How Do I Share a Folder Between Two Linux Vms?


Sharing a folder between two Linux Virtual Machines (VMs) can greatly streamline your workflow, making it easier to collaborate, transfer files, and manage data. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process, providing detailed steps, expert insights, and answers to frequently asked questions. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to effortlessly share folders between your Linux VMs.

Understanding the Basics

What is folder sharing?

Folder sharing involves allowing multiple users or systems to access and collaborate on the same directory of files and documents. In the context of Linux VMs, it means making a folder on one VM accessible to another VM.

Why share folders between Linux VMs?

Sharing folders between Linux VMs can enhance productivity by facilitating seamless data exchange. It’s particularly useful in scenarios where you need to share files, collaborate on projects, or simply access data stored on different VMs.

Prerequisites for folder sharing

Before diving into the process, ensure you have:

  • Two Linux Virtual Machines
  • Administrative access to both VMs
  • Internet connectivity on both VMs
  • Basic knowledge of Linux commands

Setting Up Your Linux VMs

To share folders, you first need to set up your Linux VMs:

  1. Installing Linux on Virtual Machines: Install your preferred Linux distribution on both VMs. Ensure they are up-to-date.
  2. Configuring VM settings: Configure network settings to allow communication between the VMs. Assign static IP addresses if necessary.

Installing Samba

Samba is a software suite that enables file and print services on Linux/Unix systems. To share folders effectively, you’ll need to install Samba:

  • What is Samba, and why do you need it?: Samba allows Linux systems to communicate with Windows systems and other non-Linux systems, making it essential for cross-platform folder sharing.
  • Installing Samba on Linux VMs: Use your package manager to install Samba. For example, on Debian-based systems, you can run sudo apt-get install samba.

Configuring Samba

Once Samba is installed, you need to configure it properly:

  • Creating a Samba user: Create a Samba user account with a password that will be used to access shared folders.
  • Editing the Samba configuration file: Modify the smb.conf file to define your shared folders and permissions. Be sure to specify the path to the folder you want to share.
  • Setting up shared folders: Use the smbpasswd command to set the Samba password for the user. Then, define the shared folders in the smb.conf file.

Testing the Connection

After configuring Samba, it’s essential to test the connection:

  • Accessing shared folders: Try accessing the shared folder from the other VM. You should be able to view, add, and edit files.
  • Troubleshooting common issues: If you encounter any problems, refer to our troubleshooting guide in the “FAQs” section below.

Security Measures

To ensure the security of your shared folders, consider these measures:

  • Firewall settings: Configure your firewall to allow Samba traffic while blocking unauthorized access.
  • Permissions and access control: Set appropriate file permissions to restrict access to authorized users.

Best Practices for Efficient Sharing

Efficient folder sharing involves more than just setting up Samba. Consider these best practices:

  • Organizing shared folders: Keep your shared directories well-organized to avoid confusion.
  • Backup and synchronization: Implement regular backups and synchronization mechanisms to safeguard your data.


How do I access shared folders from Windows VMs?

To access shared folders from Windows VMs, use the Windows file explorer. Enter the VM’s IP address or hostname in the file explorer’s address bar, preceded by \\. For example, \\

Can I share folders between different Linux distributions?

Yes, Samba works across various Linux distributions, allowing you to share folders between different flavors of Linux.

What should I do if I forget my Samba password?

You can reset your Samba password by running sudo smbpasswd -a username, replacing “username” with your Samba username.

Is it possible to share specific files instead of entire folders?

Yes, Samba allows you to share specific files within a folder. Simply specify the file path in the smb.conf configuration.

How can I secure my shared folders from unauthorized access?

To enhance security, configure your firewall to allow Samba traffic only from trusted IP addresses and set strict file permissions.

What alternatives to Samba are available for folder sharing?

Alternatives to Samba include NFS (Network File System), SSHFS (SSH File System), and FTP (File Transfer Protocol).

How do I share a folder between two Linux VMs?

You can use NFS (Network File System) or Samba to share a folder between two Linux VMs.

How do I share files between Linux and Linux?

You can use methods like SCP (Secure Copy Protocol), SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol), or a shared network folder to share files between Linux machines.


Sharing folders between two Linux Virtual Machines is a valuable skill that can significantly improve your workflow and collaboration efforts. By following the steps outlined in this guide and implementing best practices, you can seamlessly share folders and files between your Linux VMs with confidence.

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