10.95. Stripping

If the intended user is not a programmer and does not plan to do any debugging on the system software, the system size can be decreased by about 200 MB by removing the debugging symbols from binaries and libraries. This causes no inconvenience other than not being able to debug the software fully anymore.

Most people who use the command mentioned below do not experience any difficulties. However, it is easy to make a typo and render the new system unusable, so before running the strip command, it is a good idea to make a backup of the current situation.

Before performing the stripping, take special care to ensure that none of the binaries that are about to be stripped are running. If unsure whether the user entered chroot with the command given in If You Are Going to Chroot first exit from chroot:


Then reenter it with:

chroot ${CLFS} /tools/bin/env -i \
    HOME=/root TERM=${TERM} PS1='\u:\w\$ ' \
    PATH=/bin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/usr/sbin \
    /tools/bin/bash --login

Now the binaries and libraries can be safely stripped:

/tools/bin/find /{,usr/}{bin,lib,lib64,sbin} -type f \
   -exec /tools/bin/strip --strip-debug '{}' ';'

A large number of files will be reported as having their file format not recognized. These warnings can be safely ignored. These warnings indicate that those files are scripts instead of binaries.

If disk space is very tight, the --strip-all option can be used on the binaries in /{,usr/}{bin,sbin} to gain several more megabytes. Do not use this option on libraries—they will be destroyed.