LinuxNewbie.org: Core dump files and what to do about themMay 09, 2001, 22:21 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Adrian J. Chung)
"So you've installed the latest bleeding edge Linux distro, or have been trying out the latest beta release of KDE or Gnome. Now you're discovering a multimegabyte file, called "core", appearing in your home or root directory. Also known as a core dump file, they are usually produced when one uses software packages that are not quite out of the beta testing stage, e.g. bleeding edge desktop applications.
They are used by the developers for debugging an executable -- finding out information such as, exactly where a program crashed, the values of various variables, the calling contexts, stack frames, etc, in order to ascertain the problems and to effect corrective measures prior to recompilation. One need a debugger to do this ("gdb", "ddd" are good ones included in all major GNU/Linux/BSD distros)." Complete Story