Xiaomi 12’s kernel source code is now available immediately after launch
The Xiaomi 12 series was launched in China today with an impressive set of specifications. The regular Xiaomi 12 and its “Pro” variant are powered by the Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, while the more affordable Xiaomi 12X goes with the Snapdragon 870 chipset. If you’re planning to buy one of them for the sake of aftermarket development, then you will be happy to know that the company has already published the kernel source code for the Linux kernel binaries that ship with each phone’s respective Android builds.
Now, of course every smartphone manufacturer that ships an Android device is obligated to release their kernel sources as the Linux kernel is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2). But as some of us know, many OEMs delay releasing their kernel sources for whatever reason. Xiaomi has a storied history too when it comes to kernel source code releases, but the company has been steadily improving. Starting with the Mi 9, Xiaomi started releasing the sources for its mainstream flagships from day 1. The Chinese OEM is continuing this trend with the prompt release of the kernel sources for the Xiaomi 12 family.
You can download the kernel source code with its full commit history at Xiaomi’s official GitHub page under the “zeus-s-oss” (for the Xiaomi 12/12 Pro) and “psyche-r-oss” (for the Xiaomi 12X) repositories respectively. Additionally, the company has uploaded the sources for the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE under the “lisa-r-oss” tree. One important thing to note is that the Xiaomi 12’s codebase is based on Android 12.
Xiaomi’s custom MIUI skin comes with its own thoughtful additions and features, but even then, it may not be enough (or may even be too much) for the needs of every single user. The OEM recognizes this possibility, thus allowing users to unlock the bootloader of their devices. Further, timely kernel source releases through official channels allow developers and power users to dive deeper into the code that runs the device, figuring out different ways (and even better ways in some cases) to achieve different goals. Thanks to these factors, Xiaomi devices have historically received great support from the custom development community. With the release of the kernel sources, we hope the newest Xiaomi phones will receive the same level of support from the community as well, with developers bringing a wide variety of custom ROMs, kernels, and different mods in the coming weeks.