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VMWare: how to find VMS by IP or MAC address

by | Dec 12, 2020

In VMWare: would you like to know how to find VMS by IP or mac address? Take a peek at this blog.

Here at Bobcares, we have seen several such VMWare related errors as part of our Server Management Services for web hosts and online service providers.

Today we will take a look at how to find VMS by IP or mac address


VMWare: how to find VMS by IP or mac address

In the VMWare vSphere Client interface, we can search virtual machines by their names only. But in a few cases, it is necessary to find the specific VMWare virtual machine by its IP or MAC (NIC hardware) address.

Now let’s take a look at how our Support Engineers find the VMS using IP address

From Virtual Machine Settings, we can find the MAC address. Then in the Network Section, we click the Advanced button and read the MAC address. After that, in the console, we execute: arp -a

C:\>arp -a
Interface: --- 0xb
Internet Address Physical Address Type b8-ac-6f-cb-a1-80 dynamic 78-2b-cb-aa-51-bf dynamic

Interface: --- 0x1c
Internet Address Physical Address Type 00-0c-29-56-bd-36 dynamic ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff static

In this case, the IP is

It is easier to find specific VMWare virtual machines by using the VMWare PowerCLI that allows to search by different virtual machine parameters.

We run the PowerCLI console and connect to the vCenter Server or ESXi host using the below command:

Connect-VIServer -User administrator


Find VMS by MAC address

In order to find a virtual machine by its MAC address, we use these commands:

Get-VM | Get-NetworkAdapter | Where-Object {$_.MacAddress –eq $vmMAC } | Select-Object Parent,Name,MacAddress

Also, we can search for a specific MAC address directly in the virtual machine configuration files (VMX) on the VMFS datastore. For that, we connect to the ESXi host via SSH and run the below command:

find /vmfs/volumes | grep .vmx$ | while read i; do grep -i "00:52:32:DD:12:91" "$i" && echo "$i"; done


Finding VMS by IP address

If we have VMWare Tools installed on the virtual machines, we search by the IP address of the guest operating system. Here is the command that we run to find a VM with the specific IP address

Get-VM * |where-object{$_.Guest.IPAddress -eq $vmIP}|select Name, VMHost, PowerState,GuestId,@{N="IP Address";E={@($_.guest.IPAddress[0])}}|ft

In case, if we only know a part of the IP address, then we run the below command:

Get-VM * |where-object{$_.Guest.IPAddress -match $vmIP}|select Name, VMHost, PowerState,@{N="IP Address";E={@($_.guest.IPAddress[0])}} ,@{N="OS";E={$_.Guest.OSFullName}},@{N="Hostname";E={$_.Guest.HostName}}|ft

As a result, the command will list the names and types of installed OSs of all virtual machines whose IP addresses match this pattern.

[Need any further assistance in fixing VMWare queries? – We are here to help you]



Today, we saw how our Support Engineers find VMS by IP or mac address.


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