OT: android phone backup NOT to google cloud question

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu
Thu May 16 13:46:23 UTC 2019

On 2019-05-16 04:01, Steve O'Hara-Smith wrote:
> On Wed, 15 May 2019 09:22:49 -0500
> Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> My apologies for OT question.
>> I wonder if someone of Android smartphone owners backs up their device
>> and user/application data NOT to google cloud.
> 	Yes there are options that are worth looking into
> owncloud - open source similar to Google Drive or Dropbox - I've never been
> able to get it working to suit me YMMV

Thanks, Steve. Yes, I do run ownloud server (for the department), which 
I can trust as myself (or rather I trust myself ;-). Owncloud client can 
back up regular stuff that file manager on android has access to (that 
is photos, documents). However, owncloud client is just a regular 
application on android, and it has no access to /data/data - this is the 
place which android applications use by default for their, and some of 
them are not configurable to use different place to store their data. 
Example: offline maps (e.g. maps.me). What I discovered on the version 
of android my new cell phone runs is: every application runs under its 
own username (Hooray from security point of view!), and stores data into 
its own directory under /data/data accessible to that (only) username 
application runs under. Apart from that, unlocking bootloader, but not 
rooting the device allows me to back up everything (except for 
/data/data where application data are stored).

> radicale - open source CALDAV/CARDDAV service - I keep my contacts on this
> using davx5 on the Android side.
> 	There are also Android implementations of rsync - I use one
> (arcosync) that is no longer in the play store

That is my impression, several things that give you more freedom (== 
more owneship of "your" device) were eradicated from "play store".

> to backup photos and a
> selection of application files.
>> I just had to get new smartphone, and discovered that short of rooting
>> device or unlocking bootloader and flashing one of "un-googled" android
>> builds I can not find the way to back up everything. To my storage, NOT
> 	That is unfortunately true and none of the above helps with this in
> any way because unless the device is rooted access to application data is
> for the most part restricted to the application that created it which is a

Yes, sorry I went in length about this above, before I read what you say.

>> TO GOOGLE CLOUD that is. adb lets me back up system and applications
>> (and data on add-on flash card), but not application data stored in
>> internal storage (say, off-line maps downloaded by offline map
>> application).
> 	Yep - and even when you can get a copy of some data you can't
> always restore it without root or the cooperation of the application.
>> Any advise, anybody?
> 	root it.

Hm. Just went whole way: wiped it and flashed LineageOS. Though google 
code is still there in binary only "blob" of kernel, and likely in 
proprietary binary drivers and components firmware, it feels good for 
the moment.

Thanks, everybody, for all your advises!!



Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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