Mark Needham

Thoughts on Software Development

A crude way of telling if a remote machine is a VM

without comments

We were doing a bit of profiling of a data importing process we’ve been running across various environments and wanted to check whether or not one of the environments was a physical machine or a VM.

A bit of googling first led me to the following site where you can fill a MAC address and it will tell you which vendor it belongs to. is even better though because it’s more easily scriptable!

If I wanted to find the vendor of my MAC address on the ethernet port I could try the following:

ifconfig | grep -A1 en1 | grep ether | cut -d" " -f2 | xargs -I {} curl -s{} -o - | sed -e :a -e 's/<[^>]*>//g;/</N;//ba'

Which gives:

Vendor: Apple Inc

Sed magic was shamelessly stolen from sed one liners.

As it turns out the machine we wanted to learn about was a VM hosted on VMWare!

Written by Mark Needham

July 27th, 2011 at 10:31 pm