01/2: Android backups
It seems there are two ways to back up the android phone that I didn’t know before.
One is to use the “adb backup” command from the android developer kit. You can supply some switches to control what type of stuff gets backed up, even to the point of choosing particular apps. It probably backs up all the data for a given app in a lump, and also probably makes assumptions on where that data is. If the app writer followed Android conventions, you’re probably ok in terms of backing up what you’re interested in.
The other works if you have installed clockworkmod. You can boot to recovery mode, and select “backup and restore”, then “backup”. It will copy your data to the
/sdcard/clockworkmod/backup directory. Copy the backup off, and you have your backup. I’m not yet sure what is in it. Supposedly this method is automatable.
I will have to try the restore for each method at some point I guess — because a backup isn’t complete until you know you can restore from it.
Of course I tried the above two methods in the other order, and so I’m probably backing up my backup. Oops. It’s still running.
… time passes
Ok, seems to have finished. Let’s have a look.
The clockworkmod backup (that copies to
/sdcard/clockworkmod/backup directory) produced the following on the android:
shell@android:/sdcard/clockworkmod/backup $ find . ./2014-01-02.18.21.15 ./2014-01-02.18.21.15/boot.img ./2014-01-02.18.21.15/recovery.img ./2014-01-02.18.21.15/system.ext4.dup ./2014-01-02.18.21.15/data.ext4.dup ./2014-01-02.18.21.15/cache.ext4.dup ./2014-01-02.18.21.15/nandroid.md5
Simple enough to copy that off with an adb pull command:
$ ~/projects/android/android-sdk-linux-r22.3/platform-tools/adb pull /sdcard/clockworkmod/backup/2014-01-02.18.21.15/ . pull: building file list... pull: /sdcard/clockworkmod/backup/2014-01-02.18.21.15/nandroid.md5 -> ./nandroid.md5 pull: /sdcard/clockworkmod/backup/2014-01-02.18.21.15/cache.ext4.dup -> ./cache.ext4.dup pull: /sdcard/clockworkmod/backup/2014-01-02.18.21.15/data.ext4.dup -> ./data.ext4.dup pull: /sdcard/clockworkmod/backup/2014-01-02.18.21.15/system.ext4.dup -> ./system.ext4.dup pull: /sdcard/clockworkmod/backup/2014-01-02.18.21.15/recovery.img -> ./recovery.img pull: /sdcard/clockworkmod/backup/2014-01-02.18.21.15/boot.img -> ./boot.img 6 files pulled. 0 files skipped. 3328 KB/s (21445584 bytes in 6.291s) $
Note the ‘/’ at the end of the path that is being pulled, that’s how you get a directory and its contents.
The .md5 file has md5sums for the other files. The .dup files seem to be lists of paths on the android device. Not sure how they map to the .img files. I’m guessing the .img files are the full flash contents of those two partitions (boot and recovery).
To restore some but not all, you can boot to recovery mode, select backup and restore, then advanced restore. Now you can choose to restore:
boot system data cache sd-ext
I suppose being able to choose these things is better than nothing, but I was hoping for the ability to restore, say, the calendar but leave the other things alone. Guess I have to keep looking.
This produced a single mega-sized file. File says it is of type “data”. It starts with the following string: “ANDROID BACKUP”.
I guess you can back up only a single app (or a few apps) if you give the app (or apps) name(s).
“you can list the package names (e.g. com.google.android.apps.plus) specifically that you would like to backup.”
adb backup -all -apk -shared -system
adb backup -apk -shared -system com.droidwave.offlinecalendar
The adb command directs you to “unlock the phone and enter the password”. It just means to enter your pin or do whatever you do to access your phone normally — not referring to “rooting” your phone here. During the backup, a screen appears on the phone over top of everything else, asking for your password (which you set in settings, developer settings, desktop backup) and permission to do the backup — and showing the progress by giving the name of the app (file? app?) bing handled. Note that I’ve seen two warnings in different articles on the web saying the backup/restore will not work unless the password is set.
android.sharedstorage.backup might be shown for a long time, esp. if there is a big fat backup from the other method sitting in it. Oops.
It takes quite a while — on the order of half an hour or so if you asked for a full backup (-all -apk -shared -system) and there is a clockworkmod backup in
In the end there is a humongous file (nearly 3 GB in my case) in the named place (-f option on the adb backup command line) on your desktop.
I don’t think there is a way to restore just part of it.
