watch -n 5 free -mprovides me with:

Total: 7934


However, my system monitor says I'm using 50-60% just while running Chrome and Spotify? To me it seems a tad high.

I'm on a desktop PC, should not have this high RAM usage. Any way to see which sucks it up?

  • does this happen after you listen on spotify for a while?
    – Rumesh
    Jun 6, 2015 at 13:42
  • Can you provide some screens (especially of the system monitor). Anyway, run top to show all processes..
    – user404182
    Jun 6, 2015 at 13:42
  • Post the output of top in your question. Jun 6, 2015 at 13:43
  • @rumesh no it's pretty consistent, I suspect it might be chrome though. Will test with Firefox and no spotify tomorrow.
    – cbll
    Jun 6, 2015 at 13:43
  • @cbll the reason I asked is that every time the song changes on my laptop, It uses more RAM. I came across a command that can free up the memory that is being used
    – Rumesh
    Jun 6, 2015 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


Be conscious that some system monitors don't factor in cache and buffering. The is where the system transparently uses RAM to store things from disk, to make their second access faster. The cache is automagically reduced in size if you need more RAM. See my free output:

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:         24110      19949       4161        366        900      14299
-/+ buffers/cache:       4749      19361
Swap:            0          0          0

At a glance it might look like I'm using almost 20GB of RAM, but 14GB of that is cache. It's the second line of values that show the actual system usage 4.5 used and 19.5 free.

  • What's your ram @Oli Jun 6, 2015 at 13:49
  • @SharadGautam 24GB on this computer, though ~500MB has gone missing. I assume there's some Kernel overhead eating some.
    – Oli
    Jun 6, 2015 at 14:06
  • I have only 2 GB. Are you using a server?? 24 GB? Jun 6, 2015 at 14:08
  • It's just a desktop I built. I do quite a lot with it but it's undoubtedly more than I need. I think the most I've ever consciously used was 20GB but that was a one-off.
    – Oli
    Jun 6, 2015 at 14:11
  • How much did it cost you ? Jun 6, 2015 at 14:17

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