How To Share Files In VirtualBox With Vista Guest And Ubuntu Host

microsoft_vista-logoFor some of you who have setup Windows Vista as the guest VM in your Ubuntu Virtualbox, you might have some difficulties in getting the Vista guest to access the shared folder in your Ubuntu host. If you are having this problem, here is the way to mount the shared folder on your Vista guest.

First of all, make sure you have already installed both VirtualBox and Windows Vista guest. If you have not, here is the complete installation guide.

Secondly, make sure you have updated your VirtualBox to the latest version (2.0.4). There are some issues in the earlier version which will cause the mounting to fail.

In your Ubuntu machine, open up Virtualbox (Applications -> System Tools -> virtualBox).

Highlight the Vista VM entry (make sure that it is in Powered off state) and click on the Settings icon at the top.

Virtualbox Vista Settings

On the left, click on the Network. On the right, make sure that the Enable Network Adaptor and Cable Connected are checked.

Virtualbox Network setting

On the left, click on the Shared Folders. Then, click on the virtualbox add share folder icon on the far right.

Select the folder that you want to use as a share point. Give it a name.

Virtualbox add share path

Virtualbox share folder

Click OK to close the Settings window.

Boot up your Vista VM.

Install the guest addition. (Skip this step if you have already done so)


Restart the Vista VM.

Open your Windows Explorer, click on the Map Network Drive


In the Folder input text, enter


where sharename is the name of the share folder that you add just now. Make sure that the Reconnect at logon is checked. Click Finish


You should now see the shared folder mounted as a network drive.


That’s it.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. @pathaniya: The step is exactly the same for Windows XP except that the “Map Network Drive” is found at the menubar under Tools section (Tools -> Map Network Drive)

  2. Hello,

    But how to do it when you have a Windows Vista host and an Ubuntu 8.10 guest (under Virtualbox)? I want to share a Vista folder with my Ubuntu 8.10 on virtualbox.

    1. Assuming the name of the share folder is “Share”.

      First create a folder in your Home directory and name it “Share”.

      Run the following command in the terminal to mount the share folder

      sudo mount -t vboxsf Share ~/Share.

      You should be able to access the share folder via your Home directory.

  3. Hi,

    I tried the above procedures but after mapping the network drive, I couldn’t access My Computer anymore. I tried removing it and My Computer worked perfectly fine. How can I resolve this problem?

    Also, I couldn’t get my usb ports to work.

    I would appreciate any help.


  4. Running Vista in a VB. It complains not available network or network cable unplugged. :(

    Cable Connected = TRUE

    1. If you set NAT as the connection option in the Settings page, the Internet should work out of the box (if your host is connected to the Web). I have not tried the other options yet.

  5. Your solution worked fine, quality advice really.
    Yet I have another question and it is regarding USB devices. Is an Ubuntu host and XP SP3 guest. The options to connect an USB device are greyed out…except the printer. I have set them up in the VB settings checked the filters but no way to access the USB drives or pen drive connected to PC even though they are recognized and mounted by Ubuntu.
    Thank you

    1. Few things you need to do to get your USB drive working:

      1) Make sure you are not using the OSE version.

      2) Upgrade your Virtualbox to the latest version 2.2

      3) Set up the USB filter in the Settings page. Make sure that the boxes “enable USB controller” and “enable USB 2.0(EHCI) controller” are checked.

      4) Install Guest addition

      5) Mount your USB drive in your computer before starting Virtualbox.

      6) In your VM, go to Devices -> USB Devices and select the respective USB devices.

  6. Thanks by tutorial! this help me very much! The way to share folder to gues PC in Virtual Box is very diferent then Microsoft Virtual PC.

  7. Hello,

    Running Ubuntu 8.10 as a host and XP as guest. The version of the xVM Box is 2.1.4 . USB drives do not mount on the guest.
    I am a noob for Ubuntu, but following some intructions here I managed to get the USB drives as shared folders since they mount ok under the host.
    I read to update the xVM and using the option in the xVM menu tells me that is already uptodate 2.1.4….Then I downloaded version 2.2 but the installer tells me that there is already a xVM installed. I feel I should uninstall version 2.1.4 but what will happen with the XP guest virtual disk that I have already created with the guest?
    I think the installer for version 2.2 should have the option to update the older version, or clean install altogether. May be someone here could help me update xVM without uninstalling it?

