Project Treble is a major revamp of Android and we have followed its developments with close interest. The big potential benefit is that it allows manufacturers to roll out updates faster. However, the implications of this benefit won’t be tested until later this year (when more Android phones are launched with Treble support).
The second benefit is something that’s important to the custom development community. It allows an AOSP Generic System Image (GSI) based on Android Oreo to be flashed on Treble-compatible devices. We have been updating you with developments on Project Treble, including an explanation on how it can theoretically enhance custom ROM development. Having Project Treble support is what allows an obscure MediaTek Android phone to run AOSP Android Oreo despite the lack of kernel source availability or TWRP support.
One of the more exciting developments in our forums is the effort to unofficially bring Project Treble compatibility to devices that don’t support it. We have already seen the first report of success as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 was made Project Treble compatible. Now, XDA Senior Member MZO has similarly made the Xiaomi Mi 5s Treble compatible and paved the way for other xiaomi/msm8996-common devices. The list includes the Xiaomi Mi 5, Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus, and others.
Project Treble compatibility means the Xiaomi Mi 5s and other msm8996 Xiaomi devices can run a Generic System Image (GSI) of AOSP Android Oreo. More importantly, it means the possibility of updating to Android P is easier on developers.
- Download the Project Treble zip, and extract it on your system.
- Run the script based on your system (sh for Linux, bat for Windows).
- Flash a Generic System Image.
Important hardware such as RIL, camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc, are working in the Treble port. However, there are still bugs. Specifically, the hardware button lights aren’t said to be working and SELinux is set to permissive.
The developer also notes that the Treble port will not have any effect on LineageOS compatibility for the Xiaomi Mi 5s. This is because SELinux is set to permissive in the Treble port, which is not allowed by LineageOS.
Unofficial Project Treble compatibility for all msm8996 Xiaomi devices is exciting news, even though many may not see the need right as given the plethora of custom AOSP-based ROMs available for Xiaomi devices in our forums. When Android P is released, we expect Treble compatibility to be a huge help for future custom ROM development.
Download Project Treble zip for capricorn and all msm8996-common Xiaomi devices