How to Flash GSI [Generic System Image] on Project Treble Supported Devices

One of the major drawbacks of the devices running on the Android Operating System is the notoriously slow pace at which the OEMs update their devices. To address this issue which has been haunting android users for long, Google launched Project Treble. Project Treble represents a major re-architecture for the OS framework which aims at making the process of releasing updates easier for OEMs. Devices shipping with Oreo, Pie, and future versions out-of-the-box will support Project Treble.

Treble supported devices will have an easier time flashing custom ROMs based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). After the launch of Project Treble, there’s been a lot of confusion on how to flash a Generic System Image onto a Treble-compatible device as the process to flash them is a little different. For those who do not know, Generic System Image files are system (.img) partition files.

If you are someone who is interested in flashing GSI on your Treble compatible device, here is a tutorial for the same.

Steps to Flash a Generic System Image

Requirements:

  • A device whose bootloader can be unlocked. Honor, Huawei and some other OEMs do not allow the bootloader of their devices to be unlocked.
  • Your device must support Project Treble.
  • You must not be using Xposed Framework, SuperSU or Magisk on your device.

Flashing GSI Via TWRP

  1. Download the GSI file and transfer it to your phone’s internal storage.
  2. Boot your device to TWRP Custom Recovery Mode by pressing power and volume down key simultaneously.
  3. In the custom recovery window, tap on “Wipe” and swipe for the “Swipe to Factory Reset.”
  4. From the custom recovery window, tap on “Install” followed by a tap on “Install Image.”
  5. Navigate to the location where you have stored the file which you downloaded in the first step and tap on it.
  6. Once selected, tap on “System Image” and swipe to confirm flashing of the file.
  7. Now you can reboot your device normally.

Flashing GSI Via Fastboot

  1. Open the Settings app and Factory Reset your device.
  2. Download the GSI file on your PC and transfer it to the folder which contains ADB binaries. By default, it can be found at C:\adb.
  3. Enable USB debugging on your phone and connect it to your PC.
  4. Open Windows Powershell window by pressing shift and right clicking on an empty space on your window.
  5. Reboot your device into fastboot mode by typing “adb reboot bootloader” in the Powershell window.
  6. Next, Install Generic System Image file by typing “fastboot flash system system-image-name.img” in the Powershell window. Note that you should replace “system-image-name.img” with the name of the file which you downloaded in the second step.
  7. Once the above procedure is complete, reboot your device by typing “fastboot reboot” in the Powershell window.

Congratulations! You successfully flashed a Generic System Image or GSI on your Project Treble compatible device.

These are one of the easiest ways to flash a GSI on a treble supported device. I hope this article works the way it is intended to beLet us know about your experience trying out the methods mentioned in this article in the comments section down below. In case I missed mentioning anything or if there is some topic which you want me to cover, please let me know in the comments section down below.

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