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(I previously asked this on StackOverflow and was directed here.)

I'm hoping for some clarification on the requirements and/or process of flashing a custom build of Android to a device. I've built a stock version from the AOSP and tried a few different times to flash it on my Droid X, all unsuccessful. I was thinking (or hoping) that the process of rooting the device would also unlock it to allow this, but maybe that's not the case. It looks like the phone still can't be touched at kernel level.

Anyone know what's up here? There's a lot of ROMs for the DX, so it seems like there's a way, or do all those ROMs modify only a superficial level of the Verizon image? I just want to know what's going on under the covers.

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Is it flashing and then just not booting, or is it not flashing in the first place? I wouldn't expect it to boot, since the AOSP source wouldn't have any of the drivers you need, and the kernel might not even be compatible. –  eldarerathis Nov 20 '11 at 17:31
    
No, it doesn't flash. I was guessing the bootloader looks for a signed kernel? –  jarvisteve Nov 22 '11 at 19:12

1 Answer 1

eldarerathis is right, you'd need to build the Droid X source in order for it to just work without modification. Drivers are the main issue here; unlike Windows, for example, Android does not include a vast number of drivers to enable it to work on most any hardware. Android also runs on much less standardized hardware than PCs.

Most ROMs you see tend to be modifications of the stock image, possibly with custom kernels built from stock. It's rare that they're fully built from the manufacturer's source, and even rarer when they're built from the AOSP (apart from the Nexus devices).

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Well perhaps that's the part I don't understand; where do the ROM developers get the Droid X source? Modifying the stock image would first require reverse engineering it to source, no? I thought the Droid X Source was modified from the AOSP, as was everything else, but the modifications (and probably drivers) are not public. –  jarvisteve Nov 22 '11 at 19:19
    
@jarvisteve As far as I understand, manufacturers are required to release most of their source due to the open-source licence agreements of the Android project. Motorola has posted the Droid X source here. And no, there are many modifications that don't require modifying binaries (and those that do don't necessarily require source. I've hex edited binaries in-place myself.) –  Matthew Read Nov 22 '11 at 19:32
    
Ahh beautiful, thank you much. This is making sense. –  jarvisteve Nov 23 '11 at 4:10

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