Home » Easy way to determine the virtualization technology of a Linux machine?

Easy way to determine the virtualization technology of a Linux machine?


dmidecode -s system-product-name

I have tested on Vmware Workstation, VirtualBox, QEMU with KVM, standalone QEMU with Ubuntu as the guest OS. Others have added additional platforms that they’re familiar with as well.

Virtualization technologies

  • VMware Workstation

    root@router:~# dmidecode -s system-product-name
    VMware Virtual Platform
  • VirtualBox

    root@router:~# dmidecode -s system-product-name
  • Qemu with KVM

    root@router:~# dmidecode -s system-product-name
  • Qemu (emulated)

    root@router:~# dmidecode -s system-product-name
  • Microsoft VirtualPC

    root@router:~# dmidecode | egrep -i 'manufacturer|product'
    Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation
    Product Name: Virtual Machine
  • Virtuozzo

    root@router:~# dmidecode
    /dev/mem: Permission denied
  • Xen

    root@router:~# dmidecode | grep -i domU
    Product Name: HVM domU

On bare metal, this returns an identification of the computer or motherboard model.


If you don’t have the rights to run dmidecode then you can use:

Virtualization Technology: QEMU

ls -1 /dev/disk/by-id/


[root@host-7-129 ~]# ls -1 /dev/disk/by-id/


  • How to detect virtualization at dmo.ca

If the container is running systemd:

$ systemd-detect-virt

On KVM for example it returns:


and on a non-virtualized host:


See also:

  • systemd-detect-virt(1)
  • Detecting Virtualization

Desirable method


This command produces the following output on vairous VM technology guests.

$ sudo lshw -class system


  • KVM

        description: Computer
        product: KVM
        vendor: Red Hat
        width: 64 bits
        capabilities: smbios-2.4 dmi-2.4 vsyscall64 vsyscall32
  • Virtual Box

        description: Computer
        product: VirtualBox ()
        vendor: innotek GmbH
        version: 1.2
        serial: 0
        width: 64 bits
        capabilities: smbios-2.5 dmi-2.5 vsyscall32
  • VMWare

        description: Computer
        product: VMware Virtual Platform ()
        vendor: VMware, Inc.
        version: None
        serial: VMware-56 4d 94 a0 53 e3 f3 c6-f9 a6 eb 1a 89 70 04 57
        width: 32 bits
        capabilities: smbios-2.4 dmi-2.4 smp-1.4 smp


If you’re on Ubuntu/Debian there’s the package open-vm-tools can be installed. It provides vmware-checkvm. It returns only a a digit. A 0 means it’s a VM, a 1 means it’s a physical system.

Less desirable methods

If it’s KVM the /proc/scsi/scsi and ethtool options show up as follows:


$ cat /proc/scsi/scsi 
Attached devices:
Host: scsi1 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
  Vendor: QEMU     Model: QEMU DVD-ROM     Rev: 0.9.
  Type:   CD-ROM                           ANSI  SCSI revision: 05


$ ethtool -i eth0
driver: virtio_net
bus-info: virtio0
supports-statistics: no
supports-test: no
supports-eeprom-access: no
supports-register-dump: no
supports-priv-flags: no

The virtio_net is part of KVM. The /proc/scsi/scsi tells you that you’re in a VM, and that you’re most likely KVM.


Using the following commands grep‘ing through dmesg log.

$ sudo dmesg | grep -i virtual
  • VMWare

    VMware vmxnet virtual NIC driver
     Vendor: VMware    Model: Virtual disk      Rev: 1.0 
    hda: VMware Virtual IDE CDROM Drive, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
  • QEmu or KVM

    If the "-cpu host" option has not been used, QEmu and KVM will identify themselves as:

    CPU: AMD QEMU Virtual CPU version 0.9.1 stepping 03

    otherwise, the host’s CPU information will be used both in dmesg, or in /proc/cpuinfo. However, you should see something like:

    [    0.000000] Booting paravirtualized kernel on KVM

    In newer kernels that understand that they’re running under paravirtualization.

  • Microsoft VirtualPC

    hda: Virtual HD, ATA DISK drive
    hdc: Virtual CD, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
  • Xen

    $ sudo dmesg | grep -i xen
    Xen virtual console successfully installed as tty1
  • Virtuozzo

    # method #1
    $ sudo dmesg
    (returns no output)
    # method #2
    $ sudo cat /var/log/dmesg
    (returns no output)
    # method #3
    $ sudo ls -al /proc/vz
    veinfo  veinfo_redir  veredir  vestat  vzaquota  vzdata


  • dmo.ca/ blog/ How to detect virtualization

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