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Important Notes to Set Up Shared Folder and Clipboard in VirtualBox

Latest version of VirtualBox (4.3) has some new features whose every users wants. Two features which I really love are shared directory and shared clipboard (clipboard copy). By using shared folder feature, we can create some directories on host operating system which can be shared with guest operating system. Guest operating system can read data from the shared directory or write data to it so that host operating system can write or read the data. By using shared clipboard feature, we can copy some text data from host OS clipboard to guest OS and otherwise.
To use that features, we need some proper configuration process before and while running our virtual machine. I noted some points that is important and I hope we don't need to waste much time on configuration.

Download latest version of VirtualBox with its Guest Additions

You can download the installer from HERE. On installation process, you should include Guest Additions installation. Guest Additions is a sort of plugin for VirtualBox application which will be integrated with guest OS. When installation was finished, you can install your guest OS as usual.

Set Up Shared Clipboard

Before you run your virtual machine, you should configure General setting of your machine. On Advance tab you should specify type of sharing capability. You have to choose bidirectional option if you want to share data either from and into guest OS.
Set up shared clipboard

Set Up Shared Directory

Before you run your virtual machine, you should configure Shared Folders setting of your machine. You must specify shared directory path in your host OS and set your shared directory name. The shared directory will be accessed by guest OS according to its name. I suggest not to use any special character or space for its name.
Set up shared directory

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Your Guest OS

After you run your guest OS, you must mount Guest Addition installer from your host to guest OS. You can see complete instructions from Ubuntu Documentation here. You can also use these following steps.
  • On main window of virtual machine, you can press "Right Ctrl + D". This is default shortcut key to mount image of Guest Additions from VirtualBox application to virtual machine.
  • Autoplay application will run installation process after you mount the image. If the autoplay application doesn't run, you can run manually or choose proper installer application from mounting directory. For example in Ubuntu it will be on "/media".
  • You can also download image from repository by using this command "sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-additions-iso".

Set Up Shared Directory on Guest OS

After Guest Additions is installed, you can set up shared directory on guest OS. You can see complete instructions from Ubuntu Documentation here. You can also use these following steps.
  • Create directory for your shared directory on guest OS. For example, you use Linux as your guest OS, you can create "/home/your_username/your_directory". Your directory name should be different with shared directory name which you set up on VirtualBox manager before.
  • Mount shared directory to directory that you are determined. 
  • On Linux as guest OS, you can use "sudo mount -t vboxsf -o uid=$UID,gid=$GID shared_directory /home/your_username/your_directory". 
  • On Windows as guest OS, you can use "net use x: \\vboxsvr\shared_directory".
  • On Linux as guest OS, if you get error message "Protocol Error" when you mount the shared directory, you can try to mount shared directory by this command "sudo mount.vboxsf shared_directory /home/your_username/your_directory".
  • If you can't run "mount.vboxsf" command, you should install the app first by this command "sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-utils".
Shared clipboard from Windows 8 Host OS to Ubuntu Guest OS
Shared directory


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