I'm using VirtualBox (and have tried VMWare) on a Windows 7 host with an Ubuntu server guest. I've set up folder sharing in VirtualBox so that my Ubuntu server home dir is a mount of my Windows 7 home dir, so that I have access to the same files regardless of which OS I'm in.

The issue is that I can't create symlinks inside that shared folder, which is problematic as some software I use requires it (eg. RVM). A similar setup in VMWare led to the same results. Is there any sharing setup that would allow creating symbolic links in the *nix guest? I've tried Samba, but no still no go.


Linux symbolic links are not ordinary files. They are a unique type of file supported by Linux filesystems. Linux symbolic links are not supported by Windows filesystems (FAT32, NTFS, etc.). VirtualBox mounts the Windows host's shared folders using the CIFS (aka SMB) protocol. That protocol also does not support Linux symbolic links. If the host and the guest were both Linux machines, then this would work.

  • Thanks - that's what I thought. Didn't know VirtualBox used CIFS. – Andrei May 2 '12 at 6:39

In vmware vmx file you can try to add.

sharedFolder0.followSymlinks = "TRUE"

To enable the symlink following.

Not used your specific host/guest combo so I am uncertain if it works for you, and I am not sure whether it requires workstation. Worth trying at least.

  • You need to shut down the vm before modifying the configuration file. – johnshen64 Apr 29 '12 at 14:11

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