1. Download our Official Android App: Forums for Android!

Clone Android Device

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Rapheynn, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Rapheynn

    Rapheynn Lurker
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    6
    Posts:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2019

    Nov 7, 2019
    3
    1
    6
    Hello,

    I wish to know if it is possible to clone a physical Android device with all settings, apps and configuration to inject it on other Android devices such as an image of the device. And if it is possible, how can I do this ? My Android device is an Android 7.1 and I'm connecting it to an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
     

    Advertisement

  2. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    Wikipedia

    "Phone cloning is outlawed in the United Statesby the Wireless Telephone Protection Act of 1998, which prohibits "knowingly using, producing, trafficking in, having control or custody of, or possessing hardware or software knowing that it has been configured to insert or modify telecommunication identifying information associated with or contained in a telecommunications instrument so that such instrument may be used to obtain telecommunications service without authorization."[3]"
     
    ocnbrze and Cyberdev like this.
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member
    Rank:
     #9
    Points:
    2,468
    Posts:
    24,789
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010

    Aug 9, 2010
    24,789
    19,236
    2,468
    Spacecorp Test Pilot
    Dimension Jumping
    But I'm not sure that's what the OP means. That legislation surely refers to copying mobile identifiers (IMEI or MEID) so that the handset is misidentified by the network. I read the post as asking about copying all accounts, apps, data from one phone to another, which is not forbidden by any legislation: it's what these phone transfer apps that most new phones come with attempt to do.

    The short answer is "in general, no". The exception is when both devices are the same model and both have the same custom recovery installed. If both of those conditions are met you can take a "nandroid" backup of one device (a backup made using the custom recovery), copy it to the other and restore it on the second device. This will transfer an exact copy of the ROM, apps, data and settings (not the content of the emulated or physical sd card, but those can be copied from/to a phone over USB with no special software). It will not copy lower-level firmware, but if both phones are fully updated that will be the same anyway. And no, this will not clone the IMEI (or MEID), so is perfectly legal.

    Otherwise the closest you will get is by using a backup app to back up whatever you can and then restore to the other device. Something like Helium can transfer most user-installed apps and their internal data that way, and of course you can simply put the same accounts on both and sync stuff like contacts that way. It won't transfer the ROM or system settings, but unless both phones are the same model (and, in the case of system settings, running the same software version) that would not work anyway. That's an important point to note: the android OS has to be built for the specific model, and so if you attempted to load an image from one phone to a different model what you'd end up with is a paperweight (or "brick" as it's usually referred to as), and as different phones (or even different software versions on the same phone) have different system apps and settings transferring system data and settings would also be likely to produce bugs, subtle or otherwise.

    As noted, most new phones come with apps to transfer data from your old phone to the new one, which mostly work reasonably well.
     
    ocnbrze and MoodyBlues like this.
  4. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    ocnbrze and Hadron like this.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member
    Rank:
     #9
    Points:
    2,468
    Posts:
    24,789
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010

    Aug 9, 2010
    24,789
    19,236
    2,468
    Spacecorp Test Pilot
    Dimension Jumping
    Ah, wasn't an option when I last did it because my device didn't have an SD card (so the nandroid would by default go to the emulated SD card, and hence you did not want to include that in the backup as well!).
     
    MoodyBlues and MrJavi like this.
  6. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Choose compassion over cruelty
    VIP Member
    Rank:
     #23
    Points:
    1,013
    Posts:
    6,311
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011

    Jan 27, 2011
    6,311
    5,096
    1,013
    Formerly Linux sysadmin/programmer
    $HOME/LosAngeles
    Welcome to Android Forums, Rapheynn! :)

    I don't have anything useful to add, but wanted to say I interpreted your question the same way @Hadron did. I think the first poster just misunderstood what you're looking to do.

    Oh, that and I'm always happy to meet another *buntu user! Mine is Kubuntu. :D
     
    ocnbrze and MrJavi like this.
  7. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    I value you imput and have learn alot from reading your posts. I'v never used a phone without an external sdcard but I do know that I have mistakenly back up to internal with tipatched TWRP, then had to transver to external sd or in your case pc/otg flash drive. In the even of a full wipe you can rest assured that all yohr pic, vides and...ie are returned to you intact. (hopefully). If you ever decided to root youll find it to be a huge time saver. Its like Gods gift to TWRP JK
     
    ocnbrze and MoodyBlues like this.
  8. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    Im just a law abiding citizen and wish to abide by Android Forum Policy and rules. Perhaps, it just the word cloning lol Oops
     
    ocnbrze, mikedt, Hadron and 1 other person like this.
  9. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Choose compassion over cruelty
    VIP Member
    Rank:
     #23
    Points:
    1,013
    Posts:
    6,311
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011

    Jan 27, 2011
    6,311
    5,096
    1,013
    Formerly Linux sysadmin/programmer
    $HOME/LosAngeles
    No problem. :)

    Believe me, if either Hadron or I thought there was anything devious about the OP, we'd be on it in a heartbeat! You don't know this, but I used to be on the staff here, and I still take rule-breaking very seriously, and am in frequent contact with the staff regarding problem posts.

