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virtualization resource

Use the virtualization Chef InSpec audit resource to test the virtualization platform on which the system is running.



This resource is distributed with Chef InSpec and is automatically available for use.


This resource first became available in v1.28.0 of InSpec.


An virtualization resource block declares the virtualization platform that should be tested:

describe virtualization do
  its('system') { should MATCHER 'value' }


  • ('system') is the name of the system information of the virtualization platform (e.g. docker, lxc, vbox, kvm, etc)
  • MATCHER is a valid matcher for this resource
  • 'value' is the value to be tested


The following examples show how to use this Chef InSpec audit resource.

Test for Docker

describe virtualization do
  its('system') { should eq 'docker' }

Test for VirtualBox

describe virtualization do
  its('system') { should eq 'vbox' }
  its('role') { should eq 'guest' }

Detect the virtualization platform

if virtualization.system == 'vbox'
  describe package('name') do
    it { should be_installed }


For a full list of available matchers, see our Universal Matchers page.

This resource has the following special matchers.

virtualization.virtual_system? Helper

This helper returns, if any of the supported virtualization platforms was detected and the machine under test is a guest. You can use this in a only_if { virtual_system? } clause to execute test only on virtualized systems.

virtualization.physical_system? Helper

If no virtualization platform is detected, this will return true. For unsupported virtualization platforms this can result in false positives.

virtualization.system names

The resource supports the following virtualization platforms:

On Linux machines:

  • docker (guest role only)
  • hyper-v (guest role only)
  • kvm
  • linux vserver
  • lxc / lxd
  • openstack (host role only)
  • openvz
  • parallels (guest role only)
  • virtualbox
  • vmware (guest role only)
  • xen

On Windows machines (guest role only)

  • hyper-v
  • kvm
  • vmware
  • virtualbox
  • xen


Can be either

  • guest
  • host

Please see the documentation on virtualization.system to check supported roles per platform.

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