Define the ~/.gradle as repository

I am in the process of locking down the repository urls that this suite will use. My problem is that in the process of stripping out the repos (like maven centra, jfrog, etc) gradle seems to have stopped looking at the ~/.gradle/cache folder. From what i have been able to dissect, it would appear that gradle installs the .plugins and plugins dependencies in the .gradle folder, not the .m2 folder. Which is fine. But how do i reference the .gradle folder as a repository because i use many of those libraries. is it just a standard ivy config or something?

The cache folder is just that - a cache, not a repository. The cache is repository aware, i.e. the cache entries know where they came from. If you remove their origin from your build, they will no longer be loaded from the cache either.