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$ free
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:        9237332     2017244      411608      540416     6808480     6602112
Swap:       2097148      154032     1943116

It shows that we have only 4% "free" space (scares me that this is so low).

But we have 71% "available" space?

asked 08 Jun, 16:20

anjanesh
78623
accept rate: 20%


The free command measures memory, not disk space. It's normal for available memory to be greater than free memory, because memory that is in use can be reclaimed when starting new applications. From the man page for free:

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 kernel. 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, available on kernels 2.6.32, displayed as zero  if  not
              available)

       buffers
              Memory used by kernel buffers (Buffers in /proc/meminfo)

       cache  Memory used by the page cache and slabs (Cached and Slab in /proc/meminfo)

       buff/cache
              Sum of buffers and cache

       available
              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)
permanent link

answered 08 Jun, 18:39

maryh ♦♦
1.3k7
accept rate: 35%

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question asked: 08 Jun, 16:20

question was seen: 216 times

last updated: 08 Jun, 18:39

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