Viewing current RAM usage

Expertise level: Easy

To know the RAM usage information when the server is running, use the following procedure:

  1. Login to your server with SSH as root.
  2. Type the following command:
free -m

 Here is an example:

root@test-operations-smart [~]# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          3383       3266        116          0        303       2209
-/+ buffers/cache:        753       2629
Swap:         4094          0       4094


This means that:

You have total 3383 MB (3.5 GB of total RAM)

The current usage is 3266 MB.

The 3266 MB usage shown in the first line includes the buffered and cached memory along with the actual usage of memory. Cached memory is stilled available for use if necessary.

The free memory left on the server is 116 MB.

The swap is also being shown in the similar format.

Swap memory is the backup RAM on the hard disk, used for extended RAM performance.

In Linux, server swap memory is used only after the actual memory on the server is completely exhausted.

For more information about how Linux manages memory, please consult this link:

For information regarding advanced memory configuration, please consult this link:


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