howto "backup" Android (v2.2) phone with linux (Ubuntu Lucid)?
Since "backup" implies a copy of program and data files such that one might recover from a catastrophic system failure, exactly how does one accomplish a "backup" of an Android-based mobile phone?
Clearly one can connect the phone via USB and mount the internal and external storage. Those contents can be copied from phone to workstation disk. I'm not aware that once can later over-write a phone's contents with whatever was copied and have a working phone in matching condition with the situation when you made the copies.
What are you looking to backup, exactly? Applications and contacts are already being automatically saved on Google's servers, so you don't need to worry about that. Pictures from your camera are going to be saved to SD, and many programs also allow you to switch your personal settings over from internal storage to SD as well.
So in that case, all you really need to do is copy the contents of the SD card, which is easy enough to do with basic USB mass storage mode. Plugging the phone in will expose the SD card as a normal drive.
If you are trying to make a backup of the settings for applications which are not SD aware, then you could still do that via adb (from the Android SDK), which lets you copy and place files on the phone's internal storage. This could be used to copy settings and configuration files that aren't stored on SD, and restore them later.
Though really, the best option (at least on a rooted phone) is to use Titanium Backup. This will backup everything on the phone (system settings, all applications, all personal configurations, paired Bluetooth devices, etc, etc) to SD and even optionally DropBox. With Titanium Backup, you can set a scheduled backup to SD every day, and then simply copy those backed up files from SD to your desktop machine on a weekly basis or so. The backups are standard TAR.GZ files, so you will have no problem opening and managing them from regular desktop software if you chose.
There is a program called DroidSync on the Android market which does this - it looks as though it's essentially rsync for a phone. I use this to backup my SD card to my Fedora server at home. SMS, MMS, contacts and call log are all backed up to my GMail account through another app.
To do a full system backup, you'll really need something like Titanium Backup, but you need a rooted device for this.
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