Tracking down memory hogs on Linux

I am working hard on my talk for FOSDEM, and don’t have much time to write detailed posts, so you’ll have to put up with me and be contempt with this “one liners” series ūüėČ

In a memory shortage situation, it’s handy to understand which processes are memory hogs. Not only the ps command can tell you that: it can even return the process list sorted by memory occupation. At that point, getting the “top N” is a piece of cake. The following example shows the top 3 on my machine this morning, after shutting down and restarting a few of them:

bronto@brabham:~$ ps -e -o pid,user,rss,vsz,args --sort -vsz | head -n 4
  PID USER       RSS    VSZ COMMAND
27971 bronto   213896 3099640 /usr/bin/python /usr/bin/hotot
27884 bronto   44572 2306604 liferea
24470 bronto   202724 2164244 /usr/bin/gnome-shell

Hope it helps!

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