Custom ROMs are one of the many benefits of Android and many Android fans appreciate the open nature of the platform. Combine that with the abilities of developers on forums like XDA and the possibilities are almost limitless.
The openness of Android is based on core pieces of the OS being open source (AOSP) and the underlying Linux kernel being licensed under the GPL. XDA has reported instances where companies have violated the GPL, and Xiaomi is the latest manufacturer in the spotlight. Ironically, the kernel sources they aren't releasing are for a device that falls under the Android One program, the Xiaomi Mi A1.
Despite Xiaomi's actions, recognized XDA developers have found a way to bring a semi-functional LineageOS 14.1 to the Xiaomi Mi A1 without the need for proper kernel sources by porting the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 kernel. The Redmi Note 4 kernel partly works because of hardware similarities between the two devices, allowing for a bootable but unstable ROM in its current stage.
Bluetooth, camera, fingerprint, IR, and encryption are among some of the items that currently don't work, but the fact that a bootable ROM has been created without proper kernel sources is impressive. You can view the XDA thread on LineageOS 14.1 by clicking here.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is falling victim to a lack of custom development due to the company withholding the kernel sources, but if resolved quickly, Mi A1 users should soon see more custom ROM's available for their smartphone.
Have you been waiting on a custom ROM for the Mi A1? Will you take advantage of LineageOS 14.1 in its current state, or wait for a more stable version?