Huawei releases kernel source code for Kirin 980 and Kirin 970 devices on Android Pie

Huawei releases kernel source code for Kirin 980 and Kirin 970 devices on Android Pie

Android smartphones all run on top of the Linux kernel, and OEMs are required to distribute the source code of all Linux kernel binaries that they ship on their devices. While most companies do release kernel sources in a (somewhat) timely manner, there are some companies that take their sweet, sweet time in doing so. One such example is Xiaomi, which to their credit has recently upped their game by releasing the kernel source code in the timeframe they agreed on. Having access to the kernel source code can be a huge boon for developers seeking to create custom AOSP-based ROMs and custom kernels for a smartphone. Although the company recently closed down official bootloader unlocking tools, Huawei has still released the kernel source code for all Kirin 980 and Kirin 970 smartphones running Android Pie (as they are still required to do so).


Kirin 980 Smartphones running Android Pie

  • Huawei Mate 20
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 20 X
  • Honor Magic 2
  • Honor View 20

Kirin 970 Smartphones running Android Pie


While it’s no longer possible to officially unlock Huawei devices, there is a solution for those wishing to go down the unofficial path, though it will cost you. Huawei smartphones are Project Treble compatible, which means that once unlocked, you have the option to flash a GSI (though your mileage may vary about how stable the build will be). With the kernel source code, developers who are willing to take the plunge and unlock the bootloader unofficially (or have already unlocked the bootloader) can now build AOSP-based ROMs, custom kernels, and custom recoveries based on the updated kernel source code. If you have an Honor device and live in India, you could try your luck by taking your device to a service center for bootloader unlocking.

The Linux kernel is licensed under the General Public License (GPL) and is what ensures that manufacturers release the human-readable kernel source code. Some device manufacturers have fallen short of this requirement, with ASUS most recently encrypting the kernel source code of the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 in a previous release.

You can download the kernel source code for both chipsets below. Note that the files for all devices of their respective chipset is the same, as noted by XDA Recognised Developer LuK1337.

Note: Huawei has stopped providing official bootloader unlock codes for its devices. Therefore, the bootloaders of their devices cannot be unlocked, which means that users cannot root or install custom ROMs.


Kirin 980 kernel source codeKirin 970 kernel source code (Android Pie release)

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