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free: output format

My Redhat server shows the following:

free -m 
============= 
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached 
Mem:          8113       8078        35          0        171       6491   
-/+ buffers/cache:       1415       6698   
Swap:         8189         59       8130 

Is 35 mega of free memory considered critical on a production server ?

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marked as duplicate by Ulrich Dangel, Shadur, Gilles, Mat, Michael Mrozek Jul 2 '12 at 7:17

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Nothing to be worried about - see serverfault.com/a/379392 for more details. –  Ulrich Dangel Jun 29 '12 at 7:45
2  
linuxatemyram.com –  rush Jun 29 '12 at 7:57
    
its used for a java application –  bob Jun 29 '12 at 13:16
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2 Answers

Ulrich gave you two links that go into detail, which are correct.

Here's the TL;DR version.

Add free and cache. That's how much RAM is available to any application that wants to use it. (In your case, about 6.5GB out of 8GB total).

If you want to know more more, read those links from Ulrich.

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How long is piece of string?

Whether it's bad depends what your server is doing. For a SMTP relay, a Java Application server or a MySQL DBMS server running exclusvely innoDB tables it's not a problem. For a lot of other applications, it will have a dire effect on performance. You didn't say what the box is used for.

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usually half as long as I need, and almost as long as a piece of chalk. –  lornix Jun 30 '12 at 8:22
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