Have you tried to change the default core size of 0 in Debian? The current default setting disables the writing of core files (coredumps) all together. Which is a pain in the you-know-where, when you have an application which crashes now and then and you don't know how to reproduce it.
So here's the deal:
- Uncomment the line in /etc/security/limits.conf
* hard core 10000
You might want to change the "hard" into "soft", so anyone can change the
setting again to something reasonable.
- Uncomment the line in /etc/pam.d/login which says something like this
session required pam_limits.so