27 Configuration
Izzy edited this page 1 year ago

What needs to be configured?

In principle: nothing. Adebar should run fine out-of-the-box, as it comes with a decent „default configuration“ coded into the main script itself. So if you first just want to give it a look, you can skip this section and start Adebar straight away. Come back here if you feel the need to fine-tune things.

Where does Adebar check for configuration files?

When running, Adebar first sets up „default values“, and then checks for an existing config file:

  • if config/ is a directory, and contains a file with the same name as specified by the first command-line parameter, this is used. This allows for device-specific config files if you have more than one device.
  • otherwise, if config/ is a directory, and contains a file named default, this will be used. You might want to have that for e.g. "guest devices" or as a default for possible „new ones“
  • otherwise, if config is a file, that will be used. Makes it easier if you only have one device, and don't plan for more.

A sample configuration file is included as doc/config.sample, which you simply can copy and adjust. Your config file has only to contain the settings you wish to change; this will usually be the DEVICE_IP (which is not set by default) and/or the STORAGE_BASE. For an easy quick-start, there's also doc/quickstart_config.sample concentrating on essential things (like the „user function“ to assemble the final device documentation).

What settings are available, and what do they mean?

A short information for each setting is contained in the example config file, where all available settings are included. Here comes a more detailed description:

Directory Settings

  • STORAGE_BASE: that's the „base directory“ everything goes below. Here the command-line provided OUTDIR will be appended to. By default, this variable is empty, so OUTDIR is relative to the execution path. If you e.g. set it as STORAGE_PATH=/home/me/backups, and pass moto_x as parameter to adebar_cli, your files should end up below /home/me/backups/moto_x.
  • DUMMY_BASE: where your Dummy-Devices are located. You probably won't need this.
  • USERDIR: sub-directory where the backup scripts will place the ADB backups of your user-apps into (relative to where they're run). Default is "userApps".
  • SYSDIR: Similar, for the data backups of your system apps. Defaults to "sysApps".
  • PARTBACKUPDIR: again similar, for partition images
  • DOCDIR: Where to place created documentary files. Default is "docs", which results in ${STORAGE_PATH}/${OUTDIR}/docs
  • CONFDIR: Similar for pulled config files (conf/). Default is "conf", which has the device's config files placed in ${STORAGE_PATH}/${OUTDIR}/conf.
  • CACHEDIR: In the cache directory, Adebar stores data between runs – so it does not have to re-evaluate them. This includes e.g. names of apps in the appnames sub-directory. Leave it empty (default) to disable caching.
  • APPCACHESPLUS: additional directories where Adebar should look for information on app names. By default, this is empty. An example line fitting for all devices could look like:
    APPCACHESPLUS="sysApps sysApps/Android sysApps/Google"
    Of course, this only makes sense if you also have the corresponding "cache files". See the Adebar-Appcache project for details – and get your initial filling from there :)
  • TRANSFER_DIR: base dir for transfers (install, push files, etc.). Completely ignored if not set in your config (default), if the directory pointed to does not exist, and skipped for the subdirs not existing as well. Adebar checks for the following directories below this:
    • install: first-time install of apps. Simply drop your .apk files here. .apk files are kept if installation failed, but are deleted after a successful install.
    • reinstall: same, for updates to apps already installed. If you get the error INSTALL_FAILED_ALREADY_EXISTS with the install dir, move that .apk here.
    • upload: stuff to be pushed to the device. Setup the same directory structure here as it is on the device; if you e.g. wish to push example.epub to /sdcard/Books/example.epub, you'll have to place it into ${TRANSFER_DIR}/upload/sdcard/Books/example.epub. If the transfer succeeded, the entire tree (starting with sdcard) will be removed; on failure it will remain.
    • special: special transfers that go beyond simply uploading some files. You control the process via an executable file named run placed inside this directory, which should exit with a return code of 0 on success and a non-zero return code on failure. This way you can also rename files on the device – useful e.g. if you want to push a new lacells.db for the Local-GSM-Backend project by n76, where you first need to push a huge file and, when the upload is completed, need to rename it so the app can grab it.
      An example run file can be found as doc/run.sample.

Device specifics

  • DEVICE_NAME: A name you can recognize your device by. This is used for the documentory files such as deviceInfo.md, but also in scripts (mainly for headers in both cases). Defaults to "MyDroid".
  • SERIAL: The device's serial as returned by adb devices. By default this is empty. It's not strictly needed as long as you only have one device connected when running adebar-cli. If there are multiple devices connected, Adebar uses the SERIAL to tell ADB which one to use.
  • DUMMY: if this config belongs to a Dummy-Device, this specifies its name (which is also the directory name inside DUMMY_BASE where its data are stored).

