Siyah Kernel (tiny) review (v4.1Beta4)

I have seen the word “Siyah” thrown around a bit on the XDA forums, never really knowing what that was, and me being a bit lazy, I didn’t research it, until a friend of mine brought it up, and said he wanted to flash it but didn’t know how, so I decided to flash it myself and tell him (and all you good folks) the results!

Flashing the Siyah Kernel itself could not possibly be any easier, you just download the latest kernel from here (Make sure it’s the S2’s and not the S3’s), reboot into recovery, and flash it as you would a normal rom! I usually wipe both cache, and Dalvik cache, not sure if it’s necessary though.

After flashing you will notice how smoothly every thing is going, yes, even smoother than the stock CM kernel, a LOT smoother even! It has the potential to make the battery last even longer than your most battery saving settings since Siyah makes underclocking (and overclocking) a breeze! You have clock frequencies ranging from 100MHz to 1600MHz, and if you download ExTweaks as well, you can modify the voltages of, well, pretty much anything in your phone!

The latest Siyah also flashes CWM based touch recovery for you! So if you’ve been intending on switching to the touch recovery, this will do it for you! (It’s a lot prettier, if you’re wondering). The one thing that drains the battery, is the screen, which pretty much makes more sense than seeing “Android OS” on top of your battery drainage list, I still managed to have it last an entire day and 4 hours at 200MHz – 1200MHz which is the normal.

One thing to note though, after you flash a new rom, (in my case it was a new CM10 rom) make sure you re-flash Siyah as CM’s kernel replaces it.

Now the most epic feature of Siyah is its support for dual booting! This will pretty much allow you to install two custom roms (let’s say ICS and JB) and switch between them whenever you wish to! You can install a battery saving ICS one and the latest JB for example, or you can do like me, and dual boot MIUI v4 and CM10!

The process of dual booting itself is really easy, all it requires is patience, and a fully charged battery. All you need to do is basically make sure you have at least 2.5GBs free on your internal SD card.

1. You then have to download the other rom you want to flash (pretty obvious) and save it on either your internal or external SD card, won’t matter.

2. Reboot into recovery and go to Dual Boot Options.

3. Select Wipe 2nd ROM data/cache, this will take the longest, probably 7~10 minutes, so don’t freak out.

4. Go back outside, go to advanced, and select Wipe Dalvik Cache.

5. Now after you’ve done all that, select from Dual Boot Options “Install 2nd ROM from Internal SD card” if you’ve saved the other rom on your internal SD, or “Install 2nd ROM from External SD card” if you’ve saved it to your external SD.

6. Navigate to the secondary rom, flash it, reboot.

7. press the volume down or home key for secondary rom boot, don’t press anything for primary rom boot. TA DA!

Personally I didn’t really dual boot for anything other than geeking out, if you’ll do it for the same reason, you have my respect, if not, well, you still have my respect nevertheless.

Let me know what you folks think of Siyah, or of any other kernels out there, I’d love to try out some of your favorites and review them here! Have a good day, folks!

UPDATE: Overclocked the phone today to 1600MHz and the minimum to 1500MHz through ExTweaks, kept crashing, A LOT! Though when I lowered the maximum to 1500MHz and the minimum to 1000MHz it didn’t crash, though the battery was draining in front of my eyes, which was admittedly, a bit surreal. Anyway, Benchmarks time!

Quadrant read a nice back to pace 3065, which was very nice to see, after all the 2xxx’s I’ve had over the past few CM9/10 roms with their stock kernels.

Vellamo, however, read a 19xx score! Which is almost an all time high for my humble Galaxy SII! Psyched? Indeed I am, good folks! Flash away, now!

15 thoughts on “Siyah Kernel (tiny) review (v4.1Beta4)

  1. Awesome instructions, clear and precise just dont forget to remind people that with sgs2 some have brick bug but with siyah, it will not because gokan has taken out that part. But with any leaked kernel you can potentially brick your device. Thanks for the nice instructions bro.

    • Thank you, man, I honestly did not know about any brick bugs, the only bricks I’ve witnessed were a soft brick happening to a friend’s i9100G after flashing an i9100 CM10 rom, other than that I personally did not face anything that would be considered a brick. Thanks anyway for the heads up 🙂

  2. Hi,
    i have sgs2 i9100 with cm10 and when i flash the siyah kernel the phone do not load. seems like your friends problem. how did he solve it?

      • Hi, thanks for the article.
        I do know how to fix the soft brick. What I need is a workaround or any other solution to flash that kernel on cm10 without having soft brick. Did u manage to find a solution ?

