What’s the difference between ToolsVersionStatus and ToolsVersionStatus2

10/13/2015  |    2 minute read

Recently, I had a customer who wanted to check if the VMware Tools were installed and up-to-date using PowerCLI.

A relatively easy way to do this is with a VirtualMachine view or the ExtensionData of a VM object :

C:\> $VMView = Get-VM -Name Test-VM | Get-View
C:\> $VMView.Summary.Guest

GuestId             :
GuestFullName       :
ToolsStatus         : toolsNotRunning
ToolsVersionStatus  : guestToolsCurrent
ToolsVersionStatus2 : guestToolsCurrent
ToolsRunningStatus  : guestToolsNotRunning
HostName            :
IpAddress           :
DynamicType         :
DynamicProperty     :

Looking at the above output, his question was :

“Should I use ToolsVersionStatus or ToolsVersionStatus2 ?
What is the difference between these two ?”

He was using vSphere 5.5, so a good place to start is the vSphere API Reference Documentation for vSphere 5.5.

But searching in the vSphere API reference is kind of a needle in the haystack thing. So the first thing we need to do is to identify exactly what we are looking for, that is : which object type.

The .NET method GetType is generally good at telling us the exact type of the object we are dealing with, so let’s use it :

C:\> $VMView.Summary.Guest.GetType()

IsPublic IsSerial Name                                     BaseType
-------- -------- ----                                     --------
True     False    VirtualMachineGuestSummary               VMware.Vim.DynamicData

So in this case, we need to look for the type [VirtualMachineGuestSummary] in the Data Object Types section :


After locating VirtualMachineGuestSummary in the long list of data object types, we can see the properties for this type :

Name Description
toolsVersionStatus Deprecated. As of vSphere API 5.0 use toolsVersionStatus2.

Current version status of VMware Tools in the guest operating system, if known.
toolsVersionStatus2 Current version status of VMware Tools in the guest operating system, if known.

Since vSphere API 5.0

So the property toolsVersionStatus is deprecated and its younger brother should be used if we use the vSphere API 5.0 or later.

This leads more questions :

What if the vCenter Server is 5.5 but it has some old 4.x ESXi hosts and I might connect PowerCLI directly to these hosts ?
How can I verify which version of the vSphere API I am querying ?

It is pretty simple because we already have a VirtualMachine view $VMView and PowerCLI views have a property named Version which is nested in Client and provides the API version for the current view :

C:\> $VMView.Client

Version          : Vim55
VimService       : VimApi_55.VimService
ServiceContent   : VMware.Vim.ServiceContent
ServiceUrl       :
ServiceTimeout   : 100000
CertificateError : System.EventHandler`1[VMware.Vim.CertificateErrorEventArg]

So, to verify if the tools are up-to-date or not, taking into account a possible ESXi 4.x host, we could do something like this :

If ( $($VMView.Client.Version.ToString()) -like "Vim4*" ) {

    $Props = @{
        Name = $VM.Name
        ToolsVersionStatus = $VM.ExtensionData.Summary.Guest.ToolsVersionStatus
Else {
    $Props = @{
        Name = $VM.Name
        ToolsVersionStatus = $VM.ExtensionData.Summary.Guest.ToolsVersionStatus2
$CustomObj = New-Object -TypeName PSObject -Property $Props 

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