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How do I share folders between my Windows 7 Host and Linux Mint 16 Guest using VirtualBox?

Posted on 2014-01-06
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Last Modified: 2014-01-14
Hi:

I'm a newbie to the world of VirtualBox, Linux Mint and such.

I'm in the process of setting up a Linux Mint VM on my Windows 7 machine.

I'm currently trying to set up a folder that I can share for uploads/downloads
between my Windows 7 Host Machine and my Linux Mint 16 Guest.

I powered down my VM and created a (permanent) shared folder (pointing to
a directory on C: drive).

I've googled around and found tons of different ways to do this (I found it quite
confusing).

Can someone point to an easy straight forward method for achieving this?

Thanks,
JohnB
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Question by:jxbma
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Expert Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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The simplest way is to use, Shared Folders, which is a special function included in Guest Additions.

Have you installed Guest Additions in your Linux VM?

https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html

https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#sharedfolders

Then configure Shared Folders as follows in your VM

HOWTO: Use Shared Folders
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by:jxbma
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I'm still not quite there.
Sorry if I can't seem to get this yet.

So far I've:

1) Installed the Guest Additions to my Linux VM
2) Added the Shared Folder through the settings dialog of my VM in VirtualBox UI
3) Created a folder off my home directory in the VM

At this point I'm trying to mount the drive, but can't quite figure out the format of the command.

I'm trying to use the following command:
VirtualBox Share Name: FooShare
Directory defined in VM home: SharedFolder

sudo mount -t vboxsf FooShare ~/SharedFolder

Clearly this is not correct.
Can you please help point out where the train came off the tracks for me?

Thanks,
JohnB
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Author Comment

by:jxbma
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sudo mount -t vboxsf FooShare ~/home/instance/SharedFolder

It appears that I mount the shared drive successfully.
I don't see any error messages.

However when I either attempt to go to that folder and do an "ls " command in Terminal, or navigate to "SharedFolder" through the file browser, my mouse cursor turns into a "wait cursor" and just basically spins.

Is this a permissions problem?
I'm logged in as "root".

Thanks,
JohnB
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Expert Comment

by:Mazdajai
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What is path on the c:\? Can you post the following ?
ls -lah ~/home/instance/SharedFolder

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Author Comment

by:jxbma
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Hi Mazdajai:

When I run the following command:
ls -lah ~/home/instance/SharedFolder

I get the following error message:
ls: cannot access /home/instance/SharedFolder: No such file or directory

This is weird because I can see it from the Terminal session and the file browser.

JB
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Expert Comment

by:Mazdajai
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Can post the commands you enter?

' ~/home/instance/SharedFolder' is different than '/home/instance/SharedFolder'

Can yo try -
mkdir /mnt/SharedFolder
sudo mount -t vboxsf FooShare /mnt/SharedFolder
ls -lah /mnt/SharedFolder

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by:jxbma
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Mazdajai:

The behavior is exactly the same.
The steps you suggested are steps (unless I'm missing something) that I've tried previously.

It just "hangs" in terminal mode.
I can type characters into the next line.
Is it expecting additional parameters?

There has to be something basic that I'm missing here.
Thoughts?

JB
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Author Comment

by:jxbma
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Any more insight here?
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Expert Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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I've just tested this (with latest version of Virtualbox  4.3.6 r91406 and Linux Mint 16), and it does exactly the same thing, this is *NOT* normal. It hangs, when try to list the mounted folder.

the ls command should list the contents of the folder /mnt/sharedfolder

another option would be to connect to your Windows 7 Desktop via the Network.

see here

http://luhman.org/blog/2010/04/30/how-mount-windows-smb-shares-ubuntu-linux
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Expert Comment

by:Mazdajai
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Interesting... Have you run apt-get update? Assuming iptables / AppArmor or SeLinux is turned off?

I will reproduce this in my lab tonight.
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Accepted Solution

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Mazdajai earned 500 total points
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I have the same issue, this seems to be a known bug -

https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/36976

On the bottom line, you should able to write to the share.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jxbma
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Mmm. VirtualBox; a technology that's almost useful.
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Expert Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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@jxbma - should this have not been points split?
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