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I ordered a dedicated server 1 month ago and I want to make sure my server is dedicated and not a VPS or Shared server. Are there any tools I can verify that my server is running on bare metal and that I am the only user?

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migrated from Nov 20 '11 at 1:10

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 54 down vote accepted

First, you should trust your hosting provider. If you think they sold you a VPS, maybe you should reconsider this provider. Just to make sure you have a dedicated you can try this:

Does the command esxtop work ?

This tool is used to check performances on Virtual Machines

Check the network interfaces.

Run the command ifconfig. If you see something like this:

venet0    Link encap:UNSPEC  HWaddr 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
          inet addr:  P-t-P:  Bcast:  Mask:
          RX packets:99999 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:99999 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:126223307 (120.3 MiB)  TX bytes:2897538 (2.7 MiB)

venet0:0  Link encap:UNSPEC  HWaddr 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
          inet  Mask:

you are probably have a VPS since venet0 is telling that this server is being an OpenVZ VPS. Note: This is not 100% fool proof, some VPS like Xen have an eth0.

Check devices/system:

Run lspci and dmesg as root. If you see something like:

VMWare SVGA device
acd0: CDROM <VMware Virtual IDE CDROM Drive/00000001> at ata0-master UDMA33
da0: <VMware Virtual disk 1.0> Fixed Direct Access SCSI-2 device

Then you are using a VPS.

Check if some files exists:

If it's a VPS running OpenVZ they'd have a file called /proc/user_beancounters. View for more details.

Look if /proc/vz or /proc/vz/veinfo exists (for OpenVZ) or /proc/sys/xen, /sys/bus/xen or /proc/xen (for Xen)

Check if /proc/self/status has an s_context or VxID field.

If one of these file exists, then you have a VPS.

IP lookup:

You could do a reverse IP lookup to check to see if any other websites are hosted on the same IP.

Check Memory:

Run lspci and look for RAM memory: Qumranet, Inc. Virtio memory balloon. Then you have a VPS.

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I didn't see any Vnet** or VM or anything else that looks like I have a VPS. Thank you very much. – Tech4Wilco Sep 13 '11 at 14:43
+1 good explanation – Gino Sullivan Nov 17 '11 at 12:12
If you are virtualized under OpenVZ or Virtuozzo the file /proc/user_beancounters will exist – Frands Hansen Jan 14 '12 at 10:17
Totally great answer! But now its been 2 years already. May be there are some changes in VPS technologies? Can we still rely this methods? Please. – 夏期劇場 Sep 30 '13 at 11:10
@夏期劇場 I would say yes ... adapters and devices might change but they will never the same name as the REAL adapters or devices. I would double check the name of the adapters on the web to make sure. – Book Of Zeus Nov 16 '13 at 20:46

To augment @Book Of Zeus' answer, if you are running under KVM you will see things like:

root# grep 'model name' /proc/cpuinfo 
model name      : QEMU Virtual CPU version 0.15.0
root@nscache1a:~# dmidecode -t system | grep Manufac
       Manufacturer: Bochs
root# grep QEMU /proc/scsi/scsi
  Vendor: ATA      Model: QEMU HARDDISK    Rev: 0.15
  Vendor: QEMU     Model: QEMU DVD-ROM     Rev: 0.15

And under XenCenter:

root# dmidecode -t system | grep -e Manu -e Prod
       Manufacturer: Xen
       Product Name: HVM domU
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is it mean i have a VPS if it say: command not found? – Tech4Wilco Jan 15 '12 at 4:34
@Tech4Wilco: No, it just means you don't have dmidecode install. Do you have apt or yum or something like that, that you can install dmidecode with? – freiheit Jan 15 '12 at 4:39
oh thanks, i thought it came with the OS by default – Tech4Wilco Jan 15 '12 at 4:39
@sean good info, thanks – Book Of Zeus Jan 15 '12 at 15:48

You may just want to execute the command dmidecode -t system and check the output of the "Manufacturer" which will give you an idea about the machine you are working on.

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The OP is only interested to know and make sure that what he's/she's paying for is also what is he/she using. In this case, he/she must have a dedicated server since that is also what he/she paid for. Now, there are a lot of ways to verify the server remotely and for me, the simplest way is to execute the command dmidecode -t system as what I mentioned in my previous message. But it is assumed that the underlying OS is GNU/Linux or other *Nix variants. – bintut Jan 14 '12 at 11:19
Good one! thanks – Book Of Zeus May 19 '14 at 11:31

Enter the command "df -h". If you see a virtual file system type, then that indicates you're on a virtual machine. For eg. "vzfs" is the Virtuozzo file system virtualization technology developed by Parallels, Inc.

What I see on my virtual private server:

# df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/vzfs              40G  3.7G   37G  10% /
none                  512M  4.0K  512M   1% /dev
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Here is what it looks like on one of my VPS: /dev/sda3 18G 16G 1.3G 93% / – kasperd Dec 2 '15 at 18:22

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