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Install LineageOS on
Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

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Basic requirements

  1. Read through the instructions at least once before actually following them, so as to avoid any problems due to any missed steps!
  2. Make sure your computer has adb and fastboot. Setup instructions can be found here.
  3. Enable USB debugging on your device.
  4. Boot your device with the stock OS at least once and check every functionality.
  5. LineageOS is provided as-is with no warranty. While we attempt to verify everything works you are installing this at your own risk!
Device modelFirmware version
Mi 8 Explorer ChinaV12.5.1.0.QEHCNXM

Checking the correct firmware

Installation on your device requires a specific firmware version to be installed before you continue.

  • Being on another custom ROM, including unofficial builds of the same version of LineageOS, does not ensure that this requirement has been fulfilled
  • Please re-read this section as many times as necessary to fully understand the requirements

Failing to install the correct firmware version prior to installation may result in failure to install LineageOS, unexpected crashes post-installation, or permanent damage to your device!

Unlocking the bootloader

  1. Create a Mi account on Xiaomi’s website. Beware that one account is only allowed to unlock one unique device every 30 days.
  2. Add a phone number to your Mi account.
  3. Insert a SIM into your phone.
  4. Enable developer options in Settings > About Phone by repeatedly tapping MIUI Version.
  5. Link the device to your Mi account in Settings > Additional settings > Developer options > Mi Unlock status.
  6. Download the Mi Unlock app (Windows is required to run the app).
  7. Run the Mi Unlock app and follow the instructions provided by the app. It may tell you that you have to wait up to 30 days. If it does so, please wait the quoted amount of time before continuing to the next step!
  8. After device and Mi account are successfully verified, the bootloader should be unlocked.
  9. Since the device resets completely, you will need to re-enable USB debugging to continue.

Installing a custom recovery using fastboot

  1. Download Lineage Recovery. Simply download the latest recovery file, named recovery.img.
  2. Connect your device to your PC via USB if it isn’t already.
  3. If your device isn’t already in fastboot mode, on the computer, open a command prompt (on Windows) or terminal (on Linux or macOS) window, and type:
    adb reboot bootloader
    

    You can also boot into fastboot mode via a key combination:

    • With the device powered off, hold Volume Down + Power. Keep holding both buttons until the word “FASTBOOT” appears on the screen, then release.
  4. Once the device is in fastboot mode, verify your PC finds it by typing:
    fastboot devices
    

    If you don’t get any output or an error:

    • on Windows: make sure the device appears in the device manager without a triangle. Try other drivers until the command above works!
    • on Linux or macOS: If you see no permissions fastboot try running fastboot as root. When the output is empty, check your USB cable (preferably use a USB Type-A 2.0 one or a USB hub) and port!
  5. Flash recovery onto your device:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    
  6. Now reboot into recovery to verify the installation. Do not reboot into the existing OS, since it will overwrite the recovery you just installed!
    • With the device powered off, hold Volume Up + Power. Keep holding both buttons until the “Mi 8” logo appears on the screen, then release.

Installing LineageOS from recovery

  1. Download the LineageOS installation package that you would like to install or build the package yourself.
    • (Optionally): If you want to install Google Apps add-on package (use the arm64 architecture), you can download it from here.
  2. If you are not in recovery, reboot into recovery:
    • With the device powered off, hold Volume Up + Power. Keep holding both buttons until the “Mi 8” logo appears on the screen, then release.
  3. Now tap Factory Reset, then Format data / factory reset and continue with the formatting process. This will remove encryption and delete all files stored in the internal storage, as well as format your cache partition (if you have one).
  4. Return to the main menu.
  5. Sideload the LineageOS .zip package but do not reboot before you read/followed the rest of the instructions!
    • On the device, select “Apply Update”, then “Apply from ADB” to begin sideload.
    • On the host machine, sideload the package using: adb sideload filename.zip.

Installing Add-Ons

  1. Repeat the sideload steps above for all desired packages in sequence.

All set!

Once you have installed everything successfully, you can now reboot your device into the OS for the first time!

  • Click the back arrow in the top left of the screen, then “Reboot system now”.

Get assistance

After you’ve double checked that you followed the steps precisely, didn’t skip any and still have questions or got stuck, feel free to ask on our subreddit or in #LineageOS on Libera.Chat.