When is it time to upgrade the RAM of a Linux-system?

KiB Mem : total, free, used, buff/cache

(buff/cache + used) = (total - free)

  • If it starts to use swap??

  • If buf/caches is below X?

  • If free is below Y?


Because of the bufferin I am not sure how to answer that question. But generally I do not consider swap for a goot alternative to upgrade memory.


closed as primarily opinion-based by sebasth, Kusalananda, Stephen Rauch, Philippos, h3rrmiller Sep 20 '17 at 14:40

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    This depends to much on how you use your system. Of course RAM can not be replaced by swap, but only by more RAM. But if you have tons of data swapped out that gets accessed only once a day, it doesn't hurt. So there is not even a rule of thumb possible. – Philippos Sep 20 '17 at 14:28

The answers you will get will be based on opinions.

I will typically upgrade if the system is slow and swap-in * swap-out > 0. Or if I can see a big win by being able to cache big files in memory.

A big swap usage is not necessarily a problem.

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