I'm not looking for the source code for a particular program.

I'm looking for the source code of APT's configuration of a particular program.

When trying to search for this on the web, I get way too many hits about maintaining my system, how to get a package's sources, or how to configure my package manager. None of these are things I want. So I'm here.

I want the source repository of the .deb file that is used to install programs. Unless I'm misunderstanding, Ubuntu maintains these installer files, probably with input from specific packages.

Specific example

I'm trying to install and setup VirtualBox. The package that is installed when I run sudo apt install virtualbox doesn't do 100% of what I expect it to do. Specifically, I think some of the "official" init scripts, notably vboxautostart-service.sh, are not being installed and I'm trying to get to the bottom of it.

I have no problem getting the sources of VirtualBox. I can see vboxautostart-service.sh in the official sources under a "linux" folder.

I see that Apt gets the package from http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (or similar).

Where can I see which steps Ubuntu's package maintainers have decided are needed to install and setup VirtualBox?

Following up, if I think I've found a bug, where can I go to discuss this with the people that can do something about it? I haven't found a git repo, for instance.

  • apt source virtualbox will grab the source for the package virtualbox. (for your release, you didn't specify, but it'll likely not be the latest unless you're using hirsute currently)
    – guiverc
    Jan 22 '21 at 23:04
  • For bugs, if it's in a Ubuntu package, i'd file first with Ubuntu (ubuntu-bug <package> or see help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs) If you believe it's an upstream issue, once confirmed (I usually confirm on another OS, myself I tend to use opensuse tumbleweed after my hirsute system; i test on debian testing of course & often fedora too; which depends on packages as they're some vary package-wise), then file it upstream; launchpad will provide clues where upstream is, and you can link the reports.
    – guiverc
    Jan 22 '21 at 23:07
  • @guiverc While I could simply "report the bug", I'd rather take a look at the package source code before reporting the bug, because I can and because I'd be surprised if I cannot figure out the issue from looking at the package source. This doesn't have much to do with the program's sources, which I have no trouble getting. Jan 22 '21 at 23:26

Apparently Debian has package sources at https://salsa.debian.org.


Virtualbox's package sources are here: https://salsa.debian.org/pkg-virtualbox-team/virtualbox


To complete your research.

Currently both Debian and Ubuntu do not ship vboxautostart-service.sh script. Bugs were reported:

As a temporary (?) workaround you can simply switch to Oracle's packages, as they have vboxautostart-service.sh in place.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.