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How do I get the source code of packages installed through apt-get?

I want to look over some programs to help me learn programming, so I enabled the source repository in Ubuntu. How do I download things from that repository?

marked as duplicate by fossfreedom, psusi, Jorge Castro, Takkat, htorque Feb 3 '12 at 20:12

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  • ... actually - I think your question is actually a duplicate... – fossfreedom Jan 30 '12 at 18:38

First - create a working folder to download the source in

mkdir ~/working_dir
cd ~/working_dir

The simplest way is to use the syntax apt-get source [foo] where [foo] is the package name.

For example - if you wanted to see the source of nautilus you would use

apt-get source nautilus

basic development tools

Obviously - if you are intent on playing with code changes you need a few extras.

sudo apt-get install devscripts build-essential fakeroot

building packages

To get install the development packages and dependencies use the syntax

sudo apt-get build-dep [foo]

Finally - to build the debian package

debuild -us -uc
  • This will download all the files to the current directory. Make sure you run it from where you want the files. – Zoke Jan 30 '12 at 18:28

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