Xiaomi is known for putting out great devices – great in that they are aggressively priced and frequently outperform other devices in their price range because of solid specs. For this reason, Xiaomi is one of the leaders in the midrange and entry-level markets. Unfortunately, Xiaomi is also known as a violator of open source license standards multiple times. They usually do not release the kernel source codes for their devices immediately, and you can wait as long as 3 years to finally get it. Are they finally changing their ways?
Android software uses the General Public License (GPL), and all software licensed under the GPL must release their source code upon request. For smartphones running Android, manufacturers like Xiaomi must release the kernel source code pretty much immediately, or even upon request. But to this day, a huge number of Xiaomi devices still don’t have available kernel source code releases, despite frequent requests from the developer community.
XDA reached out to Xiaomi, and got this as a reply – the short version being “the company plans to release the kernel source code for any new device within 3 months after its launch.” Here is the complete statement from the Xiaomi spokesperson:
“As an Internet company, Xiaomi respects the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is committed to an effective compliance. We are deploying all our resources to achieve a sustainable growth and have been making efforts to speed up our kernel release. We want to make sure that every release is safe and stable. So far, we have published the kernel sources for many devices. Moving forward, we target to release the kernel source of a device within three months after its launch.”
Xiaomi’s promise of releasing kernel source code three months after launch pales in comparison to other manufacturers who usually provide this days or weeks after launch. But three months is better than nothing. Check out the source link for the list of devices which Xiaomi has provided the kernel source code for, and also the list of devices for which they haven’t released any source code.