Is there any way to know the size of L1, L2, L3 caches and RAM in Linux?


If you have lshw installed:

$ sudo lshw -C memory


$ sudo lshw -C memory
       description: L1 cache
       physical id: a
       slot: Internal L1 Cache
       size: 32KiB
       capacity: 32KiB
       capabilities: asynchronous internal write-through data
       description: L2 cache
       physical id: b
       slot: Internal L2 Cache
       size: 256KiB
       capacity: 256KiB
       capabilities: burst internal write-through unified
       description: L3 cache
       physical id: c
       slot: Internal L3 Cache
       size: 3MiB
       capacity: 8MiB
       capabilities: burst internal write-back
       description: System Memory
       physical id: 2a
       slot: System board or motherboard
       size: 8GiB
          description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1334 MHz (0.7 ns)
          product: M471B5273CH0-CH9
          vendor: Samsung
          physical id: 0
          serial: 67010644
          slot: DIMM 1
          size: 4GiB
          width: 64 bits
          clock: 1334MHz (0.7ns)
          description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1334 MHz (0.7 ns)
          product: 16JTF51264HZ-1G4H1
          vendor: Micron Technology
          physical id: 1
          serial: 3749C127
          slot: DIMM 2
          size: 4GiB
          width: 64 bits
          clock: 1334MHz (0.7ns)
  • 1
    Please include substance to answers. Don't just mention names of commands, but show their output. – slm Nov 11 '14 at 3:03
  • lshw (ran with root permission of course) didn't give me cache information. but lscpu and dmidecode tools gave me the results. – Shnd Mar 18 '16 at 12:04


If you care only about the sizes, try lscpu from util-linux.


$ lscpu
Architecture:          x86_64
CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order:            Little Endian
CPU(s):                4
On-line CPU(s) list:   0-3
Thread(s) per core:    2
Core(s) per socket:    2
Socket(s):             1
NUMA node(s):          1
Vendor ID:             GenuineIntel
CPU family:            6
Model:                 37
Model name:            Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU       M 560  @ 2.67GHz
Stepping:              5
CPU MHz:               1199.000
BogoMIPS:              5319.88
Virtualization:        VT-x
L1d cache:             32K
L1i cache:             32K
L2 cache:              256K
L3 cache:              3072K
NUMA node0 CPU(s):     0-3


There should be also package/command called x86info. Assuming you have i386/x86_64, x86info -c should provide more detailed information about caches.


$ x86info -c
x86info v1.30.  Dave Jones 2001-2011
Feedback to <davej@redhat.com>.

Found 4 identical CPUs
Extended Family: 0 Extended Model: 2 Family: 6 Model: 37 Stepping: 5
Type: 0 (Original OEM)
CPU Model (x86info's best guess): Core i7 (Nehalem) [Clarkdale/Arrandale]
Processor name string (BIOS programmed): Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU       M 560  @ 2.67GHz

Cache info
 L1 Instruction cache: 32KB, 4-way associative. 64 byte line size.
 L1 Data cache: 32KB, 8-way associative. 64 byte line size.
 L2 (MLC): 256KB, 8-way associative. 64 byte line size.
TLB info
 Instruction TLB: 2MB or 4MB pages, fully associative, 7 entries
 Instruction TLB: 4K pages, 4-way associative, 64 entries.
 Data TLB: 4KB or 4MB pages, fully associative, 32 entries.
 Data TLB: 4KB pages, 4-way associative, 64 entries
 Data TLB: 4K pages, 4-way associative, 512 entries.
 Data TLB: 4KB or 4MB pages, fully associative, 32 entries.
 Data TLB: 4KB pages, 4-way associative, 64 entries
 64 byte prefetching.
 Data TLB: 4K pages, 4-way associative, 512 entries.
Found unknown cache descriptors: dd 
Total processor threads: 4
This system has 1 dual-core processor with hyper-threading (2 threads per core) running at an estimated 2.65GHz

You could try this command.

$sudo dmidecode -t cache


$ sudo dmidecode -t cache | grep -iE "leve|installed"
    Configuration: Enabled, Socketed, Level 1
    Installed Size: 32 kB
    Installed SRAM Type: Asynchronous
    Configuration: Enabled, Socketed, Level 2
    Installed Size: 256 kB
    Installed SRAM Type: Burst
    Configuration: Enabled, Socketed, Level 3
    Installed Size: 3072 kB
    Installed SRAM Type: Burst

To see RAM simply add the additional switch -t memory.

