I am using Ubuntu 13.10 on a computer with 3072 MB RAM and 20 GB swap. It is an HP G62 laptop which overheats pretty regularly.

When I type free -mt in the terminal the output is:

free -mt
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          2873       2741        132          0          9       1084
-/+ buffers/cache:       1648       1225
Swap:        19529         42      19487
Total:       22403       2784      19619

Note the free memory: 132 MB!! The maximum free memory I have observed is 750 MB directly after startup. Whats happening???

also note the temperatures:


Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +78.0°C  (crit = +99.0°C)

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:       +75.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +90.0°C)
Core 2:       +72.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +90.0°C)
  • IMO, there really is not enough information in your question to connect your CPU temps to your RAM. It could be a "run away" process. It could also be that your laptop ventilation is clogged. Have you tried powering off, removing the battery, and then blowing out the dust with a compressed gas duster? – irrational John Feb 10 '14 at 18:38
  • 1
    It isn't, you are just looking at the wrong line. You have 1.2 gb free. – psusi Feb 10 '14 at 19:15

I think it is "simply" not as bad as you think. Linux uses some of your ram for disk caching. Take a look at the explanations and suggestions on this page: Linux ate my RAM!.

Mem:          2873       2741        132          0          9       1084

-/+ buffers/cache:       1648       1225

this tells you that you've got 1225 MB free...

i don't know what's the "normal" temp of your system, but i don't think it's heavily addicted to your ram usage...

| improve this answer | |
  • but isn't 1,2 gb of RAM still very low for a 3gb RAM computer? – Rumanoid Feb 10 '14 at 17:37
  • not unless you plan on copying gigabytes of files or playing any large games... Besides, if the RAM is full, the swap will take the overflow - your swap size is plentiful for that, you could even reduce it to ~6GB and it probably would be fine... – Wilf Feb 10 '14 at 17:50
  • hmmm, i suggest you to use top (or htop that is nicer) to see what application needs your ram. for example, if you running a mysql-server it can take a lot of your ram just by starting... my ubuntu 13.1 with xfce takes about 800mb, firefox uses 300 of this and thunderbird about 150mb..., music playback ... and so on... – Wolfgang Feb 10 '14 at 18:00
  • funny someone actually bought/hired a .com domain name for that. Thanks for the quick help! – Rumanoid Feb 13 '14 at 19:19

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