Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Identify EC2 Instances in a Mixed Computing Environment

If you are running computer resources on another cloud infrastructure, such as Azure or Google Cloud Platform, or if you use on-premises virtualization from VMware, Xen, or KVM, you may benefit from a simple method to determine whether a virtual machine is an EC2 instance. This topic describes two approaches to identifying an EC2 instance, one of them quick but potentially inaccurate, and the other more involved but also definitive.

Inspecting the Xen Domain UUID

The methods described in this section determine optimistically whether a Windows virtual machine is an EC2 instance by examining the Xen domain UUID. This approach looks for the presence of the characters "EC" in the beginning octet of the UUID.


There is a small chance that a Xen instance not in EC2 could also include these characters.

You can discover the Xen UUID using the approaches below. For information about identifying Linux instances, see

  • On a Windows VM, you can use the Windows Management Instrumentation command line (WMIC):

    C:\>wmic path win32_computersystemproduct get uuid

    This returns the UUID:

    UUID 8D7126EC-E6BC-C83B-5EA2-01234EXAMPLE

    In this example, the appended "EC" indicates that you are probably looking at an EC2 instance.

  • Alternatively, you can use PowerShell:

    PS C:\>Get-WmiObject -query "select uuid from Win32_ComputerSystemProduct" | Select UUID

    This returns:

    UUID ---- 8D7126EC-E6BC-C83B-5EA2-01234EXAMPLE

Inspecting the Instance Identity Document

For a definitive and cryptographically verified method of identifying an EC2 instance, check the instance identity document, including its signature. These documents are available on every EC2 instance at the local, non-routable address For more information, see Instance Identity Documents .