I'm thinking of upgrading my laptop memory from 8gb ram to 16gb but I first would like to research how Ubuntu will handle it.

I already know that my laptop definitely supports adding more ram.

  1. If I just insert more ram will I have to change anything in the OS or will it work/recognize it right away?
  2. Will Ubuntu behave properly once I insert more ram (like will there possibly be errors or something that breaks my system or something)? Will it use all the ram (properly)?

My hope is that the addition will work right away (I'll shut it down while inserting it of course) but first I'd like to how l know how Ubuntu will act.

  • 5
    As long as your hardware recognizes the extra RAM (ie. no hardware issues or limits to what your hardware can utilize) your Ubuntu OS will boot & use it without any required change. I've stolen RAM from my secondary boxes for testing purposes and I make no change after I've stolen the RAM, or after it's returned.. The OS will use whatever RAM your hardware has available.
    – guiverc
    Apr 13, 2022 at 1:43
  • 1
    I would recommend running sudo inxi -mx to show you the speed, maximum size per slot and array capacity (max RAM) your motherboard will support.
    – Terrance
    Apr 13, 2022 at 1:55
  • you are only limited by what your systems hardware can handle. So as long as your hardware supports memory expansion you can max out the memory on your system and Ubuntu will be fine with it.
    – Thomas Ward
    Apr 13, 2022 at 2:05
  • 2
    I assume you aren't asking about adding it while the machine is not shut down and powered off because it seems to me like it could be read that way.
    – Michael
    Apr 14, 2022 at 1:23
  • @Michael no I will shut down my pc before adding it 👍 Apr 14, 2022 at 9:49

3 Answers 3


Assuming that the RAM works properly and is compatible with your hardware, Ubuntu will recognize and utilize the RAM without any interventions.

As far as compatibility: You might want to check your hardware's QVL to make sure that any new RAM is explicitly tested and supported. Also, it's generally a good idea to install RAM modules in identical pairs. Mismatched RAM can sometimes cause issues especially if they don't share timings and clock speeds.

  • 14
    If OP is using hibernation he may need to increase the size of the swap file.
    – user000001
    Apr 13, 2022 at 18:21
  • The issue with mismatched RAM hasn't been a real problem for probably a decade. It can probably still happen with a bad bridge, but that's really rare and I haven't came across it for a long time.
    – Nelson
    Apr 14, 2022 at 8:37

I threw away the 8 GB RAM in my laptop and installed 32 GB of the best RAM available for my laptop. It was almost as good as installing the best NVMe SSD. Not a single problem as long as you go with High Quality manufacturer and the clock timing matches your motherboard.

Respected RAM dealers will help you find a good match.

  • 1
    How will I know if the ram will work with my laptop? What is a "good ram dealer" that will support my laptop and get the best identical match? Thanks in advance Apr 13, 2022 at 10:25
  • @AlexFullinator What is the make and model of your laptop? Apr 13, 2022 at 10:31
  • Dell Inspiron 17 3793 Apr 13, 2022 at 10:33
  • Also if it helps I already have one 8gib, 2667 mt/s speed, and DDR4 type memory device installed in the first slot (output of the command @Terrance sent) Apr 13, 2022 at 11:24
  • 3
    @AlexFullinator To me it sounds like 2667 and 2666 are the same (2 and 2/3rds) with different rounding. The best guarantee is to open your laptop memory door and read the model number of the RAM in the slot. Then order the exact same RAM model number from Dell. For true peace of mind you can simply take your machine to Best Buy or another Dell Dealer and they will use technicians who ground strap their wrists, use anti static mats and test the RAM after installation. Apr 13, 2022 at 12:07

You shouldn't have a problem installing new RAM in Ubuntu as long as your motherboard supports it.

However, you might have to reset your CMOS, which just requires you to unplug the power cable on your computer, take out the CMOS battery for 5 minutes and then put it back in or shorting JBAT1 on your motherboard by connecting the pins with a screwdriver or using a jumper.

This shouldn't be necessary in 2022, but it is something I had to do when I added a new stick of RAM on an older motherboard this year.


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