I'm running Windows 10 host and RHEL 4.7 guest using VirtualBox 6.1. I use VMs to build code changes which are delivered to our subs without having to travel to build on target consoles.

The problem is that when I copy files to the shared folder they are listed as being owned by 'root:vboxsf' and I'm not able to change that on the host. I need to be able to burn these files to CD/ISOs that are readable by proprietary console software that requires project-specific accounts, like 'tester:test_group'.

I've added my username (dev) to the vboxsf group with this command:

sudo gpasswd -a dev vboxsf

which I confirmed by doing

more /etc/group

and verifying that the line with vboxsf now includes 'dev', like this:


This allows my userid to ls -al the shared folders.

How can I control ownership of files in the shared folder?

  • RHEL 4.7?! That's been EOL since 2009, w/ extended (horrendously expensive) support gone since 2017 ... I truly hope none of those are exposed to the great unwashed.
    – tink
    May 6, 2021 at 0:47

1 Answer 1


Eventually I found that even though listing the contents of the shared folder indicates that the files were owned by root, the actual properties of the files was unchanged from the place I copied them from. So when I burned a CD with those files and mounted that CD in the VM, the files showed up with the ownership they'd originally had. So, what seemed to be a problem turned out to be no problem!

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