HOWTO enable core-dumps

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This is how you enable core-dumps on RHEL, CentOS and Fedora. These steps should work on other Linux systems as well.

What's a core-dump?

When a program crashes then it may leave a core which can be used to figure out exactly why the program crashed - which is specially useful if you are a programmer.

Core dumps are disabled by default on many Linux distributions as core-dumping on production machines is generally considered a bad idea.

HOWTO enable core-dumps

To enable core dumps for all daemon, please follow these steps:

Enable core-dumping globally by creating or editing the /etc/sysconfig/init file and adding the line:

DAEMON_COREFILE_LIMIT='unlimited'

/etc/sysconfig/init exists on CentOS but has to be created on Fedora.

Enable core-dumps for specific daemons by adding this line in the /etc/sysconfig/$daemon:

DAEMON_COREFILE_LIMIT='unlimited'

Optionally, enable core dump for SUID programs:

echo 1 > /proc/sys/fs/suid_dumpable

Edit the /etc/sysctl.conf and add the following:

fs.suid_dumpable = 1
kernel.core_uses_pid = 1

Then reload the settings in /etc/sysctl.conf:

sysctl -p

If you want to core dump on setuid programs you launch (for example, X), make sure the current directory is world writable.

Questions?

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