This will be a very short post.
free is a simple, one-shot tool to display the amount of free memory in a system.
I am guessing that, unless you began working with Linux yesterday, you have already seen and used the
free tool. It’s in procps (or a derivative) in most distros I’ve seen, and is probably the meterstick everyone uses to measure what’s left of their precious memories.
free can be a bit confusing to decipher. Interpreting it has been the topic of countless forum debates, plog boasts, Internet hatefests, TED talks and G8 summits.
I won’t add to the swirl of sewage surrounding
free and it’s correct interpretation. No more than I would dare add my own tiny voice to the clamor around the Oracle of Delphi.
If you’re looking for a tutorial on
free, I honestly suggest a few passes through your favorite search engine. I’m not dumping you off to DuckDuckGo; there honestly is a lot of information out there on
free and how to read it.
I will only add that I have found other, less contentious methods to gage memory use, and have a tendency to stick to them instead of
free. I know, it’s Unix heresy, but sometimes the best way to end debate is not to enter it in the first place.
Now go forth and study the gospel of