up until now only the ADP1, Dream and Magic souce were available – all phones without the famed HTC Sense.


Uhohs… me-thinks the folks at XDA are going to have a field day on this one! If you’re wondering what the heck all this kernel talk is about – someone else already asked that question and got an answer. Guess where? Yup… XDA:

The Question

Was hoping someone could ( simplistically ) answer a few question for me.

As I understand it – one of the things holding back development of Hero ROMS is that HTC haven’t released the kernel for the Hero.

1) What exactly IS the kernel in the greater scheme of things?
2) When are HTC likely to release it?
3) When it is released, what new things will it allow developers to do?
4) Anything else relevant to it worth knowing?

Answer? (from arkhonic)

1. The kernel is the Operating System for the phone, it runs everything.
2. That is the magic question…
3. It’ll allow more development in terms of mods. we’ll be able to change alot more and get more out of the phones.

I will go ahead and answer the last one myself: (4) It is worth knowing that the magic question has been answered! If you want to pick up where these guys left off, as in just knowing/learning the Hero kernel was released, pick up the convo at Page 12.

[Thanks John and Thomas!]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I highly doubt the Sense UI is anywhere near the (Linux) Kernel.

  2. Matthew Forrester, you probably have no idea what you’re talking about. Linux Kernel is the core of Linux OS, it’s a windows manager that make up UI – KDE, Gnome, etc.

  3. So…does this mean any Android phone could run the official HTC version of the Sense UI? Does this mean that the Droid, for example, could be modded cleanly to basically be an HTC Hero with a proper processor, 3.7 inch screen, and a fully qwerty keyboard?

  4. They have to release it due to the GPLv2.


    The kernel has nothing to do with the UI, Windows Manager. These are applications that run on top of the kernel.

    Not sure if the source for the Sense UI is released, this may be propriatary.

  5. I think what Matthew Forrester meant that since Sense is not part of the kernel, it will not be available in the release HTC provided, which means that whatever mods people make to it will not have Sense, which turns Hero into a plain Android phone.

    I might be wrong though.

    Also, does anyone know if the kernel is exactly the same on the US and UK versions? I know the bundles and branding (such as load screens) are definitely different but does the kernel differ at all?

  6. LOL, Vlad you obviously have “absolutely” no idea what you are talking about. The Kernel is not remotely involved with the UI, but it the heart of the machine and basically brings all the hardware together on a user level.

  7. No, Matthew Forrester is exactly right. The kernel is only the low-level core of the operating system: scheduler, memory manager, device drivers, anything that talks directly to hardware. It does include drivers for graphics hardware, but not any actual GUI code.

    So this release makes it easier to develop community builds for the Hero, but it does not mean that HTC has released any of the Sense UI code.

  8. Do any of you know if this will lessen the amount of steps and procedures it takes to get a “Hero” ROM on a G1?

  9. Relax everyone! I just think Vlad misunderstood Matthew (because if you read patiently, you can see he says the same thing) and everybody misunderstood Vlad. Probably because of his punctuation, because besides that he clearly states that the kernel and the window manager/UI/Sense are 2 different things. So, including this post, that makes 7 posts already that say about the same thing now…

  10. Vlad, “you probably have no idea what you’re talking about.” –Vlad

  11. @Raynor: Actually, no. Vlad really does not know what he’s talking about. UI part of the kernel? Are you kidding?

  12. The world may have turned against Vlad, but soon Vlad will turn against the world! Beware Internets…

  13. @Vlad: No need to go turning against anything over a little thing like this :) Besides, you did misunderstand Matthew.

    @Everybody: Like Raynor said, relax. Vlad’s only crime here is sucking at sentence construction (at least today) :)

  14. One of the reason developpers are so content with this release is that it offers them the possibility to remove Sense from the HTC Hero, but if you would remove Sense will the Hero then be the same as the Magic?

  15. I hate you guys ;) Mea culpa, I suck at English punctuation. Second language, you know. I guess I should have put a period instead of comma after “…Lunux OS”, but even after years I can’t get used to short sentences :( Now I’ll go hack something LOL

  16. What’s with your first sentence? The one about Matthew Forrester not knowing what he’s talking about. You make that accusation, and then AGREE with what he says…

  17. Does it really matter what sentences where accurate or correct? The question has been answered (and quite well, thanks guys). Just move on and keep hoping that someday you will get Sense UI features with your kernel.


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