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I am attempting to determine the "hardware" version of numerous VMWare VMs. I don't have access to the vSphere console.

The VMWare Tools Service is installed, and C:\Program Files\VMWare\VMWare Tools\vmtoolsd.exe --cmd "info-get" looks promising, however I cannot find any details about what key name to specify.

Is there some other method such as looking at VMWare device driver versions or perhaps a wmic query?

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    Why don't you have access to the console, and what do you intend to do with the hardware version information once you have it? Can you provide a little more context on the end goal?
    – ewwhite
    Oct 30 '15 at 14:33
  • I was attempting to audit the configuration of hundreds of VMs - looking for anomalies that might explain performance issues on some of them. I have access to run executables in the VMs, and was hoping to exploit that ability as a way to understand exactly how the host is configured. Oct 30 '15 at 15:42
  • No problem - I'm working on something where we actually do have access to vsphere; but querying it for the hardware information would dramatically slow down the process - I would want to query the host itself to get the hardware info (and some other info as well). We already do this with VMWareToolboxCmd.exe to get ballooned memory.
    – EGr
    Oct 30 '15 at 16:06
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    @HannahVernon This is basically a case for vRealize Operations or some high-level VM management tool. The VM hardware level beyond a certain point won't have many performance implications.
    – ewwhite
    Oct 30 '15 at 16:42
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    There is a lot of info about the vmtoolsd command, but it appears to be related to vApp/OVF options. The proper syntax is --cmd "info-get guestinfo.<variable>" where <variable> is a custom variable set under the vApp options. Google "vmtoolsd guestinfo" for more information. I also tried correlating the BIOS version to the hardware version and didn't find anything useful. I think your best bet may PowerCLI or a Perl script. I would also work with your VMware administrators to generate a report. VM Hardware level doesn't generally have performance implicications anymore as ewwhite said. Nov 3 '15 at 2:06
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+50

In theory what you are asking should be possible.

however it appears it isn't particularly well implemented by VMWare.

The extended options should be query-able from the guest with VMToolsd.exe available, as you correctly say. However it doesn't seem to work.

vmtoolsd.exe --cmd "info-get virtualHW.version"

Should return the hardware version contained in the vmx file, however it doesn't.

a post in this thread by simonbaev seems to highlight a problem, requiring hypervisor level changes to allow this information to be queried from the guest : https://communities.vmware.com/message/2184934

$ vmware-cmd --config esxi-24 "[DS_104.24_150] LTSP2/LTSP2.vmx" setguestinfo myTest "hello world"  
setguestinfo(myTest hello world) = 1  
$ vmware-cmd --config esxi-24 "[DS_104.24_150] LTSP2/LTSP2.vmx" getguestinfo myTest  
getguestinfo(myTest) = hello world  
$ vmtoolsd --cmd "info-get guestinfo.myTest"  
No value found  
$ vmtoolsd --cmd "info-get myTest"  
Invalid key name supplied  
$ vmware-cmd --config esxi-24 "[DS_104.24_150] LTSP2/LTSP2.vmx" setguestinfo guestinfo.myTest "bla-bla-bla"  
setguestinfo(guestinfo.myTest bla-bla-bla) = 1  
$ vmware-cmd --config esxi-24 "[DS_104.24_150] LTSP2/LTSP2.vmx" getguestinfo guestinfo.myTest  
getguestinfo(guestinfo.myTest) = bla-bla-bla  
$ vmtoolsd --cmd "info-get guestinfo.myTest"  
bla-bla-bla  

Meaning you'd need assistance from your virtualisation team to get that information displayed as you need it.

However at that point you may as well just get them to run a script to extract that information in a way that doesn't require them to hack about with configuration files of all their production servers (and probably have to reboot everything too).

eg in PowerCLI

Get-VM | Get-VMAdvancedConfiguration -key virtualHW.version
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  • Nice, thanks! The powercli option is probably best, but I knew there had to be another way.
    – EGr
    Nov 5 '15 at 18:14

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