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Is there a way to tell if I am on a XEN or KVM linux server? Reason I asked is nothing is on top yet I am seeing load averages high well after I do tasks and I am getting hangs/spikes when I do simple tasks

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If you have sudo privileges you can run the following command to get information about the "hardware" that CentOS is running on:

sudo lshw

For example, the first few lines of output on one of my computers is:

description: Desktop Computer
product: Virtual Machine
vendor: Microsoft Corporation

A virtual machine from Microsoft? I'm running on Hyper-V.

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I don't have anything like that so this looks like a dedicated server. –  Rachel Nark May 18 '12 at 14:42
    
I don't know what kind of output one would get with KVM or XEN. There is always the possibility that they spoof actual hardware. Other than asking the system administrator, there may not be a way to definitively determine whether it is a virtual machine. –  William Jackson May 18 '12 at 16:28
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There is code that can detect this: http://ivanlef0u.fr/repo/windoz/rootkit/invisiblethings/redpill.html

You can also check dmesg and lspci.

Xen PV guest or Xen guests with PV drivers will have something xen-related in dmesg

http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/Xen_Linux_PV_on_HVM_drivers#Verifying_Xen_Linux_PVHVM_drivers_are_using_optimizations

dmesg | egrep -i 'xen|front

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