This page tells you how to obtain the Launchpad source code and its dependencies. Ask us right away if you have questions.
Getting the Launchpad source code is fairly simple, but it's not the usual process of "download a package, unpack, build, and install". Since we do new rollouts of Launchpad directly from Bazaar branches anyway, that's how we distribute the source code to developers. There are no plans to package Launchpad; its deployment is quite complex.
Note that right now, Launchpad can only be built and run on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or newer. That's not a design decision, it's just a consequence of the fact that, until now, all its developers have been running Ubuntu. We'd be happy to see Launchpad work on other platforms too; perhaps starting with Debian GNU/Linux would be easiest, since Debian and Ubuntu are similar and many Debian developers use Launchpad anyway.
The images/icons are still copyrighted traditionally, to protect Launchpad's visual identity. But they're shipped with the code and are fine to use for development and testing purposes. Just if you launch a production server, it needs to look different -- and have a different name, of course, as "Launchpad" is a trademark. From our point of view, we have open-sourced Launchpad to improve our hosted service.
Launchpad is a core of service-specific code surrounding various third-party libraries, some of which are installed. So the process of fetching Launchpad to build it looks something like this: grab the core code, grab all the libraries, unpack them into the right places in the tree, and then build the whole thing.
Fortunately, we've written scripts to take care of most of that, and instructions on using those scripts are below.
Launchpad's branches are hosted in Bazaar. The source tree is about 80MB, although the total size of the repository you'll download is about 240MB, as you're getting the full history with it.
To build and run a Launchpad development instance, see Running. If you just want to grab the trunk source code branch:
bzr branch lp:launchpad
To learn about alternative "trunk" branches, see Trunk.
Where to get help
We're standing by to help; see the help page.