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1- What are -dbg packages really for?

2- Is it a good/bad idea to install them for, at least, my preferred applications/packages?

3- Does installing them for my preferred applications/packages helps developers on debugging bugs I may encounter?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

1) They contain debugging symbols.

2) If you need to debug things locally, then yes, they are necessary to get the debugging symbols. However, -dbg packages are somewhat deprecated, and you should add the ddebs archive to get the dbgsyms packages instead, when possible.

3) Not usually. If you report a crash bug, the crash reporting server will rescan with the appropriate debug packages installed to get a full stack trace with symbols.

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