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Virtualisation - Is my dedicated server a virtual dedicated server?
strange setup suggests I may be in the Matrix

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3429798 posted 9:06 am on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)


I've recently got a new dedicated server (rented in a datacenter) that has been sold as a full dedicated server - and questions about this have not yet been answered.

How can I tell if my dedicated server is actually running within a larger system as a virtual dedicated server? I have root and apparent 'full' control over the system, but I know this could all be virtual.

Also, dmesg shows the following message:
"booting paravirtualized kernel on bare hardware"

Which only furthers my suspicions. Should I be concerned? I tried Scoopy Doo but this only showed 1 result (from Scoopy) to say it was VMware - the other two results came back negative, and all results from Doo came back negative.

The root file system, /, is very different from the root filesystem at /proc/1/root (or, for that matter, some other /proc/#*$!XX/root) and most of the important programs - such as DJBDNS and ClamAV - are located in this 'other' root system. Causing huge troubles as running programs in this 'other' root system references files that it thinks appear in, say, /usr/bin/#*$!x but actually appear in /proc/1/root/usr/bin (for example)...

Any thoughts appreciated!




5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3429798 posted 11:49 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Paravirtualized kernel means that the kernel can do paravirtualization, not necessarily that the kernel is running in a virtual machine. It's a subtype of virtualization, I think it means there is hardware support for the virtualization (specific cpu instruction sets). If it were a virtual machine, then you'd just run a normal kernel in the VM, but a paravirt kernel on the "real" box. (My virtualization knowledge and terminology is a tad rusty.)

If it's a dedicated server, and you can do whatever you want with it, then run some standard benchmarks and see if it's as fast as it should be.

You could also look at what kernel modules/device drivers are loaded for clues.

And finally you could try to find cpu instructions that would not work in a VM and write a program around them (or find one) and see what happens.

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