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How can I monitor the memory usage?

I have Ubuntu 12.4 LTS and I need a program that will be able to monitor my ram usage. Any suggestions?

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marked as duplicate by Rinzwind, Gilles, Uri Herrera, Alvar, fossfreedom May 18 '12 at 19:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Gnome System Monitor

It already has CPU, RAM, Network monitoring tool.

Just look for the application in your application dash or run

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thanks for telling me about this app a while ago, today i set it as ctrl+alt+delete just like in windows – Nick Bailuc Jul 2 '14 at 21:13

I think htop is the best solution, this way you will be able to see what program is using the most amount of RAM.

  • sudo apt-get install htop
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wow, this is awesome +1 – Phill Pafford Sep 12 '12 at 13:50

You can use the console, just type "free"

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free -m can give you a more realistic picture of how much memory is used by programs, as opposed to just cache and buffers, which will be default occupy the rest of your physical memory. – thomasrutter May 18 '12 at 1:04

Yes, many.

If you're looking for an applet, try Indicator-SysMonitor.

enter image description here

You can download a .deb file for it from here:

Other programs are listed here at omgubuntu:

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Try commands: free, top or cat /proc/meminfo

With top, you can press shift+m to sort processes by (resident) memory usage.

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The command free on the command-line is a good way.

However, it can be difficult to understand how exactly Linux uses memory, because by default the memory reported as "in use" includes buffers and cache. The thing about cache is that it automatically expands, as you use the disk, to occupy all remaining physical memory not used for programs (save for a few megabytes). However, when programs need it it's still "available" to them, so it is misleading to think of it as "in use".

I use free -m which also shows a count of used and free physical memory where buffers and cache are not counted as "used", which is more realistic.

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