In collaboration with Polar Signals we have committed that beginning with Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, our GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) package will enable frame pointers by default for 64-bit platforms. All packages in Ubuntu, with very few exceptions, will be rebuilt with frame pointers enabled, making them easier to profile and subsequently optimise.

There is a small performance penalty associated with the change, but in cases where the impact is high (such as the Python interpreter), we’ll continue to omit frame pointers until this is addressed. Our analysis suggests that the penalty on 64-bit architectures is between 1-2% in most cases. We will not make this change on 32-bit architectures where the penalty is higher.

Canonical, and the Ubuntu community, can make use of this improved debugging information to diagnose and target performance issues that are orders of magnitude more impactful than the 1-2% upfront cost.