Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Fixing Virtualbox Shared Folder Mounting Issues in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 9

If you’re using Virtualbox for running virtual machines on your Ubuntu system, you might have encountered issues with mounting shared folders. This can be a frustrating issue, especially when you’re relying on these shared folders for sharing files between your host and guest systems. In this article, we’ll walk you through some solutions to fix this issue.

Understanding the Issue

The problem usually arises when the Virtualbox shared folders are not being mounted from /etc/fstab during the system bootup. However, these can be mounted manually after the system has started. This suggests a timing issue where Virtualbox is not ready to provide the shared file mounts when /etc/fstab is executed during bootup.

Possible Solutions

Let’s explore some potential solutions to this problem. Remember, it’s recommended to try these solutions one by one to see which one works best for your specific setup.

1. Force the vboxsf Module to Load Early

The first solution involves forcing the vboxsf module to be loaded early during the boot process. This can be achieved by adding vboxsf on a line of its own in /etc/modules file.

To do this, open the terminal and type:

sudo nano /etc/modules

Then, add vboxsf at the end of the file, save and exit.

2. Add the _netdev Mount Option

The _netdev mount option can be added to /etc/fstab to delay the mounting process until the network is available. This is helpful because it ensures that the network is up and running before attempting to mount the shared folders.

To implement this, open /etc/fstab file:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Then, add _netdev to the options of the problematic mount point, save and exit.

3. Load the vboxsf Module Early with the Kernel

Another solution is to load the vboxsf module early with the kernel. This can be done by adding a parameter to load the module in the kernel and updating the init file system.

To do this, open /etc/initramfs-tools/modules:

sudo nano /etc/initramfs-tools/modules

Add vboxsf at the end of the file, save and exit. Then, update the init file system:

sudo update-initramfs -u

4. Use /etc/rc.local to Manually Mount the Shared Folder

You can also put the mount command in /etc/rc.local to manually mount the shared folder after the system has booted.

Open /etc/rc.local:

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Add your mount command before the line exit 0, save and exit.

5. Use the noauto Option and /etc/rc.local

Similar to the previous solution, you can use the noauto option in /etc/fstab to delay mounting and add a line to /etc/rc.local to mount the shared folder after the system has booted.

6. Add the fs-vboxsf Alias in /etc/modprobe.d

Another solution is to add the fs-vboxsf alias in /etc/modprobe.d to autoload the vboxsf module when mounting that filesystem type for the first time.

To do this, create a new file in /etc/modprobe.d:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/vboxsf.conf

Then, add this line to the file:

alias fs-vboxsf vboxsf

Save and exit.

7. Use the comment=systemd.automount Option

The final solution is to use the comment=systemd.automount option in /etc/fstab to mount the shared folder at boot.

To implement this, open /etc/fstab:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Then, add comment=systemd.automount to the options of the problematic mount point, save and exit.

Conclusion

In this article, we have explored several solutions to fix the issue of Virtualbox shared folders not mounting during boot in Ubuntu. Remember, the effectiveness of these solutions can vary depending on your specific setup, so it’s recommended to try them one by one. With a bit of patience and troubleshooting, you should be able to resolve this issue and get your shared folders mounting correctly at boot.

What is Virtualbox?

Virtualbox is a virtualization software that allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single physical machine.

How do I install Virtualbox on Ubuntu?

To install Virtualbox on Ubuntu, you can use the following command in the terminal: sudo apt install virtualbox

How do I create a shared folder in Virtualbox?

To create a shared folder in Virtualbox, you need to go to the settings of your virtual machine, select the "Shared Folders" tab, and click on the "Add" button to specify the folder path on your host machine.

Why are my Virtualbox shared folders not mounting during boot?

The issue of Virtualbox shared folders not mounting during boot can be caused by a timing issue where Virtualbox is not ready to provide the shared file mounts when /etc/fstab is executed during bootup.

How can I fix the issue of Virtualbox shared folders not mounting during boot?

There are several potential solutions to fix this issue, such as forcing the vboxsf module to load early, adding the _netdev mount option, loading the vboxsf module early with the kernel, using /etc/rc.local to manually mount the shared folder, adding the fs-vboxsf alias in /etc/modprobe.d, and using the comment=systemd.automount option in /etc/fstab.

Can I try these solutions simultaneously?

It is recommended to try these solutions one by one to see which one works best for your specific setup. Trying them simultaneously may cause conflicts and make it difficult to identify the solution that resolves the issue.

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