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Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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5.9 Where is the source code?

Source code is included for everything in the Debian system. Moreover, the license terms of most programs in the system require that source code be distributed along with the programs, or that an offer to provide the source code accompany the programs.

The source code is distributed in the pool directory (see What's in the pool directory?, Section 5.10) together with all the architecture-specific binary directories. To retrieve the source code without having to be familiar with the structure of the FTP archive, try a command like apt-get source mypackagename.

Some packages are only distributed as source code due to the restrictions in their licenses. Notably, one such package is pine, see Where is pine?, Section 4.10 for more information.

Source code may or may not be available for packages in the "contrib" and "non-free" directories, which are not formally part of the Debian system.


Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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