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I chose a new VPS host partially based on their use of VMware.

I have no reason to doubt that is the case, but would like to know if there is a way I can very the virtuilization platform from inside my CentOS based VPS.

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4 Answers

use dmidecode to extract info directly from the BIOS. VMWare has it's own unique bios string.

dmidecode --type BIOS
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This doesn't seem to work on my ESXi 5 systems which report a Phoenix BIOS –  Iain Jan 6 '12 at 16:42
    
Try --type 1 to get system info... or no parameters to get the full list. –  TheCompWiz Jan 6 '12 at 16:57
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Something like this would work too: dmidecode -s system-manufacturer –  Mattias Ahnberg Jan 6 '12 at 16:59
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You will probably see some "VMWare" branded devices listed in the output of dmesg if dmidecode somehow is not available.

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Install a tool like lshw to check.

Manual page at: http://linux.die.net/man/1/lshw
Download RPM at: http://pkgs.repoforge.org/lshw/

Example output:

centos5
    description: Computer
    product: VMware Virtual Platform ()
    vendor: VMware, Inc.
    version: None
    serial: VMware-56 4d 55 7b ca 7f 48 a4-be da c1 22 9b 5d f8 bf
    width: 64 bits
    capabilities: smbios-2.4 dmi-2.4 vsyscall64 vsyscall32
 [...]
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If they install VMware tools on the client there will be some way of recognising it, for example, the presence of vmware-uninstall-tools.pl or the VMwareTools rpm.

Failing that, you could also try installing VMware tools and see what happens...

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