Memory can make a computer run slow, cause kernel panics and in general drain productivity. Bad memory can compound these issues by increasing the frequency of these issues. As such, testing memory every now and then will help to make your life better.
Memtest is a great little tool for troubleshooting memory problems across a variety of platforms. The tool can be installed pretty easily on clients using this little package that was posted awhile ago, but is still functional. Once you’ve installed the package installer, you can run memtest and have it check memory. To do so, just run memtest all and it will test all of your memory:
You can also be a bit more specific about how you’re testing memory. You can define the amount of memory to test as well as the number of iterations to test through. The following command shows the first position being the amount of memory and the second position is the number of iterations, as follows (test 1024 Megs of memory and run the tests twice, logging to stderr):
memtest 1024m 2
Adding the –log operator then logs to stderr and memtest.log:
memtest 1024m 2 --log
Overall, memtest is a really easy tool to use. It’s also pretty good at isolating issues and can easily be folded into other tools!