How to Backup ClockWorkMod Recovery (CWMR) to Linux Computer

Do you have a CM phone or an Android device w/ ClockWorkMod Recovery (CWMR)? Have problems trying to find that backup file you just backed up? (If you want to know how to back up, and you have CWM Recovery, simply, boot into recovery (via the CWMR app or via “adb reboot bootloader” –> Recovery Mode.)

And what’s the point of backing up if you can’t back it up in a separate place, right? (After all, I have a Nexus 4 (mako), so no external SD card for me.) Well, the answer is to use “adb pull.” That’s a great way to get the backup file off your phone and backed up somewhere else. Oh, and I get to delete it if I want to free up some space.

It turns out it’s quite simple. For me, the backup file is found in your device’s /data/media/clockworkmod/backup/FILENAME [UPDATE 2013 Oct 29 – the official location is likely /mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod/backup … this should be where you adb push if you want to restore a backup via command line from your computer. You may or may not need to create a directory/folder in backup though to dump in all your .tar files. Getting the CWM Rom manager app might help], where FILENAME is usually something like a date and time: “2013-09-” or something. (You can find the folder name of the date in recovery if you need to). If it’s not there, go command line via “adb shell” and snoop around in your rooted phone (yes, it has to be rooted, which should be done if you have CWMR). It should most likely be in /data/media. If not, see /sdcard/clockworkmod?

Anyway, running shell from your GNU/Linux computer, you should type

adb pull /pathToFileOnYourAndroidDeviceFileSystem /pathToDestinationOnYourComputer

Example: For me, it was

adb pull /data/media/clockworkmod/backup/2013-09- /home/dean/Android/Backup

The interesting thing is that adb bridges both worlds/filesystems, so your first directory/filepath is an Android/CyanogenMod path, and the second path is your computer’s path. Very cool. [adb pull android-file-system computer-file-system]. I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised and adb push was the exact opposite. But given that I was trying to pull that file off and couldn’t find it via my emulated storage, I was more appreciative of the robustness of adb push and pull. Did I miss anything? Anything I should clarify? Anything you would like to share from your own experiences with backups? Comment below.

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