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DigitalOcean memory usage – Find top processes involved

Trying to find out which process is taking high memory usage in DigitalOcean droplet? We can help you find it out.

To find out the process that is responsible for excessive memory usage, we use top or ps command.

At Bobcares, we often get requests regarding Droplet as a part of our Server Management Services.

Today, let’s see how our Support Engineers find out high memory usage in DigitalOcean Droplet.

Causes for high memory usage in Droplet

One of the major reasons for high memory usage is the lack of resources in the server.

Another reason is that the Apache, MySQL or the PHP might have used high memory resources in the server.

DigitalOcean memory usage



Apache and MySQL’s high memory usage might be due to incorrect configuration or memory allocation.

Thus optimizing the Apache and MySQL will resolve the high memory usage.

Let’s discuss how our Support Engineers find and resolve high memory usage


How to check and fix memory usage in the droplet?

Recently one of the customers contacted us saying that there is high memory usage in his droplet. Let’s discuss how our Support Engineers resolve the error for our customers.


Analyze the server for memory usage

First, we log in to the server, and we analyze the Droplet. To find out the processes that are running and to find its memory usages we run the below command


By using the Shift + M keyboard shortcut, the process will be sorted with high memory usage.

We can also check the processes memory in MB and the process path using the command

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

Once we find out the reason for the memory usage we fix it for our customers.

Normally, high memory usages are due to Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

It is always a good practice to Optimize Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Thus, in most cases optimizing the LAMP will resolve the memory usages.


Install system monitor

If the high memory usage occurs intermittently, then to investigate the reason for memory usage in the server we install atop in the server. Atop is an inactive monitor to view and record the load on the server.

To install the atop in the server, we run the below command.

apt-get install atop

After installing atop in the server we can analyze memory usage in the server.

Thus, we find the reason for high memory usage and resolve the problems related to it.


Resize the CPU and RAM of DigitalOcean Droplet

If a particular process running in the server requires more memory, then the available option is to resize the RAM and CPU for the Droplet.

To increase the CPU and RAM in the server, we first shutdown the Droplet.

Then we log in to DigitalOcean Control Panel. Then we click on the Droplet to resize.

After that, we click on the Resize option, and then we select CPU and RAM only.

Digitalocean memory usage

Now we select a new plan and click Resize.

Finally, we power on the Droplet back.


[Need any more assistance with High memory usage in Droplet? – We’ll help you]



In Short, we’ve discussed the causes of excessive memory usage in a droplet. Also, we’ve discussed how our Support Engineers find out high memory usage in DigitalOcean Droplet and resolve it.


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