Index · Directives systemd 228


systemd-detect-virt — Detect execution in a virtualized environment


systemd-detect-virt [OPTIONS...]


systemd-detect-virt detects execution in a virtualized environment. It identifies the virtualization technology and can distinguish full VM virtualization from container virtualization. systemd-detect-virt exits with a return value of 0 (success) if a virtualization technology is detected, and non-zero (error) otherwise. By default, any type of virtualization is detected, and the options --container and --vm can be used to limit what types of virtualization are detected.

When executed without --quiet will print a short identifier for the detected virtualization technology. The following technologies are currently identified:

Table 1. Known virtualization technologies (both VM, i.e. full hardware virtualization, and container, i.e. shared kernel virtualization)

VMqemuQEMU software virtualization
kvmLinux KVM kernel virtual machine
zvms390 z/VM
vmwareVMware Workstation or Server, and related products
microsoftHyper-V, also known as Viridian or Windows Server Virtualization
oracleOracle VM VirtualBox (historically marketed by innotek and Sun Microsystems)
xenXen hypervisor (only domU, not dom0)
bochsBochs Emulator
umlUser-mode Linux
parallelsParallels Desktop, Parallels Server
lxcLinux container implementation by LXC
lxc-libvirtLinux container implementation by libvirt
systemd-nspawnsystemd's minimal container implementation, see systemd-nspawn(1)
dockerDocker container manager
rktrkt app container runtime

If multiple virtualization solutions are used, only the "innermost" is detected and identified. That means if both VM virtualization and container virtualization are used in conjunction, only the latter will be identified (unless --vm is passed).


The following options are understood:

-c, --container

Only detects container virtualization (i.e. shared kernel virtualization).

-v, --vm

Only detects VM virtualization (i.e. full hardware virtualization).

-r, --chroot

Detect whether invoked in a chroot(2) environment. In this mode, no output is written, but the return value indicates whether the process was invoked in a chroot() environment or not.

-q, --quiet

Suppress output of the virtualization technology identifier.

-h, --help

Print a short help text and exit.


Print a short version string and exit.

Exit status

If a virtualization technology is detected, 0 is returned, a non-zero code otherwise.

See Also

systemd(1), systemd-nspawn(1), chroot(2)