tl;dr: How can I write a short declarative description of the state I want my phone to be in, and then apply it to a phone?

After a factory reset or hardware change it's always a pain to get my phone back to a usable state. At the same time I don't trust any random third party service to store my settings:

  • I don't have fine grained control over what they actually store. They may sell or leak that information without my knowledge or consent.
  • They may be incompatible with future hardware/software, and I won't know until I try to restore.
  • They may be incompatible with my configuration (try updating Android after rooting your phone, for example).
  • They may at any time be shut down.
  • I'll bet none of them allow me to retrieve the data in such a way that I can migrate to another service.

Setting up this sort of thing for your own PC requires very little technical skill and a little time - I've already set up a repository to provision my own desktop and laptop. However, I've no idea how to do something similar on Android. I can't see any mention of a Puppet client, and I don't know if it's possible to provision a device in any sensible way without installing a custom kernel or rooting it.

  • I think the best you can do is manually using adb backup. android.stackexchange.com/q/69567/1465 May 19, 2016 at 18:55
  • @MatthewRead I wouldn't do a full backup (single file) – and even if, I'm not sure that really covers everything. Like the OP, I want to have control and know what's in there. On the same road and coming close (but not close enough yet) is what I created Adebar for. But AFAIK ADB backups (even if full) miss parts like SMS and some other stuff. If the device is rooted, Xposed, and BackupAllApps module active one gets quite a lot, but not all.
    – Izzy
    May 19, 2016 at 20:42


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