Install ROM and root on Mi 11 Pro (China only phone)


Dec 26, 2018
This was a bit of a journey, and there seems to be some slight differences with the Mi 11 Pro that make it a little more tricky. Much of this has been covered elsewhere, so I'll just do an overview and detail the parts that caused me pain.

There are two ways to do this, with or without TWRP. With TWRP you flash a zip from recovery, without you flash a fastboot image. I've tried both roms, and the fastboot version appears to be missing some of the features, and the initial Google setup was clunky and didn't work well, so my recommendation is to use TWRP to install.

Installing TWRP:
  • Follow the official guide posted by @ingbrzy here and on their site, use the following notes in addition to this guide.
  • Set a passcode, without this TWRP will be unable to decrypt the storage and you won't be able to mount internal storage.
  • For the Mi 11 Pro, be careful how you boot to Fastboot. It took me several hours to figure it out, but there are two fastboot modes, one which has a blue FASTBOOT font, and one which has a reddish-brown FASTBOOT font with bigger letters. The one you want is the reddish-brown one, which can only be reached (afaik) by booting using the physical buttons (power and vol-). If you boot using ADB (as I was), it takes you to the blue fastboot screen and TWRP won't flash (you get the boot command failure message).
  • Since this is an A/B device, the high level context is that you first have to boot the phone using the TWRP image on your desktop, as it says in the guide (fastboot boot twrp.img). This is a temporary boot using RAM, if you reboot the phone TWRP will not be present.
  • Once in TWRP, if you want to make it the permanent recovery, click Advanced, then Install Recovery Ramdisk. If you don't do this step, any time you want to use TWRP it will be necessary to boot it temporarily from fastboot again.
Rom installation (TWRP):
  • Enable MTP in TWRP (see previous note about setting a passcode).
  • Copy the rom zip to an internal storage folder.
  • Install as normal in TWRP.
Magisk and root:
  • This is different from anything I've done previously. There are various tutorials about patching the boot image from the rom, and this is fine if you don't want TWRP, but if you patch it and install it, it will erase TWRP and you'll be back with the default Xiaomi recovery.
  • To install Magisk while preserving your ramdisk version of TWRP, use the "Install Magisk" option directly from the TWRP Advanced menu, then select "Use Magisk to patch boot", this step will give you root.
  • After rebooting to System, install the Magisk apk and the Superuser icon at the bottom should be active.