I want to configure 1 shared folder /home/host/shared and put symlinks to other shared items in that shared directory to make them accessible by the guest machine like /home/host/shared/d1 --> /home/host/a_linked_dir. This is so that I can modify the files & directories as I use the VM without having to change the config in Virtualbox and so that multiple VMs can easily be configured to use a single shared folder. However, putting s symlink /home/guest/shared/link --> /home/host/shared/f1 doesn't allow the guest machine to access the linked directory and instead just points to a target non-existent on the guest machine.

Is there a way to use symlinks between the host & guest VMs in Virtualbox?

2 Answers 2


This is working as designed. If your guests were allowed to access files/directories outside of the original share - which is exactly what would happen in your proposed scenario - then security on the host would be pointless.

I think your best bet is going to be (2) things:

  1. Create a higher-level share so that any new directories will automatically be part of the shared filesystem(s).
  2. Use relative links (on the host) so that the directory structures (on the guests) stay intact. This way, the mount point on the guests won't matter.

Probably a bit late to help you but may be useful for someone else. I've just spent ages trying to figure this out.

Linux host/guest with 2 shared folders.

1 shared folder contains host created symlinks to the other shared folder, guest is trying to resolve the links but couldn't follow them as the path was incorrect for the guest (ie symlink points to /media/folder/file.aaa (which exists on the host) instead of /media/sf_folder/file.aaa (which is where the folder is mapped to on the guest).

So I was about to go down the samba route but there is a much simpler solution, if you create a drop in file: /etc/modprobe.d/vboxsf.conf on the guest with this single line in it:

options vboxsf follow_symlinks=1

then reboot the guest, the host will now resolve symlinks so that the guest can follow them!


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