Creation of debug packages

Article Source Ark Linux Blog
May 13, 2009, 7:06 am
As of today, packages built on dockyard-devel will automatically generate -debug subpackages, containing symbols that make it easier to trace application bugs.

The debug packages will remain out of the standard installation to save space, but they can be easily installed through apt-get.

We’ve put this on hold a bit longer than many other distributions – mostly because we prefer doing things right over doing them quickly. The approach many others have taken is adding a %debug_package statement to the spec files for every package that should have a debug subpackage — effectively causing a lot of work for packagers, making sure not all packages get the debug subpackage, and not making sure packages built by 3rd parties get debug packages.

We’ve opted for (and finally implemented) the opposite — any package that contains binaries will automatically produce a -debug subpackage, unless the packager explicitly requests it not to, by putting “%define no_debug_package 1″ into his spec file.

This should make debugging problems much easier for users of the upcoming release.