Some of us within the Android community have a love/hate relationship with Xiaomi. They create affordable smartphones with impressive build quality and specifications for the price, but sadly they have a poor history of releasing the source code for their kernels. The result of this is that sadly it makes the lives of developers rather difficult when trying to develop a custom AOSP-based ROM such as LineageOS. For those who own the Xiaomi Redmi 4X though, you’ll be happy to hear that the company has finally uploaded the kernel source code for the Android Nougat release to their GitHub page.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of custom ROMs available for the Redmi 4X already thanks to the fact that many similar devices like it already exist, but with official kernel sources available it should be easier to iron out some remaining kinks in existing ROMs. For the future, a small consolation is that we won’t necessarily need to wait for months for kernel source release to enjoy an AOSP-based Android Oreo ROM. Devices such as the upcoming Mi Mix 2S and Mi Max 3 which we expect to launch with Android Oreo should be able to boot a generic build of AOSP thanks to Project Treble.
Still, this doesn’t excuse the fact that it has taken Xiaomi many months to release official kernel sources. The GPL requires releasing the kernel source of any binary that ships on a device, after all.