When installing kernel modules, I have the option to strip out debugging symbols using
INSTALL_MOD_STRIP=1. This saves significant disk space.
Does it also save memory? Why should one keep the debugging symbols in the kernel modules?
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Debugging symbols just add extra information to an executable that helps when running a debugger such as GDB. It lets the debugger recreate the source code from the executable to show you where things such as segfaults occur during runtime.
If you are testing / hacking / making something inter-operate with the module then you need them. During normal operation they just take up space and can pose a security risk on a production machine. For example if someone breaks into your system with user privileges they can use a debugger to look for weaknesses in the current running modules to gain root access.
It will save a small amount of space to remove them as well.