ram - Linux


The ram command in Linux is designed to manage and monitor the RAM (Random Access Memory) usage on your system. It provides users with insights into memory consumption patterns, allowing for optimization and better resource management. This command is particularly useful in environments where efficient memory utilization is critical, such as on servers or in applications requiring high performance.


The basic syntax for the ram command is:

ram [options]


  • -h, --help: Display help information about the command and its options.
  • -v, --verbose: Show detailed information about RAM usage, including system cache and available memory.
  • -c, --clear: Clear the system’s RAM cache, except for essential OS data.
  • -s, --stats: Display detailed statistics about RAM usage, such as usage percentage, total free RAM, and RAM used by different processes.
  • -w, --watch: Monitor RAM usage in real-time, updated at intervals specified by the user (default is every 2 seconds).
  • -t <seconds>, --interval <seconds>: Specify the update interval for watching RAM usage. The default value is 2 seconds.


  1. Basic Usage: To display the current RAM usage:
  2. Verbose Output: To get detailed memory usage information:
    ram -v
  3. Clear RAM Cache: To clear the RAM cache safely:
    ram -c
  4. Monitor RAM Usage in Real-Time: To watch RAM usage continuously:
    ram -w
  5. Set Custom Interval for Monitoring: To watch RAM usage with custom intervals (e.g., every 5 seconds):
    ram -w -t 5

Common Issues

  • Permissions Error: Users might encounter permission issues when attempting to clear the RAM cache. Running the command with sudo can resolve this issue:
    sudo ram -c
  • High CPU Usage: Continuous monitoring (-w) can lead to increased CPU usage. To mitigate this, increase the interval using -t.


The ram command can be integrated into shell scripts or used in conjunction with other tools for robust system monitoring:

  • Script Example: Create a script to monitor RAM and alert when usage exceeds a threshold:

    while true; do
        used=$(ram --stats | grep 'Used' | awk '{print $2}')
        if (( used > 90 )); then
            echo "High RAM usage" | mail -s "Alert" user@example.com
        sleep 10
  • Combining with cron: Automate clearing RAM cache every day at midnight using cron:

    0 0 * * * /usr/bin/ram -c
  • free: Shows the total amount of free and used physical memory and swap space in the system.
  • top: Provides a dynamic, real-time view of running system processes.
  • vmstat: Reports information about system processes, memory, paging, block IO, traps, and CPU activity.

For more advanced information and more tools related to memory management, visit the official Linux Kernel documentation.