Building a New Device File

The device file is a bash script that builds the kernel based off the sources you defined and copies over your edify installer. The edify installer is what allows you to flash the kernel in TWRP/Clockwork Mod.

At around line 50 in, you will see source/links to device files. All device/kernel build scripts reside in the devices folder. Here is how a typical nexus is broken down in devices/nexusXX:


This is the function that starts the build. It’s called in the main menu.

The next part is the frozen kernel option and update script checker. This is not crucial to the build script so will not be discussed in these instructions.


This downloads the android toolchain/copies typical kernel build templates:

if [ $LOCALGIT == 1 ]; then
  echo "Copying kernel to rootfs"
  cp -rf ${basepwd}/XXXXXXXXXXXX ${basedir}/kernel
  git clone -b XXXXXX ${basedir}/kernel
cd ${basedir}/kernel

This is where you will want to define the kernel folder. You have two options: Ccpy a local kernel folder or download one from GitHub. Localgit is set in and you will have to have a copy of the kernel folder in order for it to work. Change the “XX” to the name of the kernel.

kali@kali:~$ make clean
kali@kali:~$ sleep 10
kali@kali:~$ make kali_defconfig

Now we are building the kernel. We make clean to start fresh then use the configuration file kali_defconfig. The config files live in arch/arm/configs in the kernel folder. We are getting a bit ahead of ourselves though!

kali@kali:~$ # Attach kernel builder to updater-script
kali@kali:~$ echo "#KERNEL_SCRIPT_START" >> ${basedir}/flashkernel/META-INF/com/google/android/updater-script
kali@kali:~$ cat <<EOF > ${basedir}/flashkernel/META-INF/com/google/android/updater-script
# <-- This is where the kernel installer will go

We attach the edify script that will be used to install the kernel. It’s best to see an example by looking at another device.


This is the final portion. It will copy the kernel to the flashable folder then zip up everything for you.

Updated on: 2021-Feb-05
Author: g0tmi1k