Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Mohamed Nahil Hamdhy edited this page Jan 5, 2019 · 13 revisions

Here are some answers to the most asked questions about GSIs and Project Treble in general:

What is Google’s Project Treble?

A good overview of Project Treble is provided in the following XDA article by M. Rahman: Google’s Project Treble Modularizes Android so OEMs can Update Devices Faster

For a more technical discussion of Treble, please listen to Episode 75 of the Android Developers Backstage podcast here.

Why is it called "treble"?

It might be a play on the Meghan Trainor song All About That Bass. That fits because Project Treble is all about standardizing the base of Android; i.e. it's about standardizing the APIs that allow the Android framework to communicate with hardware components.

How can I check if my device is treble-enabled?

Method 1 - Method 2

Note that any device that launched with Android Oreo it must be treble-enabled.

You can find an updated supported devices list here: Home

What is a GSI?

GSI stands for Generic System Image. It is a file-system image that you flash to your device's system partition. It is generic because it accesses hardware using the new standardized hardware APIs (so it should work on any treble-enabled device).

You can find an updated list for avilable GSIs here: Generic System Image (GSI) list

What does "AB" and "A-only" mean? Should I use an "AB" GSI or an "A-only" GSI?

phh has provided "AB" and "A-only" GSIs. The terms "AB" and "A-only" (or just "A") refer to the partition style used by a device.

The AB partition style was introduced in Android N to support seamless OTA updates.

A-only, A, or non-AB refers to the legacy partition style.

If you have an AB device, then you must flash it with an AB GSI. If you have an A-only device, then you must flash it with an A-only GSI. The two types of system images are not compatible with each other.

What is the difference between FLOSS, GAPPS, GO and Vanilla?

GAPPS version include the proprietary Google apps from Open GApps nano package (see Package Comparison) and the following additional packages:

GO version includes proprietary Android (Go edition) alternatives to Google apps (see here).

FLOSS version include the following open source alternatives to GAPPS:

Vanilla version does not include any of the above.

How do I flash a GSI?

First, you must unlock your bootloader; that is a capability your device manufacturer may or may not offer to end-users.

Read this article by M. Rahman for a more detailed guide.

How to bypass certified device after first boot?

  • Reboot to recovery
adb root
adb shell 'sqlite3 /data/data/com.google.android.gsf/databases/gservices.db'

How to build a GSI?

Follow this guide Here

Why do latest GSI packages have xz file extension? How to install it?

Starting from v19 (2018-06-03), releases are now compressed with xz. Uncompress before flashing.


this page will be updated soon with more....

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