FREE(1) User Commands FREE(1)
free - Display amount of free and used memory in the system
free displays the total amount of free and used physical and swap memory in the system, as well as the buffers and caches used by the ker-
nel. The information is gathered by parsing /proc/meminfo. The displayed columns are:
total Total installed memory (MemTotal and SwapTotal in /proc/meminfo)
used Used memory (calculated as total - free - buffers - cache)
free Unused memory (MemFree and SwapFree in /proc/meminfo)
shared Memory used (mostly) by tmpfs (Shmem in /proc/meminfo)
Memory used by kernel buffers (Buffers in /proc/meminfo)
cache Memory used by the page cache and slabs (Cached and SReclaimable in /proc/meminfo)
Sum of buffers and cache
Estimation of how much memory is available for starting new applications, without swapping. Unlike the data provided by the cache or
free fields, this field takes into account page cache and also that not all reclaimable memory slabs will be reclaimed due to items
being in use (MemAvailable in /proc/meminfo, available on kernels 3.14, emulated on kernels 2.6.27+, otherwise the same as free)
Display the amount of memory in bytes.
Display the amount of memory in kibibytes. This is the default.
Display the amount of memory in mebibytes.
Display the amount of memory in gibibytes.
--tebi Display the amount of memory in tebibytes.
--pebi Display the amount of memory in pebibytes.
--kilo Display the amount of memory in kilobytes. Implies --si.
--mega Display the amount of memory in megabytes. Implies --si.
--giga Display the amount of memory in gigabytes. Implies --si.
--tera Display the amount of memory in terabytes. Implies --si.
--peta Display the amount of memory in petabytes. Implies --si.
Show all output fields automatically scaled to shortest three digit unit and display the units of print out. Following units are
B = bytes
K = kibibyte
M = mebibyte
G = gibibyte
T = tebibyte
P = pebibyte
If unit is missing, and you have exbibyte of RAM or swap, the number is in tebibytes and columns might not be aligned with header.
Switch to the wide mode. The wide mode produces lines longer than 80 characters. In this mode buffers and cache are reported in two
-c, --count count
Display the result count times. Requires the -s option.
Show detailed low and high memory statistics.
-s, --seconds delay
Continuously display the result delay seconds apart. You may actually specify any floating point number for delay using either .
or , for decimal point. usleep(3) is used for microsecond resolution delay times.
--si Use kilo, mega, giga etc (power of 1000) instead of kibi, mebi, gibi (power of 1024).
Display a line showing the column totals.
--help Print help.
Display version information.
The value for the shared column is not available from kernels before 2.6.32 and is displayed as zero.
Please send bug reports to
ps(1), slabtop(1), top(1), vmstat(8).
procps-ng 2016-06-03 FREE(1)