    Thank you,

  8. You have to remove the version 2.1.4 before you can install 2.2. Rest assure that your virtual disk and all settings are not removed. After you have installed version 2.2, you should find all your settings still intact.

    I have tested the USB support in version 2.2. It works!

  9. Hi Damien,

    Well thank you for the tip on uninstalling xVM and installing xVM2.2….I did not loose the image …uuupi !
    But. there is always something…I did not fix the issue with the USB devices appearing to guest windws as USB. My workaround has been accessing them as sharefolders.
    Still I want, to learn basically, those USB not greyed out in the menu of xVM and be able to access them as what they are, USB disks.
    Somewhee I read that it could be an issue with Intrepid (8.10) and the way they are installed by the system…remember I am still a noob, do you think you could help me ?


  10. I did connect the shared folders on a ubuntu 8.10 host with a Windows 7 guest build 7100. It works, though I cannot read or write to these drives from other programs than the windows explorer. Does anyone have any idea? it works fine with a Windows XP guest or even a Windows 98 guest.

  11. Now I tried again and using \vboxsvrsharename after I connected this share in the Virtualbox settings and it worked.

    I’m happy!

  12. This worked as a charm! Thanks allot, I’ve been working for ages trying to figure this one out.

  13. Hi everyone, I did this once and it worked perfectly running Ubuntu 9.04 as my host, and windows xp through VirtualBox. Since then I’ve formated my computer and now I’m trying to set it up again, but it won’t work. It keeps “folder not found” when I type in \vboxsvrnameof my folder

    Can anyone give me some tips? I’ve read over everything multiple times, the only thing I’m thinking is maybe my router is blocking the sharing fuction? I dunno! o_O

    1. @jo31: It works. I am using VB 2.2.4, Ubuntu 9.04 and XP SP3 and I have no problems accessing the shared folder. Perhaps you want to check your configuration again.

  14. Thanks!! I am running Jaunty 9.04 and Vista in-the-box, and this is what I was needing. Thanks for making it so clear….now if there is something regarding the xorg.config…as my screen is off center……but that is future project. Thanks again! Ubuntu can be amazing, frustrating, but a good solid system.

  15. I need help
    I have a MAC and I installed Parallel and on this VM I installed Ubunto and Vista. now I want to use USB but it doesnt work in ubunto. i want to share some files and i dont know what should do. pls. advise me.
    many thanks

  16. Hi i am beginner and working on ubuntu environment.

    I have installed ubuntu 9.04 on my machine (host) , virtual box 3.0.8 for virtual machine which is also ubuntu 9.04.

    I am facing a problem during networking between host machine and virtual machine installed on vBox. when i send a ping command from virtual machine to host its works, while host to virtual machine it doesn’t work. thanks for advanced.

  17. Thank you Vey much mate.

    It worked perfectly on my Host Ubuntu and Guest XP.

    Thanks once again.

  18. I’m just discovering the wonders of Virtual box. This feature is just so cool having used VMware earlier! :))

  19. I was able to get this working before with no problems but now i just couldn’t seem to do even when i spent a while searching the web. But then i came across this tutorial and now it works :) Thanks for saving me hours of frustration :D

  20. Awesome guideline! Even better than the guidelines on . Keep up the good work.

  21. So then I muttered loudly “That's it!!??”. Damien, I can't believe how simple you made this for me. It actually worked without retracing steps and has saved me hours of mucking around.
    Much and all as I love command line and the power of sudo, you've just shown how easy GUI makes things.

  22. thanks, great tutorial.
    but i'm looking for something else.
    if on windows guest i have a folder c:temp ,
    how can i access it from ubuntu (host)?

  23. On your WinXP, first connect to the Ubuntu host. Next create a symlink from the C:temp folder to a location in the sharing folder. That's it.

  24. hey,

    I'm using virtualbox on a fedora host and a Windows 7 guest. For some reason, it says “cannot find \vboxsvrshare” when I try this. Any idea where I'm going wrong?

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