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How can I do this without reinstalling the rest of the files as well?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Download the package, for example transmission-daemon, with

sudo apt-get --download-only install transmission-daemon

unpack the package with

mkdir ~/dummy
dpkg-deb -x /var/cache/apt/archives/transmission-daemon_*.deb ~/dummy

restore the file, for example /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon

sudo cp ~/dummy/etc/init.d/transmission-daemon /etc/init.d

remove the dir

rm -rf ~/dummy
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It should also be noted that apt-get download downloads to the current working directory . – user369927 Jan 18 '15 at 16:14

I know this is a bit old, but here's my improvement:

$ sudo apt-get download <package-name>

instead of

$ sudo apt-get --download-only install <package-name>

I had a situation where the package was already installed (hence, the proposed solution didn't work), and I wanted to restore just one config file, in order to fix the problem.


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if you have a package already installed then it's typically found in /var/cache/apt/archives/ and you shouldn't have to download it. – Ahmed Masud Jan 21 '14 at 17:00
Yes, but only if the package was installed relatively recently, and the archives have not been manually or automatically cleaned. – joeytwiddle Jan 29 at 4:33

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