Why not to strip binaries

Christian Kruse

Some distros strip binaries. That means, they remove debug symbols and such. They do this to spare disk space. Of course sparing disk space is a perfectly valid goal, but it comes on a cost. It means you can't get any useful debug information. All stack traces look somewhat like this:

0xb7f25410 in ??? ()#0  0xb7f25410 in ??? ()#1  0xb741b45b in ?? () from /lib/libpthread.so.0

This says nothing. It's simply useless and makes debugging magic. Therefore, you should not strip binaries on your distro. It just saves you a few megabytes. A few well invested megabytes. On Gentoo you can set FEATURES="nostrip" in /etc/make.conf. Have also a look at the Meningful Backtraces article on gentoo.org.