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Is there a way to know if the Windows machine I'm working on is virtual or physical? (I'm connecting with RDP to the machine. If it's a virtual machine it is working and handled by VMWare).

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see also -… – warren Feb 3 '10 at 13:51

12 Answers 12

up vote 27 down vote accepted

If it's Windows, just have a look at the hardware screens. It'll have a billion and five VMWare-branded virtual devices.

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Agreed. Since the OP mentioned RDP, it's most likely Windows, so there you go. – mfinni Feb 3 '10 at 14:01
+1 for not assuming it's Linux like I did – Matt Simmons Feb 3 '10 at 14:21
Looking at drivers is also works for linux. lsmod would probably return the information that you need. – Seamus Feb 3 '10 at 17:01
@Seamus: True enough! – Oli Feb 4 '10 at 11:14
Correction: A billion and six. – Get-HomeByFiveOClock Jun 19 '14 at 13:50

In the CMD window type:


You will find a line with the following text (or similar):

System Manufacturer:       VMware, Inc.
System Model:              VMware Virtual Platform
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If it's handled by VMware, it isn't too difficult at the present moment. This could change in the future.

# dmidecode -s system-manufacturer
VMware, Inc.
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In Linux you can also use "virt-what". "virt-what - detect if we are running in a virtual machine".

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If you are in Windows, as castrocra says, you can run the systeminfo command from inside a cmd shell, then look for the "BIOS Version".

These are probably real machines:

BIOS Version:              Dell Inc. A03, 06/12/2010
BIOS Version:              Phoenix Technologies, LTD MS7254 1.08, 08/03/2007

This, on the other hand, is almost certainly a virtual machine:

BIOS Version:              VMware, Inc. VMW71.00V.0.B64.1201040214, 04/01/2012
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Modern hypervisors can supply arbitrary strings here, making this a not very reliable check. – Michael Hampton Jul 4 '14 at 18:03
Unfortunately this isn't reliable. I'm running a virtual machine but my BIOS is showing as: "Phoenix Technologies LTD 6.00, 16/08/2013" – PunkyGuy Oct 30 '14 at 9:27

On Windows, from CMD:

Systeminfo | findstr /i model

returns something like:

System Model:              VMware Virtual Platform
                           [01]: Intel64 Family 6 Model 26 Stepping 5 GenuineInt
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On Linux, run this:

$ dmesg |grep -i hypervisor
 Hypervisor detected: KVM
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for linux you type dmesg |grep DMI Virtual Machines: [root@myhost ~]# dmesg |grep DMI<br> DMI 2.3 present. DMI: Microsoft Corporation Virtual Machine/Virtual Machine, BIOS 090006 05/23/2012 [root@myhost ~]# dmesg |grep -i virtual DMI: Microsoft Corporation Virtual Machine/Virtual Machine, BIOS 090006 05/23/2012 Booting paravirtualized kernel on bare hardware input: Macintosh mouse button emulation as /devices/virtual/input/input1 scsi 0:0:0:0: Direct-Access Msft Virtual Disk 1.0 PQ: 0 ANSI: 4 input: Microsoft Vmbus HID-compliant Mouse as /devices/virtual/input/input4 Physical: [root@backdev1 – user215983 Apr 10 '14 at 17:00

It has been answered, but FWIW you can do this in powershell:

gwmi -q "select * from win32_computersystem"

The "Manufacturer" will be "Microsoft Corporation" and the "Model" will be "Virtual Machine" if it's a virtual machine, or it should display regular manufacturer details if not, e.g. "Dell Inc." and "PowerEdge R210 II" respectively.

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Funny. My Windows VM says the Manufacturer and Model are both "Bochs". – Michael Hampton Aug 22 '14 at 2:07
Or in cmd: wmic computersystem get manufacturer | find "VMware" && echo In VMWare || echo Not in VMWare. It's faster than systeminfo-based solutions. – atzz Mar 3 '15 at 13:13
@MichaelHampton Are you using VMs? Which platform - HyperV, VMWare or something else? Seems like the VM is probably being run in a Bochs emulator or something like that. – Richard Hauer Oct 31 '15 at 4:42

If it's a Unix VM, use imvirt. It's a Perl script that detects VMWare, Xen, and several others.

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You could try the "Host Detection" program.

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I had the same question and found that there are a lot of processes running with "VM" in the name, for example VMWareTray.exe

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Yes, but only if the VMware tools package is installed. – jscott Apr 20 '12 at 20:30

nbtstat -a The outcome will tell you as VMs have a speecific prefix which is 00-50-56-XX-XX-XX. There is also another prefix it uses but I can not remember at the top of my head but I recall Vcenter uses 00-50-56-XX-XX-XX so this ios the one I check only.

I think this is the best way, personally.

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...except for when someone manually sets the MAC address to something else – Rex Apr 10 '14 at 18:17

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