mraron mraron - 3 months ago 48
Linux Question

Golang os/exec, realtime memory usage

I'm using Linux, go, and os/exec to run some commands.
I want to know a process' realtime memory usage. That means that I can ask for memory usage anytime after I start the process, not just after it ran.

(That's why the answer in Measuring memory usage of executable run using golang is not an option for me)

For example:

cmd := exec.Command(...)
if cmd.Memory()>50 {
fmt.Println("Oh my god, this process is hungry for memory!")

I don't need very precise value, but it would be great if it's error range is lower than, say, 10 megabytes.

Is there a go way to do that or I need some kind of command line trick?


Here is what I use on Linux:

func calculateMemory(pid int) (uint64, error) {

    f, err := os.Open(fmt.Sprintf("/proc/%d/smaps", pid))
    if err != nil {
        return 0, err
    defer f.Close()

    res := uint64(0)
    pfx := []byte("Pss:")
    r := bufio.NewScanner(f)
    for r.Scan() {
        line := r.Bytes()
        if bytes.HasPrefix(line, pfx) {
            var size uint64
            _, err := fmt.Sscanf(string(line[4:]), "%d", &size)
            if err != nil {
                return 0, err
            res += size
    if err := r.Err(); err != nil {
        return 0, err

    return res, nil

This function returns the PSS (Proportional Set Size) for a given PID, expressed in KB. If you have just started the process, you should have the rights to access the corresponding /proc file.

Tested with kernel 3.0.13.