Which Process is taking all the memory?

Posted January 29, 2020 2.4k views

Hi Guys,

Twice today my server memory usage has climbed from its stable 35% upto 92%. The first instance corrected itself, the second time I power cycled the droplet. How can I determine which process is hogging all this memory?



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2 answers

Hello, @garywilliams

You can ssh to your droplet and use either top or htop to see which processes is consuming most of the droplet’s memory. In order to see the memory usage in htop, once you’ve executed the htop command use Shift + M or just click the MEM% sign with the mouse (htop can be navigated using the mouse button).

You can also use a command like this one to show the processes memory in megabytes and the process path, but generally htop and top are my favorites.

ps aux  | awk '{print $6/1024 " MB\t\t" $11}'  | sort -n

Let me know how it goes.


Hi Alex,

Thanks! I have now tried atop, top and htop. I didn’t know these existed. Fascinating to watch the server operation in real time, not that it means too much to me at the moment. It turns out the the ‘mercure’ module was the culprit. Installing an upgrade sorted that out.

I am alway impressed by smart guys like you who can rattle off lines of code like “ps auk .....”

I’m now reading through tutorials and making a list of useful commands and code snippets.

Many thanks for your help.



  • Hello, @garywilliams

    I’m so glad to hear that you were able to sort the issue using the commands I’ve sent you. I believe that this is what makes Linux so cool to use is that you can learn new stuff every day and develop your skills.

    If you have any questions or need any assistance feel free to post your question in the community at any time. We’re always here to help! :)