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Find out if the OS is running in a virtual environment

I don't trust my host as far as I can throw them. We are about to move, but I have got this nagging doubt that rather than being on the dedicated machine that we ordered I'm actually on a virtualised machine.

How would I go about proving this one way or the other?

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What OS is the server concerned? –  dunxd Jan 12 '11 at 13:29
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This question is basically a duplicate of serverfault.com/questions/196958, although that one does not assume a hostile provider. If your provider is hostile and very tricky, you're pretty much at their mercy. –  mattdm Jan 12 '11 at 13:30
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Does your contract/service specifiy a dedicated physical machine, because a machine dedicated to your use only, whether physical or virtual, is a dedicated machine as far as I'm concerned. –  joeqwerty Jan 12 '11 at 13:30
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Note, also, that you might still be virtualized and getting an entire dedicated physical machine. There's management (and feature -- like failover) benefits to running your system in a VM even if it's the only one on the machine. –  mattdm Jan 12 '11 at 13:31
    
mattdm is right - whether your server OS is running in a virtual layer may be proof of nothing. You probably need to weigh up the benefits of pursuing some kind of claim with your host, unless you are just looking to get out of your contract by claiming they breached it somehow. –  dunxd Jan 12 '11 at 13:46
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marked as duplicate by Chris S, Iain, Scott Pack, jscott, Steven Monday Jan 12 '11 at 14:37

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2 Answers

For VMWare at least, either have a look at the network adapter type (it should say VMWare) or get the MAC address of the NIC and go here to look up the vendor.

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Not that the MAC couldn't be faked or anything. –  Chris S Jan 12 '11 at 13:56
    
sure I admit it isn't a failproof method and there are probably other ways to figure it out, but if they haven't gone through the trouble of intentionally faking it, then it is a quick check –  August Jan 12 '11 at 14:16
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Assume your guest OS is Linux, you can do dmidecode -s system-manufacturer. In the case of VMWare it will return VMware, Inc..

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