Symbol Servers

Learn about symbol servers and how to configure them with your Sentry projects.

Sentry can download debug information files from external repositories. This allows you to stop uploading debug files and instead configure a public symbol server or run your own. It is also possible to configure external repositories and upload debug files at the same time.

To configure external repositories, go to Project Settings > Debug Files. Above the list of uploaded files, there are two settings to configure external repositories:

  1. Custom Repositories: Configures custom repositories containing debug files. You can choose from configuring an HTTP symbol server, Amazon S3 bucket or Google Cloud Storage bucket. This requires a Business or Enterprise plan.

  2. Built-In Repositories: Allows to select from a list of pre-configured symbol servers. By default, iOS and Microsoft are enabled in SaaS. The iOS repository is not available in self-hosted, because Apple does not provide a public symbol server, nor do they allow us to distribute the Debug Information Files (DIFs) ourselves.

Sentry queries external repositories for debug information files in the order they are configured. If custom repositories are configured, those are probed first. Only debug information files that are not found on one of the custom repositories are queried from the built-in ones.

To enable a built-in repository, select it from the dropdown list. This immediately adds the repository and uses its debug information files to symbolicate new crash reports. Likewise, any built-in repository can be disabled by clicking on the X next to the name.

Adding or removing external repositories applies immediately. As a result, events may group differently with the new information and create new issues. Beware that these cause notifications to your team members.

Independent of the internal format, Sentry supports three kinds of custom repositories:

  • HTTP Symbol Server: An HTTP server that serves debug files at a configurable path. Lookups in the server should generally be case-insensitive, although an explicit casing can be configured in the settings. Note that Sentry requires a minimum download speed of 4Mb/s to fetch DIFs from custom HTTP symbol servers.

  • Amazon S3 Bucket: Either an entire S3 bucket or a subdirectory. This requires s3:GetObject, and optionally s3:ListBucket permissions for the configured Access Key. Lookups in the bucket are case-sensitive, which is why we recommend storing all files lower-cased and using a lowercased path casing configuration.

  • Google Cloud Storage Bucket: Either an entire GCS bucket or a subdirectory. This requires storage.objects.get and storage.objects.list permissions for the configured service account. Lookups in the bucket are case sensitive, which is why we recommend storing all files lower-cased.

Apart from authentication configuration, all types have common config parameters:

  1. Name: A name to identify the repository.

  2. Path Casing: Overrides which casing Sentry uses to query for debug information files. The default is a mixed case, which will use the case described in the next section. When overridden, all access is either lowercased or uppercased. Defaults to "mixed case".

  3. Directory Layout: The internal structure of the bucket, or the protocol of the symbol server. There are three layouts to choose from which are discussed in the next section. Defaults to "Platform Specific".

Sentry supports the following compression methods when downloading debug information files from external sources: Gzip, zlib (both with and without header), Zstandard, and Cabinet (CAB).

The convention on Microsoft's Symbol Server protocol is to store such files with the last character of the file extension replaced with _. A full example would be: KERNEL32.dll/590285E9e0000/KERNEL32.dl_. This is not required on your own repositories, as Sentry detects compression on all paths.

Downloading a Portable PDB from the NuGet symbol server requires the debug checksum to be supplied via the SymbolChecksum header.

Sentry supports multiple layouts for external repositories. Based on the selected layout and the file type, we try to download files at specific paths.

The following table contains a mapping from the supported layouts to file path schemas applied for specific files:

Microsoft SymStore--SymStoreSymStoreSymStore--
Microsoft SymStore (index2.txt)--Index2Index2Index2--
Unified LayoutUnifiedUnifiedUnifiedUnifiedUnifiedUnifiedUnified

The path schemas in the table above are defined as follows:

Path: <DebugName>/<BREAKPADid>/<SymName>

Breakpad always uses a Breakpad ID to store symbols. These identifiers can be computed from Debug Identifiers by removing dashes and applying the following casing rules:

  • The signature part of the id (first 32 characters) are uppercase.
  • The age part of the id (remaining characters) are lowercase.

The name of the symbol file is platform dependent. On Windows, the file extension (Either .exe, .dll or .pdb) is replaced with .sym. On all other platforms, the .sym extension is appended to the full file name including potential extensions.


  • wkernel32.pdb/FF9F9F7841DB88F0CDEDA9E1E9BFF3B51/wkernel32.sym
  • MyFramework.dylib/5E012A646CC536F19B4DA0564049169B/MyFramework.dylib.sym


The LLDB debugger on macOS can read debug symbols from File Mapped UUID Directories. The UUID is broken up by splitting the first 20 hex digits into 4 character chunks, and a directory is created for each chunk. In the final directory, LLDB usually expects a symlink named by the last 12 hex digits, which it follows to the actual dSYM file.

This is not actually an LLVM feature. This is in fact a feature of CoreFoundation and exclusively implemented on macOS on top of spotlight. Spotlight indexes these paths and the private DBGCopyFullDSYMURLForUUID API is used by lldb to locate the symbols. macOS uses the symlinks of those locations.

Since the executable or library shares the same UUID as the dSYM file, the former are distinguished with a .app suffix.

The hex digits are uppercase, the app suffix is lowercase.


  • 5E01/2A64/6CC5/36F1/9B4D/A0564049169B (debug companion)
  • 5E01/2A64/6CC5/36F1/9B4D/ (executable or library)

Path: nn/nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...[.debug]

GDB supports multiple lookup methods, depending on the way the debug info file is specified. Sentry uses the Build ID Method: Assuming that a GNU build ID note or section has been written to the ELF file, this specifies a unique identifier for the executable which is also retained in the debug file.

