Install custom ROM's on Xiaomi Mi5

I use the Xiaomi Mi5 for about one and a half years now and i am still very happy with the phone. There is one thing i miss after moving from my Google Nexus P6 to the Xiaomi however: being up to date with the latest Android version and features. Even now, that Android 8 has been released to the greater public and is on most new phones, my Mi5 still did not get an update and i would really love to have the PiP feature on my phone too. One option to resolve this issue is to install a custom rom as there are plenty for the Xiaomi lineup available. I will try to cover everything that is necessary to root and then flash my phone in this article.

NOT DONE YET ←- as long as you see this in here, I haven't completed my flash process yet, so be patient and check back later or figure it out yourself and let me know :)

i have found this tutorial which looks helpful and i am planning to probably install the PixelExperience rom. there are two concerns i have: i need to be able to keep the dual-sim capability of the phone intact as i do indeed use two sim cards and i would really miss the mi-remote universal IR remote. allthough i use it rarely, i always enjoy when i do so :)

Unlock the Bootloader

Like most other manufacturers, Xiaomi ships their phones with a locked bootloader. But unlike others, they allow you - upon request - to unlock it.

first you need to create a xiaomi account and assign it to your phone.. you can do this under settings –> accounts on your phone. Next up, you have to register to the miui forum at http://en.miui.com/forum.php. Just click Sign In and sign in with your newly created xiaomi account. It will then prompt for a nick-name to be used in the forum. Enter one and you're done.

now you need to request permission to unlock your phone. to do so, go to http://en.miui.com/unlock/ and fill in your request. this needs a confirmation by sms. in my case the confirmation sms took forever to get to my swiss SIM card, but I got it within a few minutes to my US sim card, so your mileage may vary here.

you need to provide a reason why you want to unlock your phone.. i was honest and wrote “would like to update to android 8 using custom roms” which they accepted and confirmed my unlock-permission by sms

Now we need to use their Xiaomi unlock tool to unlock the phone. Unfortunately this is a Windows only application. When you run the application and proceed by loggin in it should give you the option to unlock your phone. however, you must wait 72 hours after you received the permission-granted SMS before you can really unlock your phone. The Unlocker will fail telling you in a cryptic non-english english sentence how many hours you have yet to wait until you can unlock your phone.

once that countdown is expired your phone should unlock just fine.

Once you have unlocked your phone, you can probably delete the account if you want to, but make sure you log out from the account on your phone prior to deleting it. Here's the delete link

Install TWRP

download the latest android Platform Tools or install them i.e. under ubuntu with sudo apt install android-sdk-platform-tools. also get thelatest TWRP image from the official download page

now reboot your phone and hold the volume down key until you see the fastboot screen. then connect it to your computer and check if you can see your phone via fastboot:

fastboot devices

run these commands to install and boot TWRP:

fastboot flash recovery Downloads/twrp-3.2.1-1-gemini.img
fastboot boot Downloads/twrp-3.2.1-1-gemini.img

install custom rom

once you got TWRP on your phone you simply need to download the ZIP of your favourite ROM and install it. In case your phone does not boot anymore after the TWRP install, you may try to resurrect it if you delete de davlik cache. if not, you can boot into twrp and then connect your phone to the computer. it will be mounted as a storage device which will allow you to upload the zip of your custom rom. Just flash it and your phone will probably boot again. Allow it some time (10-20 minutes) on the first boot, don't panic when it does not complete the boot process in a 1-2 minutes as usual.