How to determine Linux guest VM virtualization technology

I have a cloud-based virtual machine running Ubuntu and CentOS Linux server. It may or may not be virtualized. How do I determine what kind of virtualization technology (VMWARE/ KVM/ XEN/ VirtualBox/ Container/ lxc/Hyper-V etc.) a Linux guest system running on? How do I find out the virtualization type of a CentOS 7 Linux VPS?

You need to use the virt-what program (shell script) to detect the type of virtualization being used (or none at all if we’re running on bare-metal). It prints out one of more lines each being a ‘fact’ about the virtualization.

Install virt-what on Debian or Ubuntu Linux VM

$ sudo apt-get install virt-what
$ sudo apt install virt-what

Fig.01: Debian/Ubuntu Linux install virt-what command

Install virt-what on RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux VM

$ sudo yum install virt-what

Fig.02: Fedora/RHEL/CentOS Linux install virt-what command

Install virt-what on Fedora Linux VM

$ sudo dnf install virt-what

Check if your remote server runs in virtual environment

Simply type the following command:
$ sudo virt-what

Another output:
$ sudo virt-what

Another output:
$ sudo virt-what

Other possible values

  1. hyperv : This is Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor.
  2. parallels : The guest is running inside Parallels Virtual Platform (Parallels Desktop, Parallels Server).
  3. powervm_lx86 : The guest is running inside IBM PowerVM Lx86 Linux/x86 emulator.
  4. qemu : This is QEMU hypervisor using software emulation.
  5. virtualpc : The guest appears to be running on Microsoft VirtualPC.
  6. xen-hvm : This is a Xen guest fully virtualized (HVM).
  7. uml : This is a User-Mode Linux (UML) guest.
  8. openvz : The guest appears to be running inside an OpenVZ or Virtuozzo container.
  9. linux_vserver : This process is running in a Linux VServer container.
  10. ibm_systemz : This is an IBM SystemZ (or other S/390) hardware partitioning system.

If nothing is printed, then it can mean *either* that the program is running on bare-metal *or* the program is running inside a type of virtual machine which we don’t know about or cannot detect. For more info see virt-what – detect if we are running in a virtual machine and here is the source code of the script:

