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check memory usage on Linux Centos

free command

The free command is the most simple and easy to use command to check memory usage on linux. Here is a quick example
$ free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          7976       6459       1517          0        865       2248
-/+ buffers/cache:       3344       4631
Swap:         1951          0       1951
The m option displays all data in MBs. The total os 7976 MB is the total amount of RAM installed on the system, that is 8GB. The used column shows the amount of RAM that has been used by linux, in this case around 6.4 GB. The output is pretty self explanatory. The catch over here is the cached and buffers column. The second line tells that 4.6 GB is free. This is the free memory in first line added with the buffers and cached amount of memory.
Linux has the habit of caching lots of things for faster performance, so that memory can be freed and used if needed.
The last line is the swap memory, which in this case is lying entirely free.

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