In this tip, we will see how to monitor memory usage in real time via the Terminal on Ubuntu. To be able to track memory usage on Ubuntu, we will need to use the Linux command line utility: vmstat. This command line utility will display details such as the total installed memory, used memory, active memory, free memory, buffer memory, etc.

So, launch the terminal and issue this command to start monitoring in real time memory usage on Ubuntu:

 watch vmstat -sSM

Here is a sample of the output I got:

Every 2.0s: vmstat -sSM                                 Tue Jun 21 09:57:14 2011

         3021 M total memory
         2236 M used memory
          627 M active memory
         1510 M inactive memory
          785 M free memory
          751 M buffer memory
          944 M swap cache
          255 M total swap
            0 M used swap
          255 M free swap
         9778 non-nice user cpu ticks
          803 nice user cpu ticks
         3664 system cpu ticks
       103507 idle cpu ticks
         3030 IO-wait cpu ticks
            0 IRQ cpu ticks
           76 softirq cpu ticks
            0 stolen cpu ticks
      1092334 pages paged in
       212820 pages paged out
            0 pages swapped in
            0 pages swapped out

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