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Re: Where can build scripts be found?

For investigating a crash, you may not need to recompile: first
try installing the debug symbols package (icedove-dbg).
For already known bugs, see

If you still want to recompile, you're missing
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential
but a Python error isn't what I'd expect from missing that
(it's mostly the C/C++ compiler).

Official packages are built inside a chroot using sbuild
( https://www.debian.org/devel/buildd/ ,
https://buildd.debian.org/status/fetch.php?pkg=icedove&arch=amd64&ver=1%3A45.6.0-2&stamp=1484088508&raw=0 ),
but plain dpkg-buildpackage / debuild should also work.