VMware: Where are shared folders in Linux?

If you run Linux as a virtual machine with VMWare (Workstation) on a Windows host system, then you have the possibility to make files and folders of the host system available in Linux (e.g. Ubuntu) via “Shared Folders“. Once you have done this, the question is where to find the shared folders within the Linux guest system.

Setup “Shared Folders”

Standardmäßig hat man keinen Zugriff auf die Dateien und Ordner des Host-Systems. Man kann dies aber ganz einfach einichten, indem man in der linken Baumstruktur von VMware auf die betreffende virtuelle Maschine klickt und mit Rechtsklick “Settings auswählt. Unter dem Tab “Options wählt man dann den Eintrag Shared Folders aus. Innerhalb dieses Dialogs kann man nun beliebige Ordner des Host-Systems auch für das Linux-Gastsystem verfügbar machen.

By default, you do not have access to the files and folders of the host system. However, you can easily set this up by clicking on the relevant virtual machine in the left tree structure of VMware and right-clicking on “Settings. Under the tab “Options you then select the entry “Shared Folders. Within this dialog, you can now make any folders of the host system available for the Linux guest system as well.

Screenshot VMware Settings Options Shared Folders
Create access to files and folders of the host system for Linux guest system

Access to “Shared Folders” under Linux

If you have set up the access permissions on the host system, you will of course want to work with the files that are located under Windows, the host system, under the Linux guest system and access them directly. If one looks with the Files-Explorer into the HOME directory, the “Shared Folders” are not to be found under Linux.

Directory path

All “Shared Folders” can be found by default under Linux under the following directory path:

/mnt/hgfs/

Der mnt-Ordner ist ein spezielles Verzeichnis unter Linux. Dieses steht abgekürzt für “mount” und wird dafür verwendet andere Dateisysteme, von z.B. CD-, USB-Laufwerken oder aber auch die Dateisysteme eines Host-Systems in virtuellen Umgebungen einzubinden.

The mnt folder is a special directory under Linux. It stands for “mount” and is used to mount other file systems, e.g. CD drives, USB drives or the file systems of a host system in virtual environments.

Access with Files Explorer

If you use the graphical user interface in Linux, you can navigate there via the Files Explorer. To do this, click on Other Locations and select Computer. Now you can find the mnt folder and navigate to the shared folders via the hgfs folder.

Screenshot Linux Files explorer directory for shared folders mnt/hgfs
Linux shared folder directory under VMware

Access with terminal

Of course, once you know the directory path, you can then access the shared folders just as easily using the terminal application without a graphical UI. To do this, you can simply use the following command:

cd /mnt/hgfs/mysharedfolder

Screenshot Terminal command for accessing Share Folders
Terminal CD command to change to the shared folders directory

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