The importance of journalism in disasters; how to decipher the output of `free` command; what’s the work load of DistroWatch like.
When the system reports it is using 2GB of memory this indicates that
the operating system and its applications are currently taking up 2GB of RAM which cannot be used for anything else.
The operating system, and any applications you hope to run, can see and consume all of the remaining memory.
You do not need to do anything to help this process.
Running the command
free --human --gigafrom the command line will display information on memory consumption and availability in a relatively easy to read format.
total: This is the physical amount of RAM the OS can see.
used: indicates how much of memory is currently being used.
This used memory cannot be used for anything else, it is effectively "locked in".
free: the amount of RAM not being used for anything at all.
It is entirely empty and can be gobbled up by a new program at a moment's notice.
shared: not particularly interesting to us.
It's usually an indication of how much memory is used by services like temporary filesystems.
We can typically ignore the shared field for all practical purposes.
buff/cache: hows how much memory is holding copies of files which are also stored elsewhere, such as on the disk drive.
In the event we open an application which needs more memory than is currently free, Linux will replace files it has in the cache with the new application's data.
available: how much data can be consumed right now by an application which needs more memory.
The difference between free and available.
When memory is free there effectively isn't anything in it; the RAM isn't being used for anything at all. There is no program data and there are no copies of files in free memory.
Memory which is available may have something in it, like a cached file, but cached files can be dropped and the space can be used for something else at any time.
It can take an hour to process and publish a single new release.
We usually do about two of those a day, on average.
Plus writing articles, answering questions, and adding new projects to our database.
We can get a few dozen to a few hundred e-mails and notifications a day, almost every day.
People interested in making a DistroWatch-like website usually aren't prepared for that kind of time commitment.
As a result we tend not to see many websites trying to do the same thing.