Why do we strip server binaries?

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Tue May 3 10:54:04 UTC 2011

On Tuesday, May 03, 2011 01:41:10 AM Clint Byrum wrote:
> I had an interesting conversation with Baron Schwartz from Percona (author
> of the 2nd edition of High Performance MySQL and Maatkit) at the MySQL
> Users conference last month regarding what he feels distributions all
> get wrong. One particular pet peeve of his is that we strip our binaries.
> As Baron sees it, this is a *tiny* gain (smaller binaries for the CD)
> for a giant loss, which is the loss of ability to profile and introspect
> a critical piece of software while it is running and, perhaps more
> importantly, while it is failing.
> Its not enough to make it possible to correct the issue. As we all know,
> you have to make the system friendly by default.
> The -dbg packages help, but a) aren't mandatory, and b) don't always
> help with things like oprofile which doesn't know about them.
> I've personally run into this a few times in production usage where a
> problem is particularly hard to wrap one's head around, and I always
> ended up replacing my distro packages with something that was unstripped.

The dbgsym repository is not well enough publicized IMO.


I've always found they work just fine and are available for all packages.  I 
agree with the other comment that it's better to fix tools that have problems 
with the way we provide symbols than to give up on stripping.  The "tiny" gain 
we have is that we can ship the various Ubuntu flavors on reasonable sized 

It might make sense to add the dbgsym repository to the standard sources.list 
we ship and also include it's key so that it's easier for peope to enable it 
and get the symbols they need.

Scott K

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list