Shared Folders VMWare

I am supporting an old Windows XP installation in a VM.   The user is using old software that only works in Windows XP and we still cannot persuade them to upgrade to newer versions.  One of the requirements is to share a Linux filesystem to that XP VM.  The folder and the VM are on the same physical machine.

My configuration is VMWare Player 4.0.2 running on Linux Mint 14 64 bit kernel 3.5.0-17-generic and running Windows XP in the VM.

Historically I would share filesystems via Samba.  But Samba is as Samba does.    The wonderful windows compatible file sharing protocol SAMBA is known to have its quirks.    I have set it up many times, usually with success but often after a bit of fighting with the configuration.  When the only purpose of Samba is to share a folder from Linux Ubuntu or Mint to a VMWare Player VM, a very good alternative, as I have learned, is to bypass Samba entirely.   Use the builtin folder sharing features of VMWare Player

With your VM powered off launch the VMWare Player.  Select your VM then navigate to Virtual Machine ->Virtual Machine Settings.  Pick the Options Tab and select the Shared Folders menu item.  ( This assumes you have the latest VMWare Tools installed for your player ).   Select Folder Sharing as “Always Enabled” and then select Add to add any filesystems you wish to share.   Select Ok.

At this point you can start up your VM.

From inside the live XP VMWarePlayer open a file browser.  Select Tools->Map Network Drive->Browse


Note that the hostname is always vmware-host.  In this case I selected the Architechture folder, and ensure the reconnect at login box in the previous window was checked.   The drive maps, and all is good.  No samba no problem.


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