Sharing files between a virtual machine and a host machine is awesome for someone who wants to move files around their local network. Of course, there are many other ways to do so such as Samba, but sometimes some people prefer to set up a virtual machine, install FTP server, create share folders between virtual machine and host machine, open up firewall ports inside virtual machine to allow all other machines on local network to access virtual machine’s FTP server — I think you see where I’m heading! If not, click on the image below to enlarge it and take a look at the explanation within the image to see if the meaning of utilizing a virtual machine for this purpose is any clearer to you.
This is only one of the methods you can use to move files within your local network. There are more elegant ways to move files around within local network for sure. Nonetheless, some people might prefer this method since it’s simple to install a virtual machine, throw in sharing file mechanism, open up firewall ports, and that’s all there to it!
This method works rather well for sending files from a Linux machine to Windows machine without using Samba and without needing a Windows machine to host FTP server. Security conscious mind can use this method as a way to ensure files on Linux machines get scan by ClamAV first before transferring them (i.e., FTP) to the virtual machine on Windows host, consequently placing the transfered files inside share folders of a virtual machine and Windows host — making these files officially residing inside Windows, but without Windows platform’s virus.
I’d written a blog post on “How to share files and folders between VirtualBox’s Ubuntu 11.04 Virtual Machine and Windows 7 host,” and you can check it out to see how you can set up a virtual machine using VirtualBox and implement the method which I’d described in this blog post to move files from Linux machines to Windows machines inside your local network. Like I say, not elegant, but work!