Settings for Titanium Backup

Titanium Backup features an integrated web server to obtain device contents from. Adebar can create a script to do that for you, which is what these settings are for.

  • DEVICE_IP: IP address of your device. By default this is empty, so the TiBu part will be skipped.
  • TIBU_PORT: port the TiBu web server listens on. Default is "8080".
  • TIBU_SDINT: URL path to obtain contents of the internal SD. Default is "/storage/INTERNAL/Storage-ALL.zip"
  • TIBU_SDEXT: URL path to obtain contents of the external SD. Default is "/storage/SAMSUNG_EXT_SD_CARD/Storage-ALL.zip"
  • TIBU_BACKUPS: URL path to obtain the TiBu backups. Default is "/TitaniumBackup-ALL.zip"


While Adebar can create a lot of files containing details from your device, you might not have use for all of them, and thus wish to „skip“ some parts. You can do so by enabling or disabling the corresponding feature. These settings are „booleans“, so 0 means „off“ and 1 stands for „on”. By default, all features are enabled (i.e. set to 1).

  • MK_APPDISABLE: create a script to „freeze/disable“ apps
  • MK_APPENABLE: create a script to enable ALL apps. Useful in case you once disable one too much and have no GUI anymore on your device :)
  • MK_USERBACKUP/MK_SYSBACKUP: create the script to backup user apps+data / system app-data
  • AUTO_BACKUP_SHARED: shall shared storage be backed up automatically, without you being asked? If set to 0 you will be asked, with 1 the backup will be performed automatically.
  • SKIP_EXISTING_USERBACKUP/SKIP_EXISTING_SYSBACKUP: if you e.g. had already started a backup, but needed to abort it (might have been needed if adbd got stuck, which happens with some devices/ROMs if adb backup commands are issued too fast – see MK_AUTOCONFIRM_DELAY below for a preventive measure to that), you might wish Adebar to skip already succeeded backups (that is, where the backup file already exists and is not empty). Set the corresponding option to 1 for that – or set it to 0 if you don't want this.
  • RETRY_FAILED_BACKUPS: when the backup run is completed, Adebar can check for „failed backups“ (usually backup files with a size of 41 byte, but also empty ones) and try to repeat the backup of corresponding apps. On some devices, this succeeds in a subsequent run (mostly due to a „buggy adbd“ on the device). It will however not succeed, regardless how often you try, if the dev decided declaring the app ALLOW_BACKUP:FALSE. Set to 1 to be prompted for retries, or to 0 if you don't need/want this.
  • MK_APPRESTORE_DELAY: on restore, ADB sometimes simply „aborts“ when a second restore command comes in while it's still processing the first – so subsequent commands get lost (waiting for the user to accept them on the device which doesn't prompt for it). Hence you can configure how to deal with that (you can play with the values to find what fits you best):
    • p will prompt you on the computer when to send the next command
    • 0 will simply „hammer them in“ expecting the device to cope with it
    • an integer value larger than 0 will pause for that amount of seconds before sending the next adb restore command.
  • MK_AUTOCONFIRM_DELAY: Similarly, if using AUTO_CONFIRM, you can specify a delay in seconds to give the device time to act. Default is 3.
  • MK_AUTOCONFIRM_SEQUENCE: the sequence of keycodes sent to the device to confirm each app backup. Default is (22 23), which works fine on many devices – but for example not on some Xiaomis, which need (61 61 61 66). Please report back if you found another device specific sequence, so it can be documented here.
  • MK_AUTOCONFIRM_SEQUENCE_2: if your device requires a different confirmation sequence on restore (some Xiaomis again with (61 61 66)), and only then, set this variable in your device config. Else leave it empty, and MK_AUTOCONFIRM_SEQUENCE will be used.
