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tl;dr: How to access folder shared in host system from within Yosemite run in VirtualBox (guest)?

I have added a shared folder in my VirtualBox (went to virtual machine's settings, then to Shared Folder and added a new shared folder path there). But since I'm a complete newbiew to MacOS (this is actually one of the first times, I see this system) I'm completely lost, where I can access this shared folder or how can I mount it in Finder.

I have tried everything, I could come with. Tried to browse all the folders (including Shared) in Finder or is some other open dialog, tried to browse my home (root) folder etc. No effect so far.

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    Please add the host operating system and the network connection of the Yosemite guest (right-click VM > Settings > Network > Adapter 1 (and/or 2, 3 etc) – klanomath Sep 13 '16 at 21:48
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    What OS is the guest OS in VirtualBox?<br> Do you have VirtualBox guest additions installed? – Snacking_IT Sep 13 '16 at 22:39
  • @klanomath I'll provide you with details evening (my time) as don't have access to that computer right now; all I can tell now, is that I'm using VM's default settings, because I didn't change anything in Network section. – trejder Sep 14 '16 at 6:48
  • @Snacking_IT It seems, that I mentioned "Yosemite" in the first line of my question. Isn't that to vague specification? What more details (version etc.) you expect me to provide. Plus: yes, VM's are installed. As document linked by you says, I wouldn't be able to use shared folders in my VM without these additions installed, because "bare" VM does not provide this functionality. – trejder Sep 14 '16 at 6:50
  • @all Any explanation of the downvote? Something is wrong with this question? Off-topic? – trejder Sep 14 '16 at 6:50
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AFAIK the shared folder feature of VirtualBox only works with the VirtualBox guest additions. The additions can't be installed in a OS X/macOS guest. Thus you can't use this feature.

Instead share a folder in the OS X/macOS guest system by enabling "File Sharing" in System Preferences > Sharing > File Sharing.

If the default public user folder is not sufficient, add another folder and determine user permissions. The protocol can be chosen by hitting the "Options" button.


Depending on your host system you can also configure a shared folder there.


Visibility of the guest's shared folder:

Let's assume the host system's only physical network interface (e.g. an Ethernet adapter) has an IP in the network 192.168.0.0/24.

If you attach the guest's network adapter to the Bridged network > (Host's) Ethernet adapter and configure the guest's Ethernet adapter with a (unique) IP of the 192.168.0.0/24 network, the shared folder of the guest is visible for all hosts and virtual hosts in the 192.168.0.0/24 network. To access the folder your hosts have to talk afp, smb (or nfs - which has to be set up seperately) of course.

If you attach the guest's network adapter to the Host-only network > vboxnet0, the shared folder of the guest is visible for all guest hosts attached to the vboxnet0 network on the same machine and the host machine itself.

If you attach the guest's network adapter to a NAT network > vboxnatnet01, the shared folder of the guest is visible for all guest hosts attached to the vboxnatnet01 network on the same machine and the host machine itself. If you enable port forwarding properly the shared folder is also visible for other hosts or virtual hosts in the 192.168.0.0/24 network.

  • I think I missing something from your answer. If I share a folder in my guest system, as you wrote, will I be able to access it from host system (from outside VirtualBox)? I think, not. It will be shared only among my macOS users, entirely inside my guest system, right? Correct me, if I'm wrong. – trejder Sep 15 '16 at 18:37
  • Any chance I can mount VB's file system using my guest macOS just as they did this in guest Debian / Ubuntu (here and here)? I'm total macOS newbie, but I heard that it is based on Unix/Linux. Would that be possible? – trejder Sep 15 '16 at 18:40
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    @trejder Depending on your VB network settings you can share the folder on the guest machine to the whole network. I will add an addendum to my answer. – klanomath Sep 16 '16 at 0:10
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    If you are still having trouble with the above answer, then just try this: switch your VirtualBox config Networking to Bridged. Then the VM showed up on my host network. (Thanks klanomath) – Ross R Aug 6 '18 at 23:09
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I installed "Guest Additions" on macOS High Sierra to solve this problem:

  1. (Menu VB) Devices -> Insert Guest Additions CD image ...
  2. It appears in the VM "Oracle VM VirtualBox Guest Addition" icon
  3. Open it and start the installation

To use a shared Folder:

  1. (Menu VB) Devices -> Shared Folders
  2. In the folder list, select andconfirm a directory on the host machine
  3. Restart VM

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