Packages automatically generate debug symbol packages at build time, the packages have the package name extension -dbgsym.


To be able to benefit from dbgsym packages, the infrastructure must be ready for them, the requirements are:

  • reprepro: must support dbgsym since 4.17.0
  • debhelper: with dbgsym support since 9.20160114
  • dpkg-dev: support for dbgsym since 1.18.2~

When building packages with those tools, automatic debug symbols will be generated for all built packages.

dbgsym packages are supported since the Apertis 16.06 release, however not all packages were rebuilt, therefore there are packages without dbgsym packages. For the 16.09 release a full rebuild of the main archives was performed to ensure all packages have a corresponding dbgsym package.

How to use dbgsym packages

Usually, a package name with the -dbgsym extension, from Apertis repositories, needs to be installed in the target runtime system, then your system is able to resolve debug symbols for debugging purposes.

As reference you might read Debian documentation on how to get a backtrace, but please make sure to use Apertis repositories to fetch the dbgsym packages.

dbg packages are deprecated

Before dbgsym packages, package maintainers had to manually create their -dbg packages listed in the debian/control file, these packages were mirrored in every mirror and every suite, wasting lots of storage space. This is not relevant for Apertis, but it is very relevant for Debian (Apertis parent distribution). With dbgsym packages being produced, there is no need to add any new stanzas to debian/control.

If you want to transition from a former -dbg package to a -dbgsym package you might want to look into the dh_strip’s --dbgsym-migration=pkgname-dbg (<< currentversion~) switch and drop -dbg from debian/control file.