Update Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE to Android 9 Pie [GSI] ROM

The new Android 9.0 Pie is available for Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE users via Project Treble route. Thanks to the developer to make this update available to download and install. This is so fast! The 9th irritation of Android is released a few days back, and a handful of devices already got the Pie update, all credit goes to Treble. Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE supports Project Treble. The AOSP based Android 9 Pie GSI ROM is available to download. This means Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE can also be updated to Android Pie.

Xiaomi Mi 8

Xiaomi is busy on rolling out MIUI 10, and there is no update about Android Pie. But we think Mi A2 may be the first device to get Android 9 officially as it comes under Android One Program. But if you are Mi 8 or Mi 8 SE user, and you can’t wait for the Pie, use this guide to update your device to Android 9.0 Pie GSI ROM. Check out the Roadmap of Android P update for all supported devices [list and release date].

Read ahead, we have a detailed instruction, on how to update Mi 8 to Android Pie using the fastboot method. This guide has been written so carefully so that a novice user doesn’t find it difficult. If you are new to Project Treble, you may find out some details of the initial GSI Oreo release here.

We have the download links below! Make sure to download the correct version of the ROM based on your device variant. Also, novice users are requested to read the tutorial once before actually performing it on your device.

Note: At this stage, Google applications are not included with the ROM. But it will come along with the OS in the future updates. If you would like to install GApps too, you need to flash it using TWRP Custom Recovery manually. We have an ARM64 based GApps link also in the download section below.

Download Android Pie for Mi 8 (or Mi 8 SE)

As we already mentioned above, the official build of Android 9 is not available for Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE, but we expect it in Q1 of 2019. Anyway, below is the download links for unofficial build via Project Treble route (AOSP Android 9 GSI):

Note: Image files are highly compressed in XZ format. Please extract before flashing. You can use free software like 7-ZIP to do this on your computer.

Android Pie
Android 9.0 Pie Screenshots

Now let’s start the tutorial below! But before that, we recommend you to backup your device for a safe side, because we don’t know when anything goes wrong. Moreover, this tutorial will wipe out all your data as you are installing a ROM. Check out: Top 10 Best Android Backup Apps – Secure your Data.

Once you are sure that you had backed up your necessary files, proceed to the tutorial below, and update Mi 8 or Mi 8 SE to Android 9.0 Pie GSI ROM.


  1. Your device must be on the latest version of MIUI build, whether that be MIUI 9 or MIUI 10.
  2. You are going to flash system.img file here. So, your bootloader must be unlocked from before. If not, please do that first and get back to the tutorial.
  3. Make sure you have correctly installed Android USB Driver on your computer.
  4. Make sure to backup everything on your device before starting the tutorial. (Check out: Best Android Backup Apps – Secure your Data)
  5. Enable the USB debugging on your Android device.
  6. You must install Android SDK tool on your computer.

How to Install Android 9 Pie on Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE

  1. Download System image (*.img) for your device. Make sure to download the correct image file depending upon the support of A/B partition on your device.
  2. Now copy this image file to C:\adb folder where the ADB/Fastboot binaries will be present.
  3. Press and hold the SHIFT key and do a right-click on an empty space inside the folder.
  4. You should Select ‘Open PowerShell window here’.
    PowerShell Window
  5. Connect your phone to the PC with the help of the USB cable.
  6. Now Boot your device into the Bootloader/Fastboot mode using the following command:
    adb reboot bootloader
  7. Make sure that your device is being detected properly using the following command:
    fastboot devices
  8. The command will return a unique device ID right with the ‘fastboot’ message.
    Fastboot device
  9. Lastly, install System on the device using the following command:
    fastboot flash system <system-xx-xxxx.img>
  10. Now reboot your device using the following command:
    fastboot reboot

Now, you should reboot your phone into stock recovery. Perform a factory reset to clean up any unnecessary files and cache junks.

When your device boots, follow the on-screen instructions for initial setup and you are done!

Hurray! Your Xiaomi Mi 8 (or Mi 8 SE) has been updated to Android 9 Pie AOSP ROM. Check Setting>About Phone to verify!

Additionally, if you want to install GApps, you can flash it using TWRP Recovery. Do this right after installing the ROM (before first boot). Otherwise, you may face bootloop issues. So you need to have this TWRP installed from before. But this won’t be required to do separately in future as the developer clearly said, he will integrate GApps in the OS.

If you wish to root your Mi 8 (Mi 8 SE) on Android 9 Pie GSI ROM, follow this guide on How to Root Project Treble ROM using Magisk. The guide is Oreo-based, but still working on Android Pie.

Project Treble Android 9 Pie update issues

This ROM is in the initial stage. You might find some bugs. You can report to the respective developers via community forums. But some of the flaws that already detected are given below:

(Issues detected as on August 21, 2018)

  • Hotspot
  • NFC
  • RIL on MTK running Android 8.0
  • Front camera on Razer Phone
  • Stock AOSP camera app on some devices. Please use OpenCamera app
  • Android 9.0 vendor
  • Several graphics glitches on Moto E5

The developer is inviting users to test this build and report the bugs they find so that he could fix them quickly to release a stable version of Android Pie AOSP ROM.

So you are done with this tutorial! You had successfully installed Android Pie on Xiaomi Mi 8 (or Mi 8 SE) using our guide. If you faced any problem with performing this tutorial, please let us know by dropping a comment below. Our team will reply you back as soon as possible. Also, let us know your opinions on the Android 9 Pie for Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE.

Saeed Ashif Ahmed
Saeed Ashif Ahmed is a Blogger who has a keen interest in how emerging technology can help the world become a more just, equitable, and kind place. He enjoys interviewing CEOs of tech startups asking them what they are doing to bring greater opportunity and equity to our society.
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