Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· hrabbit

Generic Monitor (XFCE - Memfree)

While the argument about whether users should be checking available memory on their desktop still looms, I personally use it constantly (along with CPU utilisation / temperature) to ensure that services and processes aren't running away. I run multiple (sometimes up to 8) virtual machines (Virtualbox) on my desktop at any given time and ensuring that my machine is still coping with that load is crucial to ensure I can still perform my day-to-day tasks on the desktop.

I run Aptosid XFCE edition (Debian SID rolling) as my desktop (at the moment) and as it doesn't show actual memory monitoring information (in text, graphs don't show actual useful values) I used the built in Generic Monitor to perform the task required.

I use this small snippet (would be shorter if I could pass to provide a realistic view of available memory for my desktop machine.

/usr/bin/free -m | /usr/bin/awk '/cache:/ {printf "%0.0fMB", $4}'

Shows quite clean output and seems to work super fast.