If you own a Raspberry Pi and are used to do fancy things with it like a flask-based responsive jukebox, you are at least a bit familiar with Linux. Linux is wonderful and you can do a lot of things with it that are sometimes very hard to achieve with Windows - these computer operating systems were designed with different people and needs in mind.

The best of both worlds: Running Linux inside Windows

Sometimes, however, your Raspberry Pi may be a bit slow to perform its duties. Then you might be in need of a Linux installation. Fortunately, with the available virtual machines like VirtualBox you may even combine the best of both worlds - Linux and Windows.

VirtualBox is a Windows application that lets you run a virtual Linux inside of your Windows installation, see a running Kubuntu below:

VirtualBox screenshot

VirtualBox: Share Folders between Windows and Linux in five steps

Now even if VirtualBox is a really handy system, easy to install and works with a lot of different operating systems (not only Linux), you need to adjust some settings to share folders between the systems.

Here are the main steps after you have successfully set up a Linux system:

  1. Install the build essentials:
    sudo apt-get install build-essential
  1. In your VirtualBox Window, select "Devices -> mount Guest Additions". This will mount a virtual image of the necessary software - the guest additions - that Windows and Linux can talk to each other.

  2. Using a terminal navigate to the mounted device. For me, it is called VBOXADDITIONS_5.1.18 because this is the current version as of writing. Execute the following commands to install the guest additions, add your user to the group of users to work with the folder and shutdown the machine:

    sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
    sudo adduser $your-user vboxsf
    sudo poweroff
  1. Now the guest additions are installed. Chose a folder to be shared in your Windows VirtualBox application by right-clicking on the virtual machine. Chose "change" and go to "shared folder"
  2. Click on the "add folder" symbol on the right and specify the respective windows folder. Chose "mount automatically" if you wish. Start your virtual machine.

Now you should see the folder under "/media/sf_yourfoldername". Files are ready to be exchanged as if they were part of the Linux system.

You should be feeling like this guy:

at least I did ;)

Please note that VirtualBox, Windows, Raspberry Pi, and Linux are trade marks.

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