#!/bin/bash -
# virt-what.  Generated from by configure.
# Copyright (C) 2008-2011 Red Hat Inc.
# Do not allow unset variables, and set defaults.
set -u
function fail {
    echo "virt-what: $1" >&2
    exit 1
function usage {
    echo "virt-what [options]"
    echo "Options:"
    echo "  --help          Display this help"
    echo "  --version       Display version and exit"
    exit 0
# Handle the command line arguments, if any.
TEMP=$(getopt -o v --long help --long version --long test-root: -n 'virt-what' -- "[email protected]")
if [ $? != 0 ]; then exit 1; fi
eval set -- "$TEMP"
while true; do
    case "$1" in
	--help) usage ;;
            # Deliberately undocumented: used for 'make check'.
            shift 2
	-v|--version) echo "$VERSION"; exit 0 ;;
	--) shift; break ;;
	*) fail "internal error ($1)" ;;
# Add /sbin and /usr/sbin to the path so we can find system
# binaries like dmicode.
# Add /usr/libexec to the path so we can find the helper binary.
# Check we're running as root.
if [ "x$root" = "x" ] && [ "$EUID" -ne 0 ]; then
    fail "this script must be run as root"
# Many fullvirt hypervisors give an indication through CPUID.  Use the
# helper program to get this information.
# Check for various products in the BIOS information.
# Note that dmidecode doesn't exist on non-PC architectures.  On these,
# this will return an error which is ignored (error message redirected
# into $dmi variable).
dmi=$(LANG=C dmidecode 2>&1)
# Architecture.
# Note for the purpose of testing, we only call uname with -p option.
arch=$(uname -p)
# Check for VMware.
# cpuid check added by Chetan Loke.
if [ "$cpuid" = "VMwareVMware" ]; then
    echo vmware
elif echo "$dmi" | grep -q 'Manufacturer: VMware'; then
    echo vmware
# Check for Hyper-V.
if [ "$cpuid" = "Microsoft Hv" ]; then
    echo hyperv
# Check for VirtualPC.
# The negative check for cpuid is to distinguish this from Hyper-V
# which also has the same manufacturer string in the SM-BIOS data.
if [ "$cpuid" != "Microsoft Hv" ] &&
    echo "$dmi" | grep -q 'Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation'; then
    echo virtualpc
# Check for VirtualBox.
# Added by Laurent Léonard.
if echo "$dmi" | grep -q 'Manufacturer: innotek GmbH'; then
    echo virtualbox
# Check for OpenVZ / Virtuozzo.
# Added by Evgeniy Sokolov.
# /proc/vz - always exists if OpenVZ kernel is running (inside and outside
# container)
# /proc/bc - exists on node, but not inside container.
if [ -d "${root}/proc/vz" -a ! -d "${root}/proc/bc" ]; then
    echo openvz
# Check for LXC containers
# Added by Marc Fournier
if [ -e "${root}/proc/1/environ" ] &&
    cat "${root}/proc/1/environ" | tr '00' 'n' | grep -Eiq '^container='; then
    echo lxc
# Check for Linux-VServer
if cat "${root}/proc/self/status" | grep -q "VxID: [0-9]*"; then
    echo linux_vserver
# Check for UML.
# Added by Laurent Léonard.
if grep -q 'UML' "${root}/proc/cpuinfo"; then
    echo uml
# Check for IBM PowerVM Lx86 Linux/x86 emulator.
if grep -q '^vendor_id.*PowerVM Lx86' "${root}/proc/cpuinfo"; then
    echo powervm_lx86
# Check for Hitachi Virtualization Manager (HVM) Virtage logical partitioning.
if echo "$dmi" | grep -q 'Manufacturer.*HITACHI' &&
   echo "$dmi" | grep -q 'Product.* LPAR'; then
    echo virtage
# Check for IBM SystemZ.
if grep -q '^vendor_id.*IBM/S390' "${root}/proc/cpuinfo"; then
    echo ibm_systemz
    if [ -f "${root}/proc/sysinfo" ]; then
        if grep -q 'VM.*Control Program.*z/VM' "${root}/proc/sysinfo"; then
            echo ibm_systemz-zvm
        elif grep -q '^LPAR' "${root}/proc/sysinfo"; then
            echo ibm_systemz-lpar
            # This is unlikely to be correct.
            echo ibm_systemz-direct
# Check for Parallels.
if echo "$dmi" | grep -q 'Vendor: Parallels'; then
    echo parallels
# Check for Xen.
if [ "$cpuid" = "XenVMMXenVMM" ]; then
    echo xen; echo xen-hvm
elif [ -f "${root}/proc/xen/capabilities" ]; then
    echo xen
    if grep -q "control_d" "${root}/proc/xen/capabilities"; then
        echo xen-dom0
        echo xen-domU
elif [ -f "${root}/sys/hypervisor/type" ] &&
    grep -q "xen" "${root}/sys/hypervisor/type"; then
    # Ordinary kernel with pv_ops.  There does not seem to be
    # enough information at present to tell whether this is dom0
    # or domU.  XXX
    echo xen
elif [ "$arch" = "ia64" ]; then
    if [ -d "${root}/sys/bus/xen" -a ! -d "${root}/sys/bus/xen-backend" ]; then
        # PV-on-HVM drivers installed in a Xen guest.
        echo xen
        echo xen-hvm
        # There is no virt leaf on IA64 HVM.  This is a last-ditch
        # attempt to detect something is virtualized by using a
        # timing attack.
        virt-what-ia64-xen-rdtsc-test > /dev/null 2>&1
        case "$?" in
            0) ;; # not virtual
            1) # Could be some sort of virt, or could just be a bit slow.
                echo virt
# Check for QEMU/KVM.
# Parallels exports KVMKVMKVM leaf, so skip this test if we've already
# seen that it's Parallels.  Xen uses QEMU as the device model, so
# skip this test if we know it is Xen.
if ! "$skip_qemu_kvm"; then
    if [ "$cpuid" = "KVMKVMKVM" ]; then
	echo kvm
        # XXX This is known to fail for qemu with the explicit -cpu
        # option, since /proc/cpuinfo will not contain the QEMU
        # string.  The long term fix for this would be to export
        # another CPUID leaf for non-accelerated qemu.
        if grep -q 'QEMU' "${root}/proc/cpuinfo"; then
	    echo qemu

How to use dmidecode command to find out same info

Use bash for loop as follows along with the dmidecode command:

for i in system-manufacturer system-product-name
  sudo dmidecode -s $i

Sample outputs:

Red Hat

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.