Xiaomi Mi 9’s kernel source code is available immediately after launch
The Xiaomi Mi 9 was launched in China today with an impressive repertoire of specifications. On paper, it can go head-to-head with top-tier flagship phones. Its list of specifications includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC with Adreno 640 GPU, 6GB/8GB of RAM with 128GB storage, 6.39-inch Full HD+ (2340×1080) Samsung AMOLED display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio, triple 48MP (standard) + 12MP (telephoto) + 16MP (ultra wide-angle) rear cameras, 20MP front-facing camera, and a 3,300mAh battery. It ships with MIUI 10 on top of Android 9 Pie, and will be launched internationally at Mobile World Congress next week.
There was a time not too long ago when Xiaomi was one of the worst offenders when it came to releasing kernel source code for a device in a timely manner. (The GPLv2 license of the Linux kernel legally necessitates kernel source code to be distributed promptly.) The situation began changing last year, as the company publicly committed to releasing kernel sources for a new device launch within three months of its release. Since then, Xiaomi has mostly adhered to its promise, and there have been a few shining instances too.
With the Xiaomi Mi 9, the company is fulfilling its objections with flying colors as it has released the kernel source code for the device (which is code-named cepheus) on day one. The phone has yet to go on sale, so as of now the code doesn’t have much use. However, the prompt availability of kernel source code is the first step on the eventual road to getting a custom recovery such as TWRP and then device-specific custom ROMs. Therefore, it’s great to see Xiaomi exceeding expectations here.