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Notes for Virtual Machines

Tips, hints, and tricks when working with Virtual Machines

Last update: 2022-06-29

Automount VMWare shared folder#

Unlike Virtual Box, VMWare does not automatically mount shared folders. Here are steps to make it work at system startup:

Make sure the mounting target folder exists. If not:

sudo mkdir /mnt/hgfs

Edit /etc/fstab and add:

vmhgfs-fuse    /mnt/hgfs    fuse    defaults,allow_other    0    0

Then remount:

sudo mount -a

A faster way, but be carefull of the redirection syntax: must use >> to append a new line:

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/hgfs && \
sudo bash -c 'echo \
    "vmhgfs-fuse /mnt/hgfs fuse defaults,allow_other 0 0" \
    >> /etc/fstab'

Mount shared network folder in Ubuntu#

This is for mounting Samba shared-folder in Linux.

Install necessary packages:

sudo apt install -y \
    smbclient \

Then use smbclient to probe sharing points:

smbclient -L //<ip>

Create a mount point:

sudo mkdir -p /media/SharedFolder

Then mount:

sudo mount -t cifs \
    -o user=<username>,pass=<password>,uid=<uid>,gid=<gid> \
    //<ip>/<share_point> \

Run id to see ID of user and groups of the current user.

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions CD Image from Terminal#

Install build kernel modules:

sudo apt install -y dkms build-essential linux-headers-generic linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Insert Guest Additions CD Images and mount it:

sudo mkdir - /media/cdrom
sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

Change to the sudo account and run the build script:


VirtualBox Guest Additions functions only works in GUI desktop!

Compact Virtual Disk#

  1. Install zerofree in the virtual machine

  2. Boot into Recovery mode

    Press ESC while boot up to see Grub menu.
    Select Advanced options(recovery mode)root.
    Press Enter afterwards when Press Enter for maintenance appears on your screen. You’ll be given a terminal prompt.

  3. Run zerofree on the target disk, such as /dev/sda2:

    zerofree -v /dev/sda2

    Error: filesystem is mounted rw

    Remount system in ro mode, and run zerofree again:

    echo "u" > /proc/sysrq-trigger
    zerofree -v /dev/sda2
  4. Shutdown the machine

  5. Compress the disk file

    VBoxManage modifyhd --compact /path/to/VDI/VM.vdi