Installing Cynogenmod on XiaoMi One S

Update 2014-11-13:

  • Download links fixed
  • RedMi warning
This article is for the original XiaoMI One S and not the RedMi One S! For instructions for the RedMi One S see this dedicated article.

The XiaoMi One S is the updated version of Chinese’s manufacturer first smartphone and it met good success on the Chinese market.

One factor of it’s success in addition to decent hardware at a cheap price is very practical firmware.

My favorite features are:

  • App Firewall to control access to Wifi and data per App basis
  • A permission control which allows to allow, deny or “ask” for each permission of each App

Why change it if it’s great?

The problems started when updating from ICS24.0 to JMACNAH1.0 (MIUI V5). JMACNAH1.0 proved to be too much for the now outdated hardware of the Mi One S. As a result the performances dropped dramatically and the device often became unresponsive. One more issue was that Google Play was gone, it was still possible to install but using a third party App.

Interestingly enough, the JMACNAH1.0 update happened when the Xiao Mi 3 was released, as an effort to upgrade all XiaoMi hardware to MIUI V5 as I understand it. And possibly to deliberately slow down old hardware to encourage upgrade to Xiao Mi 3?

As the performances were really not satisfying anymore, I thought I had 2 choices:

  • Buy a new phone
  • Downgrade back to ICS24.0

My friend Lex suggested me a third option which was to install an unofficial port Cynogenmod for XiaoMi One S. Cynogen it is!

Disclaimer: Changing the firmware of your device will void your warranty and possibly break your device. Do at your own risk!

Thanks to Lex to give me the information to write this article.

1. Backup your data

Yep, we’re going to delete everything! Be sure you save everything you need.

2.Download the files:

  1. ROM
  2. GoogleApps
  3. Clockworks custom recovery

3.Install the custom recovery

Before you start, better be safe and make sure you have battery.
  • Shutdown your phone
  • Connect your phone to a Windows computer using a USB cable
  • Boot your phone on “Fastboot” by pressing Volume Up + Camera + Power. Hold until you see the fastboot screen.
  • On your computer, unzip and run flash_recovery.bat. The output should look like:
    sending 'recovery' (6286 KB)...
    OKAY [  0.451s]
    writing 'recovery'...
    OKAY [  1.295s]
    finished. total time: 1.750s
    rebooting into bootloader...
    OKAY [  0.003s]
    finished. total time: 0.007s
    Press any key to continue . . .

Congratulations! You can now install a custom ROM!

4. Install the new ROM


XiaoMi One S running Cyanogen!

Copy the ROM and the GoogleApps previously downloaded onto the phone’s SD card.

Then boot the phone in Recovery Mode (Volume up + Power)

  1. Wipe cache partition
  2. Wipe data/factory reset
  3. Advanced / Fix permissions (This step should not be required but for some reason it would not work without it on my phone)
  4. Install zip from sdcard / Choose from sdcard, Choose the ROM (
  5. Install zip from sdcard / Choose from sdcard, Choose the GoogleApps (
  6. Reboot to current system

That’s it, your Mi One S should boot to Cyanogenmod!

Useful link

Original ROM can be found at



    • Martin DENIZET November 13, 2014 10:48 am  Reply

      Note that this guide is for the original XiaoMi One S and not for the RedMi One S!
      Hardware seems similar but very likely incompatible!

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