To build a debug version of exactly the package that is installed in your Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution (tested on Ubuntu 10.10):
apt-get source rhythmbox
This does not require “root” access. It will simply download the source package to the current working directory.
To build the package, you might need developer libraries of dependency packages:
sudo apt-get build-dep rhythmbox
To configure the package so that it builds a debug version that does not replace the installed package, I used:
./autogen.sh --prefix=/home/devel/rhythmbox-0.13.1/install CFLAGS="-g -O0"
All that is left to do is run make:
make -j 4
make -j 4 install