      • I guess I could have flashed another kernel using Odin, instead of going back to stock rom, rooting again, and all that fiasco. Come to think of it, I have no idea why I did this whole thing, lol. Try to look for the Odin flashable CM10 kernel and flash it, if that fails, go old school and just stock rom it, root it, re-flash everything sans Siyah

      • Well, I did tried few options but all of them leads to the same black screen. I think I will stay with cm10 default kernel. The battery drain 15% every hour and I thought this kernel will improve it.

        Thanks anyway.

      • Yossi, I’m pretty sure the issue is with the newer CM10 builds as I have flashed the latest SuperNexus build which is based on CM10, and I have had your exact same issue. They’re not playing nice with Siyah, however, when I downgraded to the previous build, latest Siyah works just fine.

      • You are most welcome, and I understand, Siyah on SuperNexus Build 3 had my phone stay awake for 2 days and 16 hours! It was insane to say the least! I will try to find a workaround

      • I got the same problem with Siyah 4.1.5 which worked fine when I was running ics. I’m now using 5.0i which works fine with CM10

  3. Hi, my phone’s not rooted and my device is one of the ones affected by the brick bug (XXLQ6). I read that the only way to root my S2 without bricking it is by flashing an unofficial kernel like the Siyah kernel so that’s the only reason I’m going to flash that specific kernel. You wrote in your article that after you install CM, it replaces your kernel with its own. Does that have the potential of damaging my device? I guess not because it’s not a stock kernel…. but better safe than sorry, right? I’m planning to flash the stable version of CM9 (there’s not a stable CM10 for my phone) so can I? Do I HAVE to flash the siyah kernel again afterwards??

    • I really doubt you can brick your phone while rooting, unless your battery’s depleted, I would recommend though you flash a custom firmware that has custom recovery and super user (that way you’ll be rooted) and through the custom recovery you’ll be pretty much be able to flash whatever you like!
      And yes, if you do flash CM9, you’ll need to flash Siyah again afterwards since CM9’s kernel will replace Siyah. Hope this helps.

      • Thanks for replying so quickly but I’m not sure you understood my question fully… I know it’s very hard to brick a phone unintentionally but it’s easier with my phone because, like I said, it has a brickbug. So, simply backing up my phone using CWM could brick my device..
        About the Siyah kernel, I don’t really care about it’s features or anything. I’m just gonna use it because if I use an official kernel I could brick my phone. What I ‘d like to know is if it’s dangerous to use the CM kernel with my phone. I think it’s not (since it’s not an official kernel either) but I just wanna make sure.
        So, just to make sure I’ve got everything planned, I’m planning to:
        1) Flash the Siyah kernel which will root my phone and then
        2) Flash CM9
        I repeat: My phone is affected by the brickbug. Will it be alright? Am I exaggerating things??
        One last question; does CM9 have its own custom recovery? Oh, also will rooting my phone erase all my data?

      • I did misunderstand what you meant, yeah. Anyway, I don’t think it’s dangerous at all to use the CM kernel on your phone since it is by no means the stock kernel (At least I think so, I’m no Android dev 🙂 ).

        Another thing, I haven’t read anywhere that you can root your phone using the Siyah kernel, though it makes sense since it has CWM and superuser, though the main rooting methods are either Oneclick super root, or the one I prefer, CF-root (custom firmware), but you seem to have researched a lot and know what you are doing, so by all means, go ahead.

        Oh, one more thing, that brick bug, is not actually a “brick” in the absolute sense of the word, it was simply that Siyah didn’t have support for the latest Mali drivers introduced in the later builds of CM10 (and consequently, SuperNexus), it was simply a boot loop right after the Samsung logo which can be remedied by flashing another compatible kernel.

        And I don’t think you’ll get a hard brick as it is very hard to brick Samsung phones, soft bricks however are very easy to remedy, as per my experience. But I suggest you research your case a bit more and do it with care.

        If all fails and your phone is still on the warranty, just flash the stock firmware from Sammobiles and you should be unrooted and back in the warranty, send it back, and it should be replaced.

        As for your last question, yes, CM9 uses CWM as a custom recovery. It is very preferable to do a wipe data/factory reset after going from a rom to another, or from one version of android to another, so yeah, you’ll lose your data, you can always back it all up using Titanium back up though.

        I hope I answered your questions correctly, please if you have any more inquiries, do ask 🙂

      • Thanks, that was very helpful 🙂 I think we’re talking about different brickbugs here but never mind 😛 Thanks for the info, I’m gonna root my phone in a couple of days.

        PS: The Siyah kernel is a rooted kernel so just by flashing it you get root access.

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