  • MK_XPRIVACY_EXPORT: whether to trigger a data export of XPrivacy. Disabled (0) by default, so Adebar doesn't have to check for its presence unnecessarily. Set to 1 to enable it.
  • MK_XPRIVACY_PULL: whether to pull XPrivacy's databases. Disabled (0) by default as it requires root; set to 1 to enable it.
  • PULL_SETTINGS: pull settings/configs from the device (currently just wpa_supplicant.conf, but there might be more in the future)
  • MK_TIBU: create the script to pull stuff from the TiBu web server. Even if set to 1, this will be disabled if you didn't set a DEVICE_IP (see above in „Settings for Titanium Backup“).
  • MK_DEFAULTAPPS: include the default apps section with your app documentation. This will go into defaultApps.md.
  • MK_USERAPPS: Creates the script to deal with "disabled components", plus the markup document holding details on installed apps and their sources (userApps.md). Enabled by default.
  • MK_SYSAPPS: similarly for system apps. Enabled by default.
    MK_SYSAPPS_RETRIEVE_NAMES: Whether we should try to retrieve app names for system apps as well (if the corresponding user function was defined by
    APPNAME_CMD). This is disabled by default, as it slows down the process of creating the sysApps.md file tremendously, and most app names are not found anyway. You may use this once initially, but then it's recommended to switch it off again.
    Some „pre-configured files“ for system apps can be found in the Download area at IzzyOnDroid.
  • MK_DISAPPS: Similar for apps you've disabled (via settings or pm disable/pm hide)
  • MK_UNINSTAPPS: Similar for apps you've uninstalled (pm uninstall --user 0 <packageName>)
  • MK_INSTALLLOC: Deal with the default-install-location (where apps should be installed by default: 0=auto (system decides), 1=device, 2=sdcard). Creates a 1-liner script to set that again.
  • MK_PARTBACKUP: Create a script to backup storage partitions (raw backup images). Turned OFF by default.
    • PARTITION_SRC: Where to obtain the partition details from. Reliability of sources differs between manufacturers, devices, ROMs, and possible other modifications. If this is set to "auto", Adebar tries to figure the best source itself. It currently considers /proc/mtd, /proc/emmc, /dev/block/platform/*/by-name, /proc/partitions, and /proc/mounts. Moreover, found details are sometimes combined from different sources. If for your device, Adebar seems to use the wrong source, or you want to "speed up" things a little, you can define the source to be used with this setting. Available options are currently: auto|mtd|emmc|byname|parts. Most reliable details seem to be available on MediaTek devices, but I have none at my disposal to check. You might get a „green hint“ if that source was detected. If that happens, please get in contact with me, so I can improve Adebar with your help.
  • MK_DEVICEINFO: Create a (Markdown) document containing device information. For an example, see the example deviceInfo.md.
    • MK_DEVICEINFO_SENSORS: Sensor details are part of device-info; if you wish to ommit it, this is the switch for it. I found this service sometimes crashes on one of my devices (adb shell sensorservice should restart it then)
    • MK_DEVICEINFO_PMLISTFEATURES: Though this part is done quickly, you might decide it's not useful to you (as it looks a bit cryptic). So I decided to give you the change to switch it off :)
    • MK_DEVICEINFO_STATUS: Device status details, such as battery status
    • MK_DEVICEINFO_DEVICEPOLICY: Details on installed „device administrators“. will get quite extensive on Samsung devices, so you might wish to keep this off to avoid a shock ;)
    • MK_PARTINFO: Include details on storage partitions
    • MK_RADIO: Show details on the "mobile radio" (SIM etc)? You'll want to turn this off e.g. for your WiFi-only tablet.