    A simple misunderstanding, that's all it was. And I'm glad you're trying to be a good AF citizen. :D
     
    ocnbrze, MrJavi, mikedt and 1 other person like this.
  10. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member
    Rank:
     #9
    Points:
    2,468
    Posts:
    24,789
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010

    Aug 9, 2010
    24,789
    19,236
    2,468
    Spacecorp Test Pilot
    Dimension Jumping
    Yeah, indeed. Actually we're both former staff here (and old habits die hard: I also use the report button most days ;)).

    I understand the confusion: the word "clone" in the context of phones has unfortunate connotations (and altering the IMEI of a phone is a specific offence here in the UK, regardless of the reason for wanting to do so).
     
    ocnbrze, MrJavi and MoodyBlues like this.
  11. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    Im so used to root type terminology , backup and partitions. May I ask, if after the cloning, what happens to the old phone? Flashing the Nandroid would also flash the imei or would that part be left out? Im just curious and eager to learn.
     
    #11 MrJavi, Nov 7, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
    ocnbrze likes this.
  12. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member
    Rank:
     #9
    Points:
    2,468
    Posts:
    24,789
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010

    Aug 9, 2010
    24,789
    19,236
    2,468
    Spacecorp Test Pilot
    Dimension Jumping
    The IMEI is not stored in the filesystem, so a nandroid does not back it up.
     
    MoodyBlues and ocnbrze like this.
  13. Rapheynn

    Rapheynn Lurker
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    6
    Posts:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2019

    Nov 7, 2019
    3
    1
    6
    Hello,

    I have no intentions to transgress the law, I will reformulate what I want : we are professional and don't want to reinstall each devices, so I ask for a simple way with ADB or other, to clone what is legal to clone, the setup. I have one device, with his app and settings, I need to clone it on 15 devices... What can I do ? Simple ADB backup won't do it, it just backup files pictures but no apps. Thx
     
    MrJavi likes this.
  14. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Choose compassion over cruelty
    VIP Member
    Rank:
     #23
    Points:
    1,013
    Posts:
    6,311
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011

    Jan 27, 2011
    6,311
    5,096
    1,013
    Formerly Linux sysadmin/programmer
    $HOME/LosAngeles
    No worries! We got it all sorted out. Your intentions were clear, so don't worry about it.

    I wish I could help you. Doing what you want on Android should be super easy...but I have no idea how. I hope someone else does. Thinking about it, this seems like it would be a very common task, in a business setting, where say 1,000 employees all must have identical phones/apps/capabilities. You certainly wouldn't do THAT one by one!
     
    ocnbrze, MrJavi and mikedt like this.
  15. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
    Rank:
     #6
    Points:
    3,238
    Posts:
    27,504
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010

    Sep 22, 2010
    27,504
    16,989
    3,238
    Teachaaa
    Jinan, China
    It's called Mobile Device Management(MDM), and some manufacturers do provide that. Most notably Samsung I think.
    https://www.samsung.com/us/business/solutions/services/mobility-software/knox-manage/
    This is only for Samsung Galaxy devices.

    I believe Apple offers enterprise MDM as well, but that isn't Android of course.
     
    ocnbrze, Dannydet, MrJavi and 2 others like this.
  16. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Choose compassion over cruelty
    VIP Member
    Rank:
     #23
    Points:
    1,013
    Posts:
    6,311
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011

    Jan 27, 2011
    6,311
    5,096
    1,013
    Formerly Linux sysadmin/programmer
    $HOME/LosAngeles
    Thanks for the info, @mikedt. I took a quick look at the Samsung page, and their MDM services sound very useful for some businesses. Its cloud- and subscription-based structure may not appeal to everyone. They also offer businesses device customization.
     
    ocnbrze, MrJavi and mikedt like this.
  17. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male

    Yes , the imei is in the efs, so you are correct. I think I figured it out. A TWRP backup of system is for partitions and Os, with the patched TWRP then system partition, OS and data. Cloning would be just data. Is that correct?
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  18. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    Sorry, I was mistaken. I wish to welcome you to Android Forums. Wish you the best.
     
  19. Cyberdev

    Cyberdev Android Expert
    Recognized Developer
    Rank:
     #65
    Points:
    313
    Posts:
    1,547
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014

    Sep 12, 2014
    1,547
    760
    313
    Male
    Daily YouTuber
    Tampa, FL
    No the imei is built into the bios of the phone
     
    ocnbrze and MrJavi like this.
  20. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    #20 MrJavi, Nov 10, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    ocnbrze likes this.
  21. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    I the good news is I learned EFS tied to modem and firmware which is good to know when backing up partitions in TWRP. Even though the the imei in the efs is the same on different firmwares they still have to match with the specific OS. On Samsungs there is QCN (certificates) and vn-data.bin. I will now always include efs in every bsckup.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  22. MrJavi

    MrJavi Well-Known Member
    Rank:
     #161
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019

    Aug 21, 2019
    229
    163
    78
    Male
    ocnbrze likes this.
  23. Rapheynn

    Rapheynn Lurker
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    6
    Posts:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2019

    Nov 7, 2019
    3
    1
    6
    With TWRP, if I want to make what I want, would I have a problem with the new device? (I've heard there could be an ANDROID_ID conflict)
     

Share This Page

Loading...