Xiaomi Finally Releases Kernel Sources
If you are familiar with Xiaomi, you might have heard that they are not the most compliant when it comes to the General Public License that makes the core of Android open to us. The terms of the GPLv2 state that since the Android kernel is based on the Linux kernel, which is licensed under GPL,v2 Android has to be open-source for everyone to study or modify, and those that modify the Android kernel have to make their sources immediately available for others as well. Sadly, many OEM’s don’t always comply with the terms – from the very small to the very big.
Earlier this year we featured an article explaining how Xiaomi was late on their GPLv2 compliance, and how they still hadn’t released updated kernel sources for many of their devices. This transgression is not only morally and legally wrong, but it prevents our developers from modifying key aspects of Xiaomi’s phones to make our software visions come true. Moreover, this can potentially concern users wary of security backdoors and other kinds of spyware. But after a long and tedious wait full of broken promises, we get to see the kernel for the fan-favorite Mi3.
The promises made by Xiaomi’s Vice-president Hugo Barra didn’t come true in time, but if you head to the MiCode github you’ll find the kernel for the Mi3 (cancro), alongside other included sources for Xiaomi devices like the Mi4 and Mi Note phones. The GitHub appears to not be fully updated, so there is probably more to come. This event marks a monumental step forward in Xiaomi’s reputation, and we can expect great things to come out of this release.
However, as great of a development this is for XDA and Xiaomi fans, we must still remember that the terms of the adhered GPLv2 license call for immediate distribution of the sources, and the long time that it took OEMs like Xiaomi and Motorola should be continually discouraged in future instances. Hopefully this act of compliance means a turn in Xiaomi’s open-source policies and that we will keep seeing updated kernel releases – but in due time. Whatever happens, today is still a good day for both Xiaomi and XDA!
Are you excited for this release? Does this change your mind about Xiaomi? Tell us below!