UserApp specifics

When an app is installed, Android records the „installer“ together with other „package details“. This detail is not always available (it is e.g. missing for pre-installed apps, when you „sideload“ an app via adb install or by installing it from an .apk file stored on your device), so we unfortunately cannot apply that to all apps...

This section has some places pre-configured – but you of course can complement these settings: the „installer“, if available, is listed with the package details. Apps are grouped by installers in userApps.md.

  • APP_INSTALL_SRC[installer.package.name.here]: How the installer should appear in „human readable format“ with your listings.
  • APP_MARKET_URL[installer.package.name.here]: The full URL of the corresponding market. %s will be replaced by the package name.

Miscellaneous Settings

  • PROGRESS: Show some progress while the script is running, so you know what's going on (and don't think it got „stuck“). By default, this is enabled. To disable, set it to 0. To increase verbosity, place a higher number (currently used are values from 1 to 4 – feel free to use larger numbers for possibly added more-verbose-levels or debug info).
  • USE_ANSI: Using ANSI sequences, Adebar can highlight important parts of the progress output: e.g. mark error messages red, titles bold, etc. This is fine for interactive use, but might not be wished in scripts. Set it to 0 to disable (Default: 1, i.e. enabled)
  • TIMESTAMPED_SUBDIRS: Is you want to keep multiple "generations" of the created files, this option can come in handy. It will cause Adebar to create a time-stamped sub-directory on each run. If you e.g. would call it adebar-cli mydevice, it would store the generated files in a directory mydevice/201412010950 (i.e. YYYYMMDDHHMI as name below the name passed at command-line). By default, this is disabled. Note further that the optional second command-line parameter would override this.
  • LINK_LATEST_SUBDIR: With TIMESTAMPED_SUBDIRS=1, this option would cause Adebar to keep a symlink pointing to the always latest copy.
  • KEEP_SUBDIR_GENERATIONS: With TIMESTAMPED_SUBDIRS=1, and when set to a value other than 0, Adebar automatically deletes older „generations“ and only keeps the specified number. If a „generation“ seems to contain „real backups“ (i.e. has files in the $USERDIR of $SYSDIR directories, or contains any .ab (ADB Backup) or .gz (GZipped files, e.g. ADB Backups converted using ab2tar) files, it will not be removed: instead, Adebar renames it to *.Backup and issues a corresponding warning. You will have to take care for those yourself then.
    By default, this is set to 0, so no automatic purging takes place.
  • POSTRUN_CMD: When Adebar is done extracting all information from your device, it optionally can run another command. This could be a script, any executable (with or without parameters), or even a function you've set up in your config file. This way you could e.g. zip the files and send them by mail, or whatever you think useful :)
  • APPNAME_CMD: Similar to POSTRUN_CMD a command to retrieve app names. Must return a string only (the app name or, if it fails to retrieve it, the package name as passed to it). Only parameter is the package name.
  • ROOT_COMPAT: Root compatibility mode. By default turned off (=0). Turn this on (=1) when your device is rooted, but the ADB daemon (adbd) is not running in root mode (i.e. your corresponding device property is set to ro.secure=1 – which you can check with adb shell getprop ro.secure; note that some devices seem to "lie" here, so the final test would be adb shell ps adb, which should report whether adbd is run by root). When in compatibility mode, some "secured config files" are not simply "pulled" (which would remain their timestamps), but "cat" – as that can be done via adb shell using the su -c command.
  • ROOT_PMDISABLE: Have the disable script run the pm disable commands as root. If they don't show any effect without, this should do the trick (provided the device is rooted, of course). Same for the enable script and its pm enable commands.
  • AUTO_CONFIRM: Whether backups should be automatically confirmed via keypresses send with ADB. When using this, don't touch your device while the „automated process“ is running: it requires the backup/restore screen being in the foreground – or it will hit any other button in reach instead. No guarantees, the risk is yours; which is why this is disabled by default. Set to 1 if you want to play with it.
  • AUTO_UNLOCK: Shall the backup/restore scripts try to automatically unlock your screen? Note that this a) doesn't work on all devices, b) on some devices might require the screen already being turned on, and c) definitely doesn't work if a password/pattern/pin protection is active. Hence by default this is turned off. Feel free to play with it: in the worst case, it simply doesn't work.
  • BASH_LOCATION: By default, Adebar tries to auto-detect the location of the bash binary using #!/usr/bin/env bash. You can override that to a preferred fixed location using this variable, e.g. BASH_LOCATION="/bin/bash" if needed – except for adebar-cli itself.
  • WIKI_BASE: The Adebar wiki is available at Codeberg and Github. Using this variable, you can decide where wiki links should point to; by default, they will go to Codeberg for better privacy. If you run a local mirror of the Adebar repository incl. its wiki (e.g. using Gitea, you can also point wiki links there.

User-defined Functions

As described for the POSTRUN_CMD and APPNAME_CMD above, you can use „user-defined functions“ to enhance Adebar. The example config file even holds two of them. If you do so, it is recommended to have their names always starting with uf_ (for „user function“). This makes sure they won't collide with any functions defined in adebar-cli itself – whether functions already available there, or added in the future.

App names

If you ran Adebar out-of-the-box, you will notice that even in userApps.md, apps are only referenced by their corresponding package name (e.g. com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup). So you will certainly miss the name you remember the app by (for the given example: „Titanium Backup“). The reason is quite simple: There is no generic way to retrieve the names of apps – be it from the device itself, or any other source. ADB does offer no such feature.

But still, there are ways: to have your userApps.md reveal the names for packages, you can manually create the corresponding cache files:

  1. Create a cache directory and inside that, an additional directory appnames
  2. Inside the appnames directory, for each app create a corresponding file with the name of the package, e.g. appnames/com.foobar.app, which holds nothing but the app name (e.g. "Foobar App")
  3. edit your config, and point the CACHEDIR to the cache directory. You can use an absolute path (e.g. /home/me/adebar-cache), or a relative one (e.g. cache); in the latter case, this is interpreted as relative to the path you're in when running Adebar (usually the one adebar-cli resides in).

Now Adebar will automatically check for each app whether its name is known here, and use it accordingly.

Alternatively, if the aapt binary is found on your device in /system/bin, Adebar will automatically use that to retrieve the app names from their resp. packages on-device (and feed the cache, if configured, so your other devices profit from it). However, to my knowledge this is only the case for ROMs from Kitkat (Android 4.4) upwards that are based on CyanogenMod. If your device does not fall into that category, but is rooted, you can find the binary here together with instructions on how to install it on your rooted device.

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