Oracle Linux 6 and debuginfo packages

This is a quick post about how you can get the debuginfo packages on your Oracle Linux system in the easiest way thinkable: via yum.

I guess most people reading this are familiar with Oracle Linux, and do know how to install it, and how to use the public yum server to install and update packages on Linux right from Oracle’s free internet repository. If you do not know, follow the link and learn.

As a sidestep from the purpose of this blog articel: during the ACE Director briefing prior to Oracle Openworld Wim Coekaerts announced that the public-yum repository is now hosted on Akamai instead of somewhere “unofficial” in the Oracle infra. This is really, really noticeable when using it now, previously I could not get beyond a speed of approximately 500K/s, now I can get speeds of 10M/s.

Anyways, in some cases you want to look deep inside your Linux system (for example using gdb), and want gdb to understand the functions it encounters as much as possible. In order for gdb to understand functions, the debuginfo package of the executable you are running must be installed. Please mind some things simply do not have a corresponding debuginfo package, or even an rpm package; for example the Oracle database.

Finding debuginfo packages has been a painful process, at least for me this has been this way. For Oracle Linux, the debuginfo packages are at http://oss.oracle.com/ol6/debuginfo. As far as I know, this is not widely known (but this could be my ignorance).

But it gets even better! You can use this location as a yum location, and install the debuginfo packages via yum, if you add this piece of text in /etc/yum.repos.d as the file ‘debuginfo.repo':

[ol6_debuginfo]
name=Oracle Linux 6 debuginfo
baseurl=http://oss.oracle.com/ol6/debuginfo
gpgkey=https://oss.oracle.com/ol6/RPM-GPG-KEY-oracle
gpgcheck=1
enabled=1

A word of caution: I’ve found the yum metadata to be outdated with the available packages, which means that I’ve had to install a package “directly” (via rpm) from the site instead of via yum, because the metadata didn’t contain this new package. So if you update your kernel (for example), and can’t find the corresponding debuginfo package, take a look at the package list yourself, it might be there, but not in the metadata at that time.

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