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

Flash GSI on any android

Project Treble is supposed to provide major Android updates a lot efficiently when it rolls out. On the other hand, Generic System Image (GSI) lets you have a stock android like experience on devices running a custom ROM such as EMUI 8 or Samsung Experience. This guide will help you in flashing GSI on your Project Treble compatible device.

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Requirements to Flash Generic System Image [GSI] :

  • Your device should have an unlocked bootloader and it should meet the Project Treble requirements.
  • The Project Treble requires that either your device has been launched with Android 8.0 or it has been made compatible by the manufacturer if it received the update OTA.
  • If your device doesn’t meet the criteria natively but you could change it somehow then the guide should work for you as well.
  • Another important requirement is that the device isn’t running any heavy modifications. These include Xposed Framework, SuperSU, or Magisk. If yes, then uninstall them before proceeding and you can reinstall them afterward.

Preparing the device

If your device supports Treble natively then follow these steps.

  • Unlock the bootloader of your device. The steps to perform this operation differ on the basis of devices. You could find a guide for your device online.
  • Now, download the GSI that you want on your computer. There are lots of options such as phh-Treble which offers a pure experience and if you are looking for customizations then you might prefer LineageOS 15.1. In case your android phone supports seamless updates then download the A/B image, otherwise download the A-only image from the links below. If you’re not sure, here a list of such devices.

If your device isn’t supported natively then follow these steps. 

  • Unlock the bootloader of your device. The steps to perform this operation differ on the basis of devices. You could find a guide for your device on XDA Forums.
  • Get the appropriate files from the here to make your device Treble compatible by flashing it.
  • Now, download the appropriate GSI (Generic System Image) from below and follow the steps given for the officially supported devices.

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Flashing GSI without TWRP

In case you don’t have TWRP on your device follow these steps

  • Perform a factory reset on your device.
  • Once done, reboot your device in the recovery mode using the appropriate button combinations. Alternatively, you could use your computer to perform the same operations.
  • Now, open a terminal/command prompt in the directory you have downloaded the GSI. You can do it by pressing and holding the Shift key, then right click and select Open Command Prompt Here option.
  • Use the following command “fastboot erase system”.
  • Enter this command ” fastboot -u flash system ‘name_of_system’.img” (enter the name of the GSI in the place of name_of_system).
  • The system will take some time to flash the device. Once, the process has been completed, just reboot your device and you are good to go.

So, as you can see installing a GSI on your Project Treble device is easy. If you face any difficulties then there are lots of solutions on the web which can help you fix the issue.

Flash Generic System Image (GSI) using TWRP – 

The following steps assume that you have a working TWRP on your device. In case you don’t have TWRP, you need to install it before continuing any further.

  • Boot into TWRP recovery. Tap on Wipe and swipe from the bottom screen to perform a factory reset.
  • Copy all the GSI files into the internal storage of your project treble supported or unsupported device.
  • Now tap on Install.

  • Then change the file type from zip to image.

How to flash a Generic System Image GSI on Project Treble devices

  • Hit on Install Image. Choose the downloaded system image location as we need to flash it in the system partition.

How to flash a Generic System Image GSI on Project Treble devices

  • Swipe to flash GSI on your image. After flashing, reboot your device.

That’s all, just make sure to follow this guide to flash Generic System Image (GSI) on project treble devices. After flashing GSI, you can get superuser privileges by flashing Magisk or Supersu zip files. Furthermore, you can use Substratum themes or can flash Xposed framework for modifications and features.