We report on the characterization, thanks to Raman spectroscopy and imaging of tensely strained Si films pseudomorphically grown on (001), (110), and (111) SiGe virtual substrates. The samples studied here are those described in the work of Destefanis etal [J. Appl. Phys 106, 043508 (2009)]. They consist in 17-nm-thick strained Si layers grown at 650 °C with SiH4 as a gaseous precursor on top of polished SiGe virtual substrates of various surface orientations. We first derived the exact component array of the strain/stress field along the different growth directions. Because the relation between strain or stress and the Raman frequencies are complex, we also derive the strain-shift coefficients for the different substrate orientations considered in this work and the polarization selection rules. Visible and near-UV Raman spectroscopies were used to extract the in-plane lattice parameter of the SiGe virtual substrates and the tensile strain in the thin Si epitaxial layers on top. We have notably investigated thanks to Raman imaging the in-plane distribution of strain in Si layer/SiGe buffer stacks grown on (110) and (111) Si substrates. Original surface arrays have been highlighted for each surface orientation. Promising results have been obtained for (110) SiGe virtual substrates in terms of strain and layer quality while the technological usefulness of the (111) ones is more questionable.