I flashed my Nexus 4 with Ubuntu Touch official 13.10 release. I wanted to flash it back to android and test the functionality on some things in android to make sure my phone hardware isn't a problem and then flash back to Ubuntu Touch. I've added a few dozen contacts already though so I'm wondering how I can back those up in some way that I don't have to manually add them again when I put Ubuntu Touch back on the phone.

I've searched online and seen this code for syncing contacts from Google:

adb shell sudo -u phablet -i syncevolution --configure --sync-property "username=email@gmail.com" --sync-property "password=XXXXXXX" Google_Contacts

and this code for downloading them from google address book:

adb shell sudo -u phablet -i syncevolution --sync one-way-from-server Google_Contacts addressbook

I was thinking maybe something like:

adb shell sudo -u phablet -i syncevolution --sync one-way-to-server Google_Contacts addressbook

might send the contacts from my Ubuntu phone to the google address book and then use the one-way-from-server code when I reinstall.

Would this be correct? Thanks.

3 Answers 3


I guess there aren't too many people using Ubuntu Touch out there, but fortunately thanks to Khurshid Alam answering this question: How do I sync contacts on Ubuntu Touch? I was able to backwards engineer how to back up my contacts from his method to import (I was not able to backwards engineer the method I posted in my question).

So just to clarify,

here is the easiest way to export your Ubuntu Touch contacts to a file:

Open the terminal from your Ubuntu Touch device and type:

sudo syncevolution --export /home/phablet/Documents/utcontacts.vcf backend=evolution-contacts database=Personal

This will save your contacts to a file called utcontacts.vcf in your Documents directory.

Once you have a new installation of Ubuntu touch you can copy the file back to your Documents directory and restore your contacts by opening a terminal and typing:

syncevolution --import /home/phablet/Documents/utcontacts.vcf backend=evolution-contacts database=Personal

This is not working on an Aquaris E 4.5: there you must leave the sudo and the database=Personal. So the command is syncevolution --export /home/phablet/Documents/utcontacts.vcf backend=evolution-contacts


on a bq aquaris E4.5 under ubuntu touch 15.04 (OTA-15) ! Just need to adapt database name, in french, it is "Personnel" : database=Personnel

syncevolution --export /home/phablet/Documents/utcontacts.vcf backend=evolution-contacts database=Personal

have a look on https://forum.ubuntu-fr.org/viewtopic.php?pid=21749947

  • I don't understand why downvote? Shoud be useful for french people… I hope this forum is not only for english?
    – bcag2
    Jun 22, 2017 at 20:52
  • 1
    This is not an answer, but a comment in reply to another answer. It would be better to suggest an edit of the answer you were replying to, to have it document that the database name should be translated for other languages.
    – dobey
    Nov 28, 2017 at 13:20

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