How to Share a Local Folder with a Remote Host Running on VMWare

In this article, we are going to see how to share a local folder with a remote host running on VMWare Workstation. If you are someone wondering what VMWare Workstation is, it is a hypervisor that runs on X64 Linux and Windows operating systems providing features to run virtual machines.

You might also want to take a look at the Installation guide of the VMware workstation on Linux.

How to Enable Share Folder in VMWare Workstation

For the purpose of the demonstration, I am using Windows 10 as my base OS and Ubuntu 20.04 running as a remote host in my VMWare Workstation.

VMWare workstation → Right-click on remote host → Settings → options tab → shared folders.

VMWare Host Settings
VMWare Host Settings
VMWare Folder Sharing Options
VMWare Folder Sharing Options

By default shared folders options are disabled. There are two options we can use to share folders.

  1. Always enabled – Folder sharing will be enabled even when VM is Shutdown, Poweroff, or Suspended.
  2. Enabled until next power off or suspend – This is a temporary share. As long as VM is active or restarted the shared folder will remain active. Incase of VM in shutdown, power-off or suspended state share will be disabled. In that case, we have to re-enable the share again.

Choose the option and press “Add” to add the path from the localhost. It will open a dialog to choose the folder to share, select the folder then click Next.

Enable Share Folder in VMWare
Enable Share Folder in VMWare

There are two shared folder attributes to choose from.

  1. Enable this share – Enable the shared folder. Deselecting the option will disable the shared folder without deleting it from the VM configuration.
  2. Read-only – Virtual machines can view and copy files from the shared folder, but add, change, or remove file operations are not permitted when read-only mode is enabled.
Share Folder Attributes in VMWare
Share Folder Attributes in VMWare

Click “Finish“. Now the folder is added to be shared to the remote host and click ok to save the changes. In the same way, I have added one more folder named “Maven database” and I made the folder attribute to be read-only. You can get the attributes by clicking “Properties”.

View Share Folder Attributes in VMWare
View Share Folder Attributes in VMWare

On Linux guests shared folders will be available under “/mnt/hgfs“. You can also create files in folders from the Guest machine and we can access it from the local machine (works bi-directionally).

View Share Folder in Guest Host
View Share Folder in Guest Host

That’s it for now. We will meet up with another interesting article soon.

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