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The Linux kernel uses unused memory in caches. When you execute "free" you never get the "real" available memory.
There is 1 alternative - vote for the best!
"That's it. Not much to see here. The first command writes any cache data that hasn't been written to the disk out to the disk. The second command tells the kernel to drop what's cached. Not much to it. This invalidates the write cache as well as the read cache, which is why we have the sync command first. Supposedly, it is possible to have some cached write data never make it to disk, so use it with caution, and NEVER do it on a production server. You could ... but why take the risk?
As long as you are running a post 2.6.16 kernel,..."
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