HTC Finally Releases Kernel Source for the EVO 4G


Just before a small community of distraught developers gear up to sue HTC in an effort to get that kernel source they’re required to release for the HTC EVO 4G, they’ve done it. It’s been a month since the device has launched, and – compared to how long it took HTC to offer up the goods for the HTC Hero – I’d say that EVO owners and developers are lucky to be getting the source so soon.


For those that don’t know why the kernel source is so desirable for a developer, it’s because it’ll allow them to get as deep as they need to in order to develop new features and ROMs with access to all of the phone’s unique features. A vanilla Froyo ROM on the EVO, for instance, wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the cameras or the HDMI-out port, 4G radios, and several other quirks that comes with the EVO due to the fact that developers can’t freely use the modules and drivers needed to access these components.

If you’re a developer – or if you just want to feel cool by having the file on your hard drive (like me) – head on over to HTC’s Developer Center to download the source now.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. It now begins!!!

  2. You said they’re required to release it… is that a requirement by Google for them to use Android? or who makes it “required”?

  3. The kernel is GPL-licensed. The GPL obligates you, if you make a binary release, to also make the source available. The FSF has successfully sued companies that used the Linux kernel in their products and failed to comply with this requirement before.

  4. Is this the same issue as Motorola not releasing the bootloader code for the Milestone??

  5. @zed,

    No thats totally different. Its their right to have a signed bootloader in their devices.

  6. how come it’s taking so much longer to root the Incredible, and release the Incredible’s source kernel?

  7. Is there any word on Samsung doing this for their phones? I’m looking forward to getting the Epic 4G

  8. this just made my day :-)

  9. cool…thanks for posting. So more apps and more hacks to come… :)

  10. So… I’m really hoping this means a fully functional Froyo within the next few days… And Cyanogon just got an Evo today… I’m stoked… Looking forward to what’s gonna come in the near future…

  11. that they release the kernel doesn’t mean they also have to release there drivers… else there would be good nVidea and Radeon drivers out there…

  12. @vincent: “successfully sued” is a bit of a misnomer… From what I’ve seen, there has never been a “won” lawsuit regarding GPL software. There have been many lawsuits, but those are usually “settled” by coming into compliance with the GPL — which is all anyone wants anyway. So yeah, it’s successful in that it got the source released, but no one has ever fought the GPL and lost (or won), at least in terms of source availability.

  13. For a person to “successfully sue” someone, all you need to do is get what you asked for. In the case of suing for the GPL software, they were obviously successful. It is not a misnomer to say the suit was successful. Geez.

  14. Even though they are required to release their custom Kernel source code? It does not have to contain their EVO drivers (camera, HDMI, etc.) does it?

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