How To Install Android 13 GSI ROM on Any Android Device
The other day, on February 11, 2022, Google released the developer preview of Android 13. The stable version should be released in the Q3 of the year 2022. However, if you have a Google Pixel device running Android 12, then you can try the developer preview 1 of Android 13 from here. Otherwise, if your phone supports GSI ROMs, then you can try and install the Android 13 GSI ROM on your device. Mostly, stock Android devices and a few other OEMs like OnePlus, Moto devices that have project treble support can support GSI ROMS. So, if you have one of them, then below is the tutorial on how to install Android 13 GSI ROM on any supported device.
What Are GSI ROMS?
GSI stands for generic system image. These are a generic version of Android which is mostly made for the app developers to test their app support and compatibility with the latest version of Android along with the latest APIs. The GSI ROMS can be buggy, or it can lack features that the stock Android has, and most of the issues with that particular GSI ROM are already written on Google’s website. Some of the known issues with the Android 13 GSI ROM are mentioned below.
Installing Android 13 GSI ROM on your project treble device will ipe out the data of your smartphone, so make sure to take a backup of all of your data beforehand. We would recommend not to install on your main device, instead use any other backup smartphone to test the Android 13 Developer preview.
Known issue with Android 13
Android 12 GSI binaries have the following GSI-specific known issues:
- Phone Audio: When using the integrated dialer, you might not hear any audio on the phone. This is due to a change in the telephony service installation location in Android 10.
- Power Cycle: Rebooting GSI might fail on some devices. To work around it, reboot the device into recovery mode, erase user data, perform a factory reset, and then reboot the device.
- System partition size: GSI + GMS file size (images named
_gsi\_gms\_arm64-*_) might be bigger than the default dynamic system partition size on your device. To work around this issue, you can delete some non-essential dynamic partitions, such as the product partition, and flash the GSI again.
Download Android 13 GSI ROM
Link for Android 13 GSI ROM coming soon.
How To Install Android 13 GSI ROM
Before you start installing Android 13 GSI ROM, make sure you have ADB and Fastboot installed on your PC, if not then you can download and install it from here. After you have installed the ADB and fastboot devices on your computer, you need to then check the CPU architecture and the ARM version of your mobile device’s processor. To check that you can follow through the tutorial below.
- Connect your phone to the computer via a USB cable and make sure that USB debugging is enabled on your mobile.
- Now, open ADB and fastboot the terminal window.
- Type adb devices. Tap on allow on the device when prompted.
- Now, to know the CPU architecture and ARM version type
adb shell getprop ro.product.cpu.abi
- You will see the CPU architecture and ARM version it should be like arm64-v8a. Here CPU is 64-bit architecture and the ARM version is V8a.
- Make sure to enable OEM unlocking, which can be done in the developer options of your mobile device.
- Now that you have the CPU architecture and the ARM version of your CPU, download the correct version of the GSI ROM of Android 13 from the link provided below. After downloading the zip file, you need to extract the files (system.img and vbmeta.img) into the ADB and fastboot folder on your computer.
- On your computer type
adb reboot bootloader
- It should reboot your phone into fastboot mode.
- Here you need to unlock the bootloader of your device, you can do so by typing
fastboot flashing unlock
- For devices launched before 2015, they need to write
fastboot oem unlock
- Once you have an unlocked bootloader on your device reboot your device and check if the USB debugging is enabled and the OEM unlock is enabled. Next, we need to disable the Android Verified Boot (AVB). Below is the command for the same.
fastboot flash vbmeta vbmeta.img
- Now, enter the following command to wipe the system partition
fastboot erase system
- Now, flash the Android 13 GSI ROM on your device by typing
fastboot flash system system.img
- Wait for a few minutes to install the ROM, once it is finished, wipe the user data partition by typing
- finally, you need to reboot your device
- Your phone should be able to boot into Android 13.