Xiaomi sure took its time, but the Chinese company is now finally releasing the source code for the Mi3, Mi4, and Mi Note kernels.
The Xiaomi Mi 3 was announced in September 2013, while the Mi 4 followed up in July 2014. For the Mi 3 in particular, fans and developers have heavily criticized Xiaomi for not complying to its GPLv2 obligations, which require anyone who uses Linux to release the source code to the public. Not only did Xiaomi fail to immediately release the kernel source code for many of its devices, it delayed it repeatedly and offered very little in terms of justification.
Back in December, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra promised the kernel code for the Mi3 would be released within Q1, and today, on the last day of Q1 2015, Xiaomi finally kept its word.
The kernel source code for Mi 3 (world and CDMA), Mi 4, and Mi Note is now available on Xiaomi’s GitHub page. That means anyone can peruse the code and that developers can begin tinkering with it, hopefully leading to a richer ecosystem of custom ROMs. It’s good to see that the high-end Mi Note phablet, released in January, is included on the list.
It remains to be seen whether Xiaomi is committed to adhering to GPL from now on, or this is just a Band-Aid that won’t solve the problem long-term.