I'm running kernel 2.6.35 on a custom embedded device (ARMv7). I'm trying to get a core dump but it appears core dumps are disabled.

My kernel config can be found here: https://pastebin.com/XXZ8YyaA

My test application is the following:

int main() {
    return 1/0;

I expect the following:

Floating point exception (core dumped)

But instead get this:

Floating point exception

Meaning core dumps are disabled. How can I enable them for my platform? It looks like the option to toggle functionality in the kernel CONFIG_COREDUMP wasn't added till kernel version 3.7. Is it not always enabled in previous kernels?

# ulimit -a
-t: cpu time (seconds)              unlimited
-f: file size (blocks)              unlimited
-d: data seg size (kbytes)          unlimited
-s: stack size (kbytes)             8192
-c: core file size (blocks)         unlimited
-m: resident set size (kbytes)      unlimited
-u: processes                       1710
-n: file descriptors                1024
-l: locked-in-memory size (kbytes)  64
-v: address space (kbytes)          unlimited
-x: file locks                      unlimited
-i: pending signals                 1710
-q: bytes in POSIX msg queues       819200
-e: max nice                        0
-r: max rt priority                 0
-N 15:                              unlimited
# ./crash
Floating point exception  
  • Is the core dump file size set to zero? Test with ulimit -c. Change it to unlimited with ulimit -c unlimited.
    – Kusalananda
    Jan 3, 2019 at 17:01
  • There are know bugs in those kernel versions that make the kernel/any server using it hang once in a while. Hope you are trying to debug such a situation. Jan 3, 2019 at 17:18
  • @Kusalananda Doesn't matter if ulimit -c is set to 0 or unlimited, core dumps are disabled. It should still report a core dump regardless if it creates the file or not. Jan 3, 2019 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


The missing kernel option was CONFIG_ELF_CORE.

General setup -> Configure standard kernel features (for small systems) -> Enable ELF core dumps

After enabling this I'm able to get core dumps.

# ./crash
Floating point exception (core dumped)

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