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A large x-core file with name core appeared in my home directory. I don't know what it is and what to do with it.

I can't upload the core dump because when I tried to copy it somewhere, I couldn't even open it because it is so big.

I'd still appreciate finding out what this file is, and whether I can delete it.

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Core files are essentially low-level crash dumps; by default, the shell doesn't allow them to be written (by setting a 0 byte limit on their size ulimit -c 0) because they're rarely useful for end users. You can see what the limit is currently set to by typing ulimit -c in the bash shell.

You should be able to get information about what program caused the dump using the file command, as described in this previous answer Find which program caused a core dump file or if you have the GNU debugger installed on your system, by running gdb -c core.

Unless you are interested in debugging the crash further, you can simply delete the file using rm core.

If you're not actively compiling / debugging executable programs you may want to set the core ulimit back to its default value to stop such files getting generated.

  • Sorry, I don't understand what your comment is meant to show? Did you try simply typing the command file core in the directory that contains the core file? Or the separate command ulimit -c? – steeldriver Jul 19 '16 at 12:26

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