What should one do with those core files?
Make sure the complete CORE file was written out. System administrators usually limit core size to avoid dangerous core files filling file systems. Core file size can be limited with the "ulimit" or "limit" commands. Look at these examples:
$ ulimit -a # Display limits for your session under sh or ksh $ limit # Display limits for your session under csh or tcsh $ ulimit -c SIZE_IN_BLOCKS # Limit core size under sh or ksh $ limit coredumpsize SIZE_IN_KB # Limit core size under csh or tcsh
If you see a core file lying around, just type "file core" to get some details about it. Example:
$ file core core:ELF-64 core file - PA-RISC 2.0 from 'sqlplus' - received SIGABRT
Run the Unix process debugger to obtain more information about where and why the process abended. This information is normally requested by Oracle Support for in-depth analysis of the problem. Some example:
$ gdb $ORACLE_HOME/bin/sqlplus core bt # backtrace of all stack frames quit
HP-UX, Solaris, etc:
$ adb $ORACLE_HOME/bin/sqlplus core $c $q
$ debug -c core $ORACLE_HOME/bin/sqlplus debug> stack debug> quit
Note: Some Unix operating systems use debugger commands like sdb, xdb, dbx, etc. The same principles apply; do a man on the command and go for it!