[Solved] Virtualbox shared folders Guest additions not working on Linux nightmare!

Installing Guest additions on the VM to make the shared folders feature work is a long fought battle out many bad stackoverflow answers. Let me show what worked for me time and again. It’s easy and it’s fast. This is probably the messiest post I have written so far. Not proud of it but I know this will save lives for sure.

My Setup

  • My host OS is an Xubuntu 18.04 machine
  • My guest OS running on the Virtualbox was Ubuntu 20.04 Server

Steps that worked for me

  1. Open the Virtual Box application (Don’t run the VM yet)
  2. Open settings –> Storage for the VM in question
  3. In the storage section, remove the guest additions image if it’s already there by removing attachment option.
  4. Now, choose select a new image option.
  5. In the dialog box that opens select the leave empty option.
  7. Till here, we have removed the guest additions image and ran the VM on an empty disk.
  8. Next when the VM fully boots up.
  9. Install this in the guest OS
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-utils
  1. Next up, in your host OS make a new folder called shared and give it 777 permission.
  2. Open the VM settings again (don’t shut down the VM), navigate to the shared folders section.
  3. Click on add new folder and select shared folder from the browse. Add permanent and auto-mount options for shared folder.
  4. You are done here, click Okay!!! (I am writing this at 3:31 am in the night, cut me some slack)
  5. Next, when everything is done. Go to the devices menu and click Install Guest additions CD image when it does install.
  6. Check with command ls /media/ and press tab to find a folder named sf_<YOUR_FOLDER_NAME>
    1. If you don’t find it, do sudo adduser <YOUR USER> vboxsf and then try again.
    2. If you don’t find it, reboot.
    3. If you don’t find it, check all the steps have been properly applied.
    4. If you have the same setup as me, you don’t need to mount your directory to anything. No mounting needed. No 116 mb virtual box guest additions need to be downloaded. It should just work.
    5. If it doesn’t, pray that when you comment down for help. It reaches me on time and I am free. Otherwise hit me up on Twitter for troubleshooting. Love to bang some heads together.

Till, then live in the mix folks.

This is probabbly the messiest post I have written so far. Not proud of it but I know this will save lives for sure.

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