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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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2.1.15 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.

Normally the source code is distributed in the source directories, which are parallel to all the architecture-specific binary directories, or more recently in the pool directory (see The pool directory, Section 2.1.10). To retrieve the source code without having to be familiar with the structure of the Debian archive, try a command like apt-get source mypackagename.

Some packages, notably pine, are only available in a source package due to their licensing limitations. (Recently the pine-tracker package has been provided to facilitate Pine installation.) The procedures described in Port a package to the stable system, Section 6.4.10 and Packaging, Section 13.10 provide ways to build a package manually.

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 Reference Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire