Where are my core dump files?

One day, on a Ubuntu 22.04 machine, I had to debug my application which segfaults with messages like: corrupted double-linked list or free(): corrupted unsorted chunks.

I could see an error message:

[1]    123456 abort (core dumped)  my_faulty_application

but could not find the corresponding core dump file anywhere.

Where is it?

Ubuntu and core dumps

After some googling, I could find some articles saying that core dumps are handled by Apport in Ubuntu, but they are not enabled in stable releases.

There were a few solutions for this, and I chose to install systemd-coredump:

$ sudo apt-get install systemd-coredump

Generating core dumps

After installing systemd-coredump, and running my faulty application, it finally generated a core dump file.

I could find it in /var/lib/systemd/coredump/:

$ ls /var/lib/systemd/coredump/


Using the core dump file

List the dumped files,

$ coredumpctl list

TIME                           PID  UID  GID SIG     COREFILE EXE                            SIZE
Thu 2022-11-10 15:59:05 KST 123456 9999 9999 SIGABRT present  /path/to/my_faulty_application 2.0M

dump desired one into the current directory,

$ coredumpctl dump 123456 --output ./coredump

and debug it with:

$ gdb /path/to/my_faulty_application ./coredump

or debug directly with coredumpctl:

$ coredumpctl debug 123456

Clean up unused core dump files

Unused core dump files can be deleted at once with:

$ sudo rm /var/lib/systemd/coredump/core.*.zst

then they will be displayed as ‘missing’ on coredumpctl list.


Some linux distributions don’t enable core dumps due to security or storage issues.

When needed, they can be enabled and help debugging things.