Backup and restore your data

From postmarketOS

This article explains how to backup and restore your data.


A method that works regardless of which UI is installed, is using the tried and tested command-line program rsync.

Backing up data

Make sure rsync is installed on your phone and PC before you begin and SSH is enabled.

On your PC, create a folder where you want to backup your phone data too. In our example we'll use ~/postmarketOS_backup.

$ mkdir ~/postmarketOS_backup
$ rsync -avz --exclude=.cache <ip address of your phone>:/home/<your username>/ ~/postmarketOS_backup/


$ rsync -avz --exclude=.cache user@ ~/postmarketOS_backup
Note Note the multiple / in the rsync command, they are important!

-a makes sure rsync runs in archive mode, -v increases verbosity so you can see the files being transferred, and -z compresses the files during transfer to speedup the transferring. --exclude=.cache makes sure the ~/.cache directory is skipped, as those files are temporary and do not need backing up, unless the purpose of the backup is for incident response or manual malware analysis, in which you exclude the exclusion flag.

You can now see all your files from your phone on your PC in ~/postmarketOS_backup

Restoring data

After making sure your upgraded or new installation is running properly it's time to restore the data you backed up earlier. Make sure rsync is still installed and SSH is still enabled.

From your PC:

$ rsync -avzu ~/postmarketOS_backup/ <ip address of your phone>:/home/<your username>/

The single letter arguments to rsync are the same with the notable exception of -u. That arguments makes sure files that are newer on the destination (phone) are skipped. This is mainly needed for cases where processes running on the phone constantly alter files (and are thus newer) like KDE's Baloo.

See also

Backup and restore your packages