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I have:

  • installed Virtual Box 3.1.2 on Mac OS X 10.5
  • setup a Ubuntu 9.10 machine for Virtual Box
  • have a new external USB hard drive

My question is what can I format my hard drive and configure my Virtual box so that my ubuntu machine can read/write to that drive?

Thank you.

3 Answers 3

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Make a filter for the USB device (same on Mac OS X):

alt text

Ubuntu should be able to see the drive already.

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Another possibility would be to create a new shared folder in the VM's settings and map the shared folder to the external drive's root directory; this has the benefit that the Ubuntu install inside the VM will have read/write access to the drive no matter what filesystem it's formatted with.

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My question is what can I format my hard drive and configure my Virtual box so that my ubuntu machine can read/write to that drive?

Out of the box, the only commonly supported file systems between host and guest would be FAT32 and HFS (but you can add ext2/ext3/NTFS support to Mac OS X).

If you stick with FAT32 (for windows-compatibility reasons) keep in mind that the maximum file size is limited to 4 GB (minus 1 byte).

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  • HFS already works fine in Ubuntu.
    – John T
    Jan 28, 2010 at 23:39
  • ...although HFS+ does not have write capabilities in Ubuntu :)
    – John T
    Jan 28, 2010 at 23:45

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