Deleting the other backup and doing this backup again resulted in a slightly smaller humongous file:
$ ls -la total 8109684 drwxrwx--- 3 bjb bjb 4096 Jan 3 00:05 . drwxrwx--- 4 bjb bjb 4096 Jan 2 14:11 .. -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 2775642349 Jan 2 14:47 20140102 -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 2775658565 Jan 2 23:06 20140102-a -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 2744876613 Jan 3 00:50 20140102-b drwxrwx--- 2 bjb bjb 4096 Jan 2 19:22 clockworkmod $
After a few trials I have:
$ ls -la total 12469752 drwxrwx--- 3 bjb bjb 4096 Jan 3 02:40 . drwxrwx--- 4 bjb bjb 4096 Jan 2 14:11 .. -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 2775642349 Jan 2 14:47 20140102 -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 2775658565 Jan 2 23:06 20140102-a -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 2744876613 Jan 3 00:50 20140102-b -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 1486766101 Jan 3 01:45 20140102-c -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 1486766101 Jan 3 02:28 20140102-d -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 4213 Jan 3 02:29 20140102-e -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 4213 Jan 3 02:36 20140102-f -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 4213 Jan 3 02:38 20140102-g -rw-r----- 1 bjb bjb 1486766101 Jan 3 02:46 20140102-h drwxrwx--- 2 bjb bjb 4096 Jan 2 19:22 clockworkmod $
I got an Android phone a while ago. I’m trying very hard not to have to connect to any “cloud” services when I use it. It pretty much makes the phone useless as a PIM and I am actually still using my old Palm.
However the battery on my aging Z22 is holding less and less charge: its days are numbered. So I’m going to have to make the Android phone more functional.
Step one. Backup the apps I do use to my own computer.
Apps I use:
|Messaging||com.android.providers.telephony. Or not. Restoring this did not get the messages back.|
I got K-9 Mail from fDroid, the free-and-open-source-app store for Android.
It seems I will have to backup all this data app by app. I’m making a list of apps I use … and adding to it as I discover more of them that I use.
settings — import/export — Export to storage — saves as a file to
Can be copied off with adb. I don’t think my phone has a separate SD Card for general storage, although it is a separate partition in flash.
I’m already using digikam to copy the photos off.
The photos are saved to
/data/media/DCIM/Camera/ by the camera app.
Edited photos are in
settings — more — export textnotes to SD-Card
There is also a directory
/mnt/sdcard/noteeverything/ /mnt/sdcard/noteeverything/text /mnt/sdcard/noteeverything/paintings /mnt/sdcard/noteeverything/voices /mnt/sdcard/noteeverything/photos /mnt/sdcard/noteeverything/videos /mnt/sdcard/noteeverything/backup
It may be that Note Everything saves to SD Card even without the export step.
Perusing fDroid, I see there are some more choices now for note apps than there were when I first got Note Everything. Will have to revisit this. Although I like the way Note Everything stores data, I’d prefer an open source app.
Not sure yet what info is stored in the different directories.
No need to save — this is just a view on an IMAP folder that I can see elsewhere. Although I suppose it might be nice to save the account info and settings.
Messages are stored in
in some kind of binary DB.
Contents of that directory:
mmssms.db mmssms.db-journal telephony.db telephony.db-journal
I suppose the telephony.db is the list of phone calls I’ve received/initiated. Could be handy to save that too.
Some items in
Some items in
One item in
/mnt/sdcard (!) Perhaps that’s an anomaly. Not sure why it’s in two places. Maybe
/data/media is the same as
/mnt/sdcard. Apart from having (some of?) the same files, I have no other evidence of this.
/mnt/sdcard are owned by user 0.1015 (
/data/media are owned by user 1023.1023 (
Moving along …
I have nothing in here at the moment
That could be backed up I guess
clock info to back up
/data/data/com.android.deskclock/shared_prefs/AlarmClock.xml /data/data/com.android.deskclock/shared_prefs/com.android.deskclock_preferences.xml /data/data/com.android.deskclock/databases/alarms.db /data/data/com.android.deskclock/databases/alarms.db-journal
I wish these apps would have an “about” entry in the settings, I can’t remember what came with Android and what I got afterwards.
Not sure where the phone calls rec’d/initiated are kept.
I probably got this from fdroid also
Very nice app.
Perhaps settings are stored
And the app itself
The android stock settings app, if the settings can be said to be an “app”. And apparently it can.
Apparently a fork of ancal. It needs work — on my platform at least.
- … etc.