How to see free memory on a Linux machine with the free command.

Posted: August 28, 2014. At: 5:29 PM. This was 3 years ago. Post ID: 7688

The free command in Linux is used to show the amount of free memory in Linux. The example below shows the default usage of this command.

[email protected]:~$ free 
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        602736     294680     308056      16928      17632     146320
-/+ buffers/cache:     130728     472008
Swap:            0          0          0

The free -m command will show the free memory in megabytes.

[email protected]:~$ free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           588        290        298         16         17        144
-/+ buffers/cache:        127        460
Swap:            0          0          0

This version: free -k shows the output in kilobytes.

[email protected]:~$ free -k
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        602736     297244     305492      16928      18248     147996
-/+ buffers/cache:     131000     471736
Swap:            0          0          0

The -t parameter will show an extra line that shows the totals for each column.

[email protected]:~$ free -t
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        602736     298696     304040      16928      18384     148168
-/+ buffers/cache:     132144     470592
Swap:            0          0          0
Total:      602736     298696     304040

Combined with the -m parameter, you will get a good picture of your memory usage.

[email protected]:~$ free -t -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           588        291        297         16         17        144
-/+ buffers/cache:        128        459
Swap:            0          0          0
Total:         588        291        297

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