Project Treble is required to be supported on any phone launching with Android 8.0 Oreo and above. However, devices that shipped with older versions of Android are not required to be updated with Project Treble support. This means that older devices that are not updated with Project Treble support cannot make any use of the benefits that Project Treble provides, such as being able to flash a Generic System Image (GSI) of AOSP Android Oreo without any kernel modifications.
This is where the development community comes in. We saw the first report of success when Project Treble was successfully brought to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, a major milestone in development. Then, the Xiaomi Mi 5s (device codename: capricorn) also received Project Treble compatibility unofficially.
Now, it’s the Xiaomi Mi 5‘s term. The Mi 5 (device codename: gemini) is a 2016 Xiaomi flagship smartphone. It has a high-end list of specifications, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 system-on-chip, 3GB/4GB of RAM with 32GB/64GB/128GB of storage, 5.15-inch Full HD (1920×1080) 16:9 IPS display, 16MP rear camera, 4MP front camera, and a 3000mAh battery. It shipped with MIUI 7 on top of Android Marshmallow, and it has recently received the MIUI 9 update. An Android Oreo-based MIUI Global Beta ROM has also been released for the device.
Project Treble compatibility has been brought to the Xiaomi Mi 5 by JDCTeam. It uses the unused CUST partition (this is the same method that was used to bring Treble to the Redmi Note 4). The developers mention that the state of this project is alpha, and the list of things working hasn’t been specified.
Treble support for the Mi 5 brings two partitions: system and vendor. The system partition contains the generic system image (GSI), while the vendor partition has device specific files required for booting and running the phone. Thanks to Treble, Mi 5 users can easily change the system image and run different system images with the same kernel and vendor partition.
It should be noted that the Xiaomi Mi 5 is an A-only device. Regarding Generic System Images, users need to download ARM64 and A-only images (such as Phh-Treble by XDA Senior Member phhusson). The developers mention that the latest version of Phh-Treble is working with the Project Treble gemini zip.
The instructions to install the alpha Project Treble port on the Xiaomi Mi 5 are:
- Download the Project Treble zip.
- Download an A-only GSI image.
- Reboot to recovery (the developer mentions that TWRP 3.2.1-1 is required).
- Wipe the System/Data/Cache/Dalvik partitions.
- Flash Treble gemini zip.
- Flash the GSI system image, and reboot.
It’s great to see Project Treble being brought unofficially to Xiaomi devices. We expect Treble compatibility to be a huge boost to development when the final version of Android P is released, as it will make development much easier.
Download Project Treble zip for gemini