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What is a GSI ?

Updated: May 25, 2019

A generic system image (GSI) is a system image with adjusted configurations for Android devices. It is considered as a pure Android implementation with unmodified Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code that any Android device running Android 8.1 or higher can run successfully. GSIs are used for running VTS and CTS-on-GSI tests. The system image of an Android device is replaced with a GSI then tested with the Vendor Test Suite (VTS) and the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) to ensure that the device implements vendor interfaces correctly with the latest version of Android Starting with Android 9 (API level 28), a Generic System Image (GSI) is available that you can run on actual devices rather than just on an emulator, making app testing easier and more consistent for developers. The GSI images are open-sourced.


How is GSI useful for developers?


GSI is a benchmark for compliance. It provides a consistent testing environment for developers on any compliant device. If your app works on GSI, you can be certain it also works on almost all Android devices. Also, starting with Android 9 (API level 28), Android compatibility ensures system images are backward-compatible with previous vendor implementations. This means that developers can flash future versions of the Android platform onto their current devices that are running vendor implementations of Android 9 to do the following: --To develop apps using new Android features. --To validate existing apps for forward compatibility. --Core system functions maintain their behavior across platform versions. However, you might encounter behavioral differences in the following situations: --Interactions that involve the UI. --Workflows that use new hardware features. --Check devices for compliance

GSI works only on devices with the following characteristics: --They are unlocked. --They have Treble support. --They were launched with Android 9 (API level 28) or higher. Devices upgraded to Android 9 from an earlier version may or may not support GSI.

INSHORT GENERIC SYSTEM IMAGE (GSI) IS NOTHING BUT A PURE ANDROID IMPLEMENTATION WHICH CAN BE USED IN VARIABLE DEVICES.

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