Android DEvice Backup And Report, using Bash and ADB
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README.md

Adebar

Adebar stands for Android Device Backup and Report. It is mainly based on Bash and Adb.

What makes Adebar specific?

There are plenty of backup solutions available for Android, including such intended as front-end for ADB. So what is specific for Adebar that I wrote it, knowing of those other solutions?

The task I wrote Adebar for is to be able to quickly backup a device, and restore the backup again – e.g. when I need to factory-reset a device. That includes the case where I have to send a device to be serviced, and need to use a different device meanwhile: that would rule out a "complete restore" due to the side-effects system-apps might cause, especially when the second device is from a completely different manufacturer, and/or runs a different version of Android or even a completely different ROM. That's one of the reasons why Adebar creates one backup file per app (instead of one huge backup.ab holding them all) – while the other is to be able to select what to restore in general.

As a side-effect, Adebar generates a „report“ (or „short documentation“) on the device – including general device information (like model, Android version, device features, device status, configured accounts) as well as some details on installed apps (install source/date, last update, version, etc.).

What kind of backup does Adebar create?

Adebar itself creates multiple files, including

  • a shell script to create separate ADB backups for the apps you've installed yourself ("user-apps"), including their .apk files and their data
  • a shell script to create ADB backups of system apps, only containing their data
  • a shell script to create disk images of your device's partitions
  • a shell script to download contents of your internal/external SDCards and Backups via Titanium Backup's built-in web server
  • a shell script to disable (freeze) all apps you had disabled/frozen on your device
  • it pulls the wpa_supplicant.conf from your device, which holds information on all WiFi APs you've configured (root required) – and also some more configuration files.
  • it pulls the packages.xml from your device, which holds all information about apps installed on your device (with Android 4.1 and above, this again requires root)
  • a shell script to disable all broadcast receivers (aka "auto-starts") which were disabled on the given device
  • a Markdown file listing all user-installed apps with their sources you've installed them from (e.g. Google Play, F-Droid, Aptoide), date of first install/last update, installed version, and more (see example userApps.md in the Wiki).
  • a Markdown file with some general device documentation (see above – and the example deviceInfo.md in the wiki).

Adebar-created files

Optionally, if you have the PHP CLI available on your computer, you can parse the packages.xml with provided PHP scripts, located in the tools/ directory. This directory also includes a shell script to convert ADB backup files into .tar.gz archives (ab2tar; requires openssl) – and another one if you have issues restoring ADB backups on Android 7 or higher (abrestore; if your device is affected by the ADB restore bug, only restoring backups of apps already installed on the device).

As Adebar is not yet tested on too many devices, there might be some errors/bugs here and there; if you encounter one, please file an issue at the project's Github presence. General feedback is also more than welcome if you're successfully using Adebar with your device, see List of tested devices.

Requirements

Most of them should already be obvious from above description. Nevertheless, all of them here in short:

  • ADB installed (and configured for your device) on your computer. This can either be the complete Android SDK, or a minimal installation of ADB.
  • Bash (version 4 or higher). As this is a very common shell environment, it's available by default on most Linux distributions. If you're a Windows user: sorry, the only windows I have are for light and fresh air.
  • Android 4.0+: As the adb backup and adb restore commands have not been present before Android 4.0, Adebar will not be of much use with devices running older versions – except for, maybe, creating a „device documentation“ as outlined above.
  • some features require root on the Android device

More details

A documentation describing steps for installation, configuration, usage, and more can be found in the project wiki.