Since I’ve been hacking on the Nemiver debugger, I’ve been doing a lot of faux-debugging (i.e. start up debugger, step through a few lines, shut down). One thing I noticed very regularly was that there were times when I’d step into a function (usually a function defined in an external library), and gdb would grind away for several tens of seconds at 100% cpu before it finally arrived at the next instruction. Apparently this generally only happens on Debian-based distributions due to the fact that debugging symbols for ld.so are not shipped by default. Installing libc6-dbg solves this problem since this package also includes the symbols for ld.so. But it would be nice if debian-based distributions (in my case, Ubuntu) would automatically install debugging symbols for ld.so as a dependency of gdb, since without these symbols gdb becomes nearly unusable. So if you’ve been frustrated with a slow gdb on Debian or Ubuntu, do yourself a favor and install libc6-dbg.