The GNU build ID is a variable-length binary string, usually consisting of a 20-byte SHA1 hash of the code section (.text). The lookup path is pp/nnnnnnnn.debug, where pp are the first 2 hex characters of the build ID bit string, and nnnnnnnn are the rest of the hex string. To look up executables, the .debug suffix is omitted.


  • b5/381a457906d279073822a5ceb24c4bfef94ddb (executable or library)
  • b5/381a457906d279073822a5ceb24c4bfef94ddb.debug (stripped debug file)


Path: nn/nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.../type

The unified path layout is specific to Sentry and enables a consistent structure for all debug files independent of platform. It can store breakpad files, PDBs, PEs, and everything else. The symsorter tool can automatically sort debug symbols into this format and also automatically create source bundles.

The path is based on a build_id formatted to a hexadecimal using lower case. The first two bytes of that ID are taken as a root folder.

The build_id construction differs among file formats:

  • PE: <Signature><Age> (age in hex, not padded)
  • PDB: <Signature><Age> (age in hex, not padded)
  • Portable PDB: <Signature><Age> (age in hex, not padded)
  • ELF: the gnu-build-id code note byte sequence.
  • Mach-O: LC_UUID bytes
  • WASM: build_id section as bytes


  • b5/381a457906d279073822a5ceb24c4bfef94ddb/executable (executable or library)
  • b5/381a457906d279073822a5ceb24c4bfef94ddb/debuginfo (debug file)
  • b5/381a457906d279073822a5ceb24c4bfef94ddb/breakpad (breakpad file)
  • b5/381a457906d279073822a5ceb24c4bfef94ddb/sourcebundle (source bundle)

Path: <file_name>/<prefix>-<identifier>/<file_name>

SSQP Key Conventions are an extension to the original Microsoft Symbol Server protocol for .NET. It specifies lookup paths for PE, PDB, Mach-O and ELF files. The case of all lookup paths is generally lowercase except for the age field of PDB identifiers which should be uppercase.

For Mach-O files and ELF files, SSQP specifies to use the same identifiers as used in the LLDB and GNU build id method, respectively. See the sections above for more information. This results in the following paths for all possible file types:

  • <code_name>/<timestamp><size_of_image>/<code_name> (PE file)
  • <debug_name>/<signature><AGE>/<debug_name> (PDB file)
  • <debug_name>/<signature>FFFFFFFF/<debug_name> (Portable PDB file)
  • <code_name>/elf-buildid-<buildid>/<code_name> (ELF binary)
  • _.debug/elf-buildid-sym-<buildid>/_.debug (ELF debug file)
  • <code_name>/mach-uuid-<uuid>/<code_name> (Mach-O binary)
  • _.dwarf/mach-uuid-sym-<uuid>/_.dwarf (Mach-O binary)

SSQP specifies an additional lookup method by SHA1 checksum over the file contents, commonly used for source file lookups. Sentry does not support this lookup method.


  • wkernel32.pdb/ff9f9f7841db88f0cdeda9e1e9bff3b5A/wkernel32.pdb
  • kernel32.dll/590285e9e0000/kernel32.dll
  • _.debug/elf-buildid-sym-b5381a457906d279073822a5ceb24c4bfef94ddb/_.debug
  • CoreFoundation/mach-uuid-36385a3a60d332dbbf55c6d8931a7aa6/CoreFoundation
  • _.dwarf/mach-uuid-sym-36385a3a60d332dbbf55c6d8931a7aa6/_.dwarf

Path: <FileName>/<SIGNATURE><AGE>/<FileName> (<FileName>/<SIGNATURE>FFFFFFFF/<FileName> for Portable PDB)

The public symbol server provided by Microsoft used to only host PDBs for the Windows platform. These use a signature-age debug identifier in addition to the file name to locate symbols. File paths are identical to SSQP, except for the default casing rules:

  • Filenames are as given.
  • The signature of a PDB identifier is uppercase, but the age is lowercase.
  • The timestamp of a PE identifier is uppercase, but the size is lowercase.

Since the original Microsoft Symbol Server did not serve ELF or Mach-O files, we do not recommend using this convention for these types. However, Sentry will support the SSQP conventions with adapted casing rules when this layout is selected.


  • wkernel32.pdb/FF9F9F7841DB88F0CDEDA9E1E9BFF3B5A/wkernel32.pdb
  • KERNEL32.dll/590285E9e0000/KERNEL32.dll

Path: <Fi>/<FileName>/<SIGNATURE><AGE>/<FileName> (<Fi>/<FileName>/<SIGNATURE>FFFFFFFF/<FileName> for Portable PDB)

This layout is identical to SymStore, except that the first two characters of the file name are prepended to the path as an additional folder.


  • wk/wkernel32.pdb/FF9F9F7841DB88F0CDEDA9E1E9BFF3B5A/wkernel32.pdb
  • KE/KERNEL32.dll/590285E9e0000/KERNEL32.dll

Path : <build id>/<type>

Debuginfod only supports ELF binaries and DWARF debug files.

<build id> is the gnu-build-id code note byte sequence, just as in the ELF case of the unified path schema.

Note: The files need to reside under buildid/ on the server.


  • 69389d485a9793dbe873f0ea2c93e02efaa9aa3d/executable (executable or library)
  • 69389d485a9793dbe873f0ea2c93e02efaa9aa3d/debuginfo (debug file)

When Sentry cannot find the symbols on your symbol server, we will provide details of what we attempted in the "Images Loaded" section on an error event. When you view the details of an image, you can see where we attempted to locate the debug file, under which file path, and what happened. You can see if the information in a file is incomplete (for instance, if unwind information is missing) or if a 404 occurred when attempting to load the file. To see all debug file candidates, add the "Not Found" filter.

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