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I want to install gnome-shell package without using apt by getting the dependent packages and building them myself so that I won't have to download them the next time I do a fresh install. I want a way to get the urls of the 40+ packages required by gnome-shell so that I can wget them.

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Not sure what your asking but the independent packages downloads/urls can be found here for 12.04. packages.ubuntu.com/precise/gnome –  user107425 Sep 14 '13 at 21:54
    
@user107425, I meant, for example if you look here gnome-shell requires all of those packages e.g gsettings-desktop-schemas (>= 3.3.2) . I want to get all of their urls so that I can download them. The same way a package manager does internally. –  Segfault Sep 14 '13 at 22:09
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Well, that is one of the major advantages of using a package manager such as apt (or yum or pacman or ....).

If you do not want to use a package manager, dependency resolution is up you you, you do it manually. You can start with reading the documentation in the source code for gnome-shell.

And you are not going to save time as "I won't have to download them the next time", in fact next time you will have to manually resolve all the dependencies and download any and all updated source code for all the depencencies.

You are going to, IMO, have much better luck building from source code on an alternate distro such as gentoo or perhaps arch linux. emerge will build from source and resolve dependencies.

Alternately you can look at the LFS documentation for package management:

http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/view/development/chapter06/pkgmgt.html

IMO, the closest thing to what you might want in Debian/Ubuntu is get-build-deps:

http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/hardy/man1/get-build-deps.1.html

See also: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Package_management_system

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Looks like too much work. How about the packages downloaded by apt through an apt-get? Do they get deleted? Maybe there's an option that instructs it to preserve them(big maybe). –  Segfault Sep 14 '13 at 22:28
    
Well, for a large package such as gnome-shell. This is why people use package managers. I personally would use gentoo, but, I am familiar with gentoo so it is easy. gentoo has a steep learning curve. I think get-build-deps is what you want. –  bodhi.zazen Sep 14 '13 at 22:33
    
Okay, then, I'll try them out. –  Segfault Sep 14 '13 at 23:37
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