$ sudo dmidecode -t cache -t memory



There are special files exported to /sys sysfs Linux filesystem since 2008:


What:       /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cache/index*/<set_of_attributes_mentioned_below>
Date:       July 2014(documented, existed before August 2008)
Description:    Parameters for the CPU cache attributes

        - WriteAllocate: allocate a memory location to a cache line
                 on a cache miss because of a write
        - ReadAllocate: allocate a memory location to a cache line
                on a cache miss because of a read
        - ReadWriteAllocate: both writeallocate and readallocate

    coherency_line_size: the minimum amount of data in bytes that gets
                 transferred from memory to cache

    level: the cache hierarchy in the multi-level cache configuration

    number_of_sets: total number of sets in the cache, a set is a
            collection of cache lines with the same cache index

    physical_line_partition: number of physical cache line per cache tag

    shared_cpu_list: the list of logical cpus sharing the cache

    shared_cpu_map: logical cpu mask containing the list of cpus sharing
            the cache

    size: the total cache size in kB

        - Instruction: cache that only holds instructions
        - Data: cache that only caches data
        - Unified: cache that holds both data and instructions

    ways_of_associativity: degree of freedom in placing a particular block
                of memory in the cache

        - WriteThrough: data is written to both the cache line
                and to the block in the lower-level memory
        - WriteBack: data is written only to the cache line and
                 the modified cache line is written to main
                 memory only when it is replaced

ID files:

What:       /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cache/index*/id
Date:       September 2016
Contact:    Linux kernel mailing list <linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org>
Description:    Cache id

    The id provides a unique number for a specific instance of
    a cache of a particular type. E.g. there may be a level
    3 unified cache on each socket in a server and we may
    assign them ids 0, 1, 2, ...

    Note that id value can be non-contiguous. E.g. level 1
    caches typically exist per core, but there may not be a
    power of two cores on a socket, so these caches may be
    numbered 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, ...
  • I wonder why on my machine index0 and index1 both do level 1 on kernel v4.15, it is confusing. 0-index preventive coding? :-) – Ciro Santilli 新疆改造中心996ICU六四事件 Feb 27 '18 at 11:58
  • 1
    @CiroSantilli华涌低端人口六四事件法轮功, (with the name to not pronounce), probably index0 is about L1 with type Data (L1 data cache) and index1 is about L1 with type Instruction (L1 instruction cache). Then index2 is of type Unified and level of 2 (L2 cache, can store both data and instruction) – osgx Feb 27 '18 at 14:33
  • ah, yes! I should be more patient to read docs :-) – Ciro Santilli 新疆改造中心996ICU六四事件 Feb 27 '18 at 14:36


getconf -a | grep CACHE


LEVEL1_ICACHE_SIZE                 32768
LEVEL1_ICACHE_ASSOC                8
LEVEL1_DCACHE_SIZE                 32768
LEVEL1_DCACHE_ASSOC                8
LEVEL2_CACHE_SIZE                  262144
LEVEL2_CACHE_ASSOC                 8
LEVEL2_CACHE_LINESIZE              64
LEVEL3_CACHE_SIZE                  20971520
LEVEL3_CACHE_ASSOC                 20
LEVEL3_CACHE_LINESIZE              64
LEVEL4_CACHE_SIZE                  0
LEVEL4_CACHE_ASSOC                 0
LEVEL4_CACHE_LINESIZE              0

Or for a single level:


The cool thing about this interface is that it is just a wrapper around the POSIX sysconf C function (cache arguments are non-POSIX extensions), and so it can be used from C code as well.

Tested in Ubuntu 16.04.

x86 CPUID instruction

The CPUID x86 instruction also offers cache information, and can be directly accessed by userland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPUID

glibc seems to use that method for x86. I haven't confirmed by step debugging / instruction tracing, but the source for 2.28 sysdeps/x86/cacheinfo.c does that:

__cpuid (2, eax, ebx, ecx, edx);

TODO create a minimal C example, lazy now, asked at: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/14283171/how-to-receive-l1-l2-l3-cache-size-using-cpuid-instruction-in-x86

ARM also has an architecture-defined mechanism to find cache sizes through registers such as the Cache Size ID Register (CCSIDR), see the ARMv8 Programmers' Manual 11.6 "Cache discovery" for an overview.



Another option is cpuid program. It uses CPUID instructions and does not require root. It also can work throught cpuid Linux kernel module.

cache and TLB information (2):
   0x59: data TLB: 4K pages, 16 entries
   0xba: data TLB: 4K pages, 4-way, 64 entries
   0x4f: instruction TLB: 4K pages, 32 entries
   0xc0: data TLB: 4K & 4M pages, 4-way, 8 entries
   0x80: L2 cache: 512K, 8-way, 64 byte lines
   0x30: L1 cache: 32K, 8-way, 64 byte lines
   0x0e: L1 data cache: 24K, 6-way, 64 byte lines

Note that on common consumer CPUs L1 and L2 caches are per core, while L3 cache is shared by all cores.


if you only want the L3 then cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "cache size" should be enough

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.