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Windows Management Instrumentation

Project description

What is it?

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is Microsoft’s implementation of Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), an industry initiative to provide a Common Information Model (CIM) for pretty much any information about a computer system.

The Python WMI module is a lightweight wrapper on top of the pywin32 extensions, and hides some of the messy plumbing needed to get Python to talk to the WMI API. It’s pure Python and should work with any version of Python from 2.1 onwards (list comprehensions) and any recent version of pywin32.

Where do I get it?

How do I install it?

When all’s said and done, it’s just a module. But for those who like setup programs:

python install

It’s also pip/easy_install-able

How do I use it?

There’s a tutorial here:, and some examples at: but as a quick taster, try this, to show all stopped services:

import wmi

c = wmi.WMI ()
for s in c.Win32_Service ():
  if s.State == 'Stopped':
    print s.Caption, s.State


If you’re running a recent Python (2.1+) on a recent Windows (2k, 2k3, XP) and you have Mark Hammond’s win32 extensions installed, you’re probably up-and-running already. Otherwise…


If you’re running Win9x / NT4 you’ll need to get WMI support from Microsoft. Microsoft URLs change quite often, so I suggest you do this:

Python (just in case you didn’t know)

pywin32 (was win32all) Specifically, builds 154/155 fixed a problem which affected the WMI moniker construction. You can still work without this fix, but some more complex monikers will fail.


(NB my own experience over several systems is that this step isn’t necessary. However, if you have problems…) You may have to compile makepy support for some typelibs. The following are reported to be significant:

Microsoft WMI Scripting Library WMI ADSI Extension Type Library WMICntl Type Library

If you’ve not done this before, start the PythonWin environment, select Tools > Com Makepy utility from the menu, select the library by name, and click [OK].

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