ASUS ZenFone 7 series development update: Kirisakura kernel and Android 11 ROM
ASUS earlier this month refreshed its flagship lineup with the launch of the ZenFone 8 series. The ZenFone 8 and Zenone 8 Flip offer top-tier specs while still costing considerably less than many of its Snapdragon 888-powered counterparts. However, if you own a ZenFone 7 or ZenFone 7 Pro from last year, you’ll find little reason to upgrade as, besides a marginally faster chipset and other incremental upgrades, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about. Besides, if you ever get bored of ASUS’ software, you can always take refuge in the world of custom ROMs and kernels. The ASUS ZenFone 7 and 7 Pro don’t have a long list of custom ROMs to try out, but they have an official build of OmniROM and official TWRP support. Now the device has received its first custom kernel.
The Kirisakura kernel for the ZenFone 7 family comes courtesy of XDA Recognized Developer / Recognized Contributor Freak07. As per the developer, the Kirisakura kernel provides a smoother UI experience while still offering the same battery life as the stock kernel. The kernel incorporates the most up-to-date CAF-Upstream kernel bases and offers the following main features:
- Based on the latest kernel sources from Asus for Android 11 and intended for use on the latest Asus Stock-Firmware (currently 126.96.36.199)
- compiled with Clang 12.0.5 and built with -O3 speed optimizations
- Linux-Stable-Upstream included to 4.19.190
- CAF base for the Snapdragon 865/+ (SD865/+) updated to upstream CAF
- Kernel Control-Flow-Integration (CFI) andLink-Time-Optimization (LTO) ported from 4.19 kernel/common and Pixel 5/4/XL Kernel
- Shadow Call Stack (SCS) Security-Feature
- Use ThinLTO which was first used in the Pixel 4 XL Android R-Preview Kernel, instead of full LTO for full program visibility (needed by CFI)
- Fix CFI-Violations found in various subsystems like Asus/device-specific drivers and Qualcomm drivers
- Link the kernel with LLD and use RELR-Relocation
- Include important fixes/improvements from kernel/common
- Flashing the kernel will keep the root!
- Flashable via EXKM, FKM, or TWRP on a rooted system!
- Disable various debugging configs, that are not needed in a perf build kernel according to google.
- Disable SELinux auditing (we don´t have to address SELinux denials running a stock from)
- Display tweaks to reduce power consumption on statically rendered images
If all this sounds exciting to you, you can find more information, including the flashable kernel zip and step-by-step installation instructions at the linked thread below.
In other development-related news for the ZenFone 7 series, OmniROM has been updated to Android 11. OmniROM for the ZenFone 7 series used to be based on Android 10, but XDA Senior Member micky387 recently released an Android 11 build with official support. Hit that link below to grab the latest build of OmniROM based on Android 11.