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Difference Between a Rom and a Kernel Android Noob Question

Many new comers to the rooted android phones world don't know the difference between a kernel and a rom, or can't exactly tell, my self cannot answer this question clearly so I decided to look around, and I found a nice answer for you guys.
Let me say first that the Kernel is the system it self, connected and manages the hardware directly, the rom is the software that have the looks, themes, and the rest of what you see on screen.
the following quated from: http://www.everythingandroid.org
The kernel you use can be tweaked to allow you to overclock your process. By default, overclocking is not possible (usually) on stock kernels because phone makers don't want you effing up your phone.

Other kernels can let you run "low voltage" or "ultra low voltage" settings for the processor. This allows you to send less power to the processor but still get the same amount of oomph out. The result is greater battery life, and no cost to performance. Obviously this can be dangerous to some hardware... so be careful and know what you're doing. It can be as bad as damaging hardware, or as minor as getting your phone stuck in a boot loop. DO A BACKUP with Rom Manager before installing a kernel. Always do a backup before you do anything to your phone.

The kernel you use can also affect some functions of the phone. For example, the stock Droid kernel does not place nicely with "Wifi Tether for Root Users" so you will need a different kernel if you want to use that app for 3G mobile hotspot.

How do I install a kernel?

Well, the lazy answer is... "ROM Manager" ... this app makes downloading kernels a snap. In fact if you are thinking of flashing a custom ROM or kernel of ANY kind, you're doing yourself a favor using ROM Manager.
and to understand more about what is a ROM click here

Just a word of advice, before flashing any roms or kernels specially in locked bootloader phones read, then read and read before doing it, and if possible ask in XDA forums http://forum.xda-developers.com
there is a big chance that you will brick your phone and cannot get it back, specially if it doesn't have recovery or you screwed the flashing process.

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