General debug symbol packages available now

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Thu Sep 21 13:32:50 BST 2006

Hi Ubuntu developers,

It took its time, but now I am proud to announce the first
implementation of the "Provide debug symbols for all packages"
specification [1].

A while ago I wrote the package 'pkg-create-dbgsym' which
automatically creates -dbgsym .ddebs (debug symbol debs) at package
build. This package has been installed in the edgy buildd chroots for
quite some time.

Implementing the Soyuz side properly will still take some time,
though. To get immediate benefit from this spec, we implemented a
'cowboy' solution which makes the ddebs available in a personal
archive on for the time being.

Using with apt
The ddeb archive behaves just like any other normal apt'able source.

  deb edgy main universe

to your /etc/apt/sources.list will immediately make the -dbgsym
packages apt-get'able, e. g.

  sudo apt-get install yelp-dbgsym cryptsetup-dbgsym

The next time you gdb yelp or cryptsetup, you will have all debug
symbols available. Likewise, in the event of a crash, apport's reports
will have meaningful stack traces.

The archive is updated twice a day at 00:10 and 12:10.

Apport integration
Now we do not expect users or even developers to have all dbgsym
packages installed, of course. When you get a crash report from apport
with a non-symbolic stacktrace, but a core file, then the
apport-retrace(1) utility will regenerate the stack trace from the
core file and installed package (see [2] for the original announcement
and some more details). Currently you have to install the required
-dbgsym packages by hand, but I will soon add an option for automatic
download from the ddeb archive (which will not actually install the
ddebs, but just unpack them in a temporary directory, so that you can
use it as normal unprivileged user).

- Since we only started collecting ddebs since yesterday, the ddeb
  archive is far from being complete, of course. Between Edgy Beta 1
  and the final release lots of uploads are expected, though
  (including a complete Gnome stack for 2.16.1). If you can think of a
  particularly important and crash-prone package which is not likely
  to get a new upload anyway, you should ponder requesting/doing a
  no-change upload.

- The ddeb archive currently does not clean up older ddeb versions.
  Since ddebs tend to be huge, we have to do that unfortunately, so
  that we'll only have the latest version for each release available.
  I will add automatic cleanup in the next days.

Thank you for your attention,



Martin Pitt
Ubuntu Developer
Debian Developer

In a world without walls and fences, who needs Windows and Gates?
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