If you need to access the Host operating system’s hard disk from the Guest operating system which is running on Oracle’s Virtual Box, here is the process. Host OS is the one where you are primarily logging into your computer and installed the Virtual Box. Guest OS are the operating systems installed on the Virtual Box. I usually keep all my source and executable files on the host operating system, so that they can be accessed from the different Guest OS running on Virtual Box. This also minimizes file duplicates and saves your internet bandwidth. Virtual Box also allows you to write files from Guest OS to a shared folder in the Host OS when the shared setting is write enabled.
Open the VirtualBox Manager. Stop the Guest OS if it is running already (You can also setup a shared folder from the Guest OS, but we are setting it now from the VirtualBox Manager).
Select the desired Guest OS and open the Settings window
Click on the Shared Folders item on the left side of the Settings window
Click on the + Folder Icon on the right portion of the Shared Folders Settings window
Select / Enter the Host OS folder which you want to access from the Guest OS
Give a name to the shared folder. It can be any thing. The below dialog is would be slightly different depending on how you are accessing this window.
- Read-only: Make the shared folder read-only to the Guest OS. Un-check the Read-only if you want the Guest OS to write data to the shared folder of the Host OS
- Auto-mount: When checked, the Guest OS will try to automatically mount the shared folder on startup.
- Make Permanent: If checked, this shared folder would be permanent (*This option would show only with in the Guest OS or when the Guest OS is running currently)
Now the folder is shared. You can access the folder with in the virtual machine. The Access column in the below image would show “Full” if you deselect the Read-only option in the above image.
Possible Error: If you make changes to the Shared Folder settings when the Virtual Machine of some Guest OS is running, the the below warning dialog would be showing in the Guest OS Virtual Machine. What ever the changes you are making to these settings would take effect only in the next session.