This article explains how to check the current CAF tag of an android kernel

I have seen a lot of peoples asking on many forums on how to check the current CAF Tag of an Android kernel, so, I decided to write about it.

A lot of OEM are nowadays releasing Android Kernel Source in the compressed format and they also avoid including git log which makes it more difficult to track changes. However, restoring and creating a sensible git log is a nice thing to discuss but let’s save that for another time.

The current goal is on how to find out the current CAF tag of an Android Kernel.

Method 1

We will using your device’s firmware/modem for this. In case your device is online, just run a grep into firmware for CAF Tag. An example will be grep -rn "sdm660". You can expect the result to the CAF Tag of your current stock kernel. In case you have modified kernel, modem or anything else in your ROM, this will obviously indicate different results.

A Dummy Example

cd into firmware directory

grep -rn "LA.UM"

RESULT will be something like this: verinfo/ver_info.txt:4: "apps": "LA.UM.6.2.r1-06900-sdm660.0-1",

Method 2

We will be using dotfiles by Luca Stefani(luca020400).


GitHub Repo: dotfiles

CAF Kernel Sources: codeaurora

CodeAurora Release Page: CodeAurora’s Release Page

We will be using best_kernel for this purpose, whose aim is to compare your current kernel source code with different CAF tags and select the best possible match using git diff.

How To:

Clone and setup dotfiles as mentioned in README of the repo.

Clone/Download your kernel repo and commit your changes(if not already committed) as best_kernel depends upon git diff to compare changes.

Depending upon your kernel version, add required CAF kernel repo as remote and fetch it. best_kernel will use this fetched data to compare changes.

After fetch is done, run best_kernel. It should run automatically if you have placed dotfiles in $BIN directory and have necessary dependencies installed.

best_kernel will compare changes and will provide results based on that. However, depending on the number of tags, it will take time. A lot of time, so go and grab a cup of coffee till then.

A Dummy Example:

Downloading stock kernel source code from OEM’s website

wget && tar xvjf Nokia6.1_V2.22J.tar.bz2 && cd kernel

Adding and committing all files due to lack of a .git dir.

git init && git add --all && git commit -m "Initial Commit"

As the kernel source code version is 4.4, I will add 4.4 remote from CAF and fetch it.

git remote add caf && git fetch caf

After fetch, I will check for current CAF tag using best_kernel. As my device platform is sdm660 and CAF has been releasing sdm660 tags as sdm660.0, I will it as an argument in best_kernel. This will ensure that best_kernel doesn’t waste time checking CAF Tags of other platforms and will speed up the process considerably.

best_kernel "*sdm660.0"

RESULT will be something like this:

Best match TAG: LA.UM.6.2.r1-06900-sdm660.0 Lines changed: 177924


  • You can pass additional arguments to best_kernel to speed up the process.

    for e.g. best_kernel "LA.BR.1.2*" or best_kernel "*8x16.0" or depending upon your usage.

  • It might be a better idea to pull firmware on PC and then search or tweak.