What’s the difference between ToolsVersionStatus and ToolsVersionStatus2

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

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

PS C:\> $VMView = Get-VM -Name Test-VM | Get-View

PS 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 what are we looking for ?
To search in the API documentation, we first need to know the type of the object we are investigating :

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

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


So, in our case we are going to look for the data object type : VirtualMachineGuestSummary.

API documentation

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

toolsVersionStatus :
Deprecated. As of vSphere API 5.0 use toolsVersionStatus2. Current version status of VMware Tools in the guest operating system, if known. Since vSphere API 4.0

toolsVersionStatus2 :
Current version status of VMware Tools in the guest operating system, if known.
Since vSphere API 5.0

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

This leads to yet another question : 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 :

PS 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 check 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
Else {
        $Props = @{'Name'=$VM.Name
$CustomObj = New-Object -TypeName psobject -Property $Props


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