Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro get their first custom kernel

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro get their first custom kernel

The Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro have been stealing the show in the latter half of 2021. Google deciding to turn on the heat by joining the in-house silicon club certainly surprised many users, and the first-gen Tensor chip has proved to be powerful enough to be the center of attention. The factory images, kernel sources, and the device trees for the Pixel 6/6 Pro have been published as well, which are just the right ingredients required by the modding enthusiasts to start playing with the device duo. And now, the first custom kernel for the Pixel 6 family has landed on our forums, courtesy of XDA Recognized Developer-cum-Contributor Freak07.

Google Pixel 6 Pro Review: Fantastic everyday phone with an undeniable Exynos inspiration

Freak07’s Kirisakura kernel is already a popular name in the custom kernel development scene, and the Pixel 6’s inclusion in the roster — albeit as a “Preview” release for now — will definitely help the project to increase its user base. However, there is a notable change to the way the current build of the Kirisakura custom kernel will be installed that we should note. Google is gradually enforcing the Generic Kernel Image (GKI) design on newer Android devices, which means building a traditional monolithic kernel image packed as a TWRP-flashable ZIP isn’t feasible anymore. This is the reason why the initial release of the custom kernel is available as a set of images and you need to flash them through Fastboot.

Here are all the enhancements offered by Kirisakura kernel for the Google Pixel 6 and the Google Pixel 6 Pro:

  • Based on the latest kernel sources from Google for Android 12
  • Linux-Stable-Upstream included to 5.10.44 (stock is 5.10.43)
  • Use BBR as the default TCP congestion algorithm
  • Enable support for TTL spoofing
  • Includes LRNG

Kirisakura Kernel for the Google Pixel 6/6 Pro — XDA Download and Discussion Thread

Before you attempt to install the Kirisakura kernel on your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, remember to take an off-device backup. That’s because you need an unlocked bootloader to start with, and the unlocking process requires wiping all the data on your phone, including the files on the internal storage. Your banking apps will also likely stop working after unlocking the bootloader due to SafetyNet attestation failure. Fortunately, reverting back to the stock configuration is quite easy on Pixel devices, as you just need to flash the appropriate stock images from the matching factory firmware package and re-lock the bootloader.

Google Pixel 6 XDA Forums ||| Google Pixel 6 Pro XDA Forums

    Google Pixel 6
    The Pixel 6 comes with Google's new Tensor chip, a modern design, and flagship cameras.
    Google Pixel 6 Pro
    The Pixel 6 Pro is the larger sibling that comes with Google's new Tensor chip, a modern design, and an extra telephoto camera.

Do you plan on running a custom kernel or ROM on your Pixel 6/6 Pro, or will you remain on the stock firmware? Let us know in the comments below!

About author

Skanda Hazarika
Skanda Hazarika

DIY enthusiast (i.e. salvager of old PC parts). An avid user of Android since the Eclair days, Skanda also likes to follow the recent development trends in the world of single-board computing.