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The host computer is running Windows 7 Ulitmate, the guest OS will be Linux (the brand to de decided later; likely Debian 4 or CentOS 6). The hypervisor is VMware Player 4. My problem is: how do I get the Linux installer to mount a shared folder (on a host NTFS partition) during the installation phase so that I may use said folder as my home directory in Linux? As far as I know, using shared folders in VMware configuration is only possible when VMtools are already installed in a running guest. In other words, it is required to use a folder on the host filesystem as my /home directory branch with a Linux guest (it needs to be accessible by Windows since that is where data sharing will occur), not to create a separate Linux partition for home on the virtual disk. I would like to have this settled right at the installation phase. I've thought about exporting NFS shares via Windows, but it turns out that Windows 7 doesn't have NFS hosting capabilities. I've tired to find out whether SUA has tools for this but it appears it doesn't - only previous versions did, according to my research. Because this is all new to me, I might've overlooked something obvious, misunderstood something about shares and NFS, or whatever. I also have an empty 20G vhd that might be useful...

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During Linux installation, if $(FOO_DISTRO) is worth its salt, it'll let you customize the partition layout. Just don't create a /home partition. It'll make /home a directory on your / drive and create your first user there. Once you're booted up, edit /etc/fstab and mount your hfgs volume as /home. Switch to init 1 (single-user mode), and move your directories under /home on the / partition to / on the shared volume. You can do this by temporarily mounting the hgfs share on e.g. /media/shared and do sudo mv /home/* /media/shared.

If $(FOO_DISTRO) rocks your socks then it'll let you manually edit the /etc/fstab to be installed to the host instead of forcing you through a graphical partition editor. If $(FOO_DISTRO) rocks your socks squared, it'll come preinstalled with (or let you install at install-time) open-vm-tools so that you can mount vmware hgfs volumes out of the box. If you can do that, then you don't even have to perform the switcheroo I described; just edit /etc/fstab (as it is to be installed on the guest, not the /etc/fstab of the live/installation environment) with the appropriate mount line.

See your local VMware Workstation manual for details.

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