Android 10 custom GSI brings the latest Android OS to any Project Treble-supported device
Thanks to Project Treble, a major rearchitecting of the Android OS, it’s possible to boot a generic, AOSP-based system image without modifying the boot or vendor image. OEMs seeking Google certification are required to test their devices for Treble compliance by booting this “Generic System Image,” or GSI, and verifying basic hardware functionality, but they aren’t required to make sure that everything works. Unfortunately, that means GSIs are fairly functional on some devices and broken on others. That’s where the community, and in particular XDA Recognized Developer phhusson, comes in. The custom GSIs built by independent developers on our forums are designed to operate on as many devices as possible and with few bugs. For example, phhusson’s latest GSI brings Android 10 to any device that supports Project Treble, and it does so without breaking basic functionality like Wi-Fi, RIL, or brightness controls on many devices.
Google does offer its own Android 10 GSIs on its website, but their GSIs are only so developers can test their apps against the latest API level. Google’s GSIs aren’t designed for users to run as the daily-driver software on their phones, which is a bummer because AOSP is a lot cleaner than the stock software on many phones. If you own a popular phone with a thriving developer community, then you may be able to flash an Android 10-based custom ROM from our forums. If you can’t find any device-specific Android 10 ROMs on our forums, then give phhusson’s GSI a chance.
His custom GSI should boot on any Android device that supports Project Treble, which means most devices that launched with Android 8.0+. Note that Project Treble support is only required for devices with Google certification, so you may come across some issues if you’re trying to boot this GSI on devices imported from China. Regardless, you’ll be surprised by how functional the GSI can be, especially on lesser-known devices with MediaTek chipsets.
Interested in trying this out? The first thing you’ll need is an unlocked bootloader. Next, you can download the latest version of phhusson’s GSI from his GitHub page here and learn how to flash a GSI here. Before you do so, you should read phhusson’s XDA forum thread here and check which variant you should download by using the Treble Info app linked below. Due to the difficulties of supporting so many devices with just one system image, there are bound to be some bugs on certain devices. If you have any issues, you can report them here or in one of the chats linked here. I also recommend you check out our Project Treble forums as other custom ROM developers will eventually rebase their work on phhusson’s latest release, giving you more choice in case you aren’t a fan of stock AOSP.