Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to share a folder between a KVM guest and host. I want the data to be stored only on the host. What's the best solution for that?

thanks mat

share|improve this question
What type of networking do you use on Virtual Machine ? bridge or nat ? – aleroot Sep 5 '10 at 10:16
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You could do this by treating host and guest as completely separate computers. Make the shared folder available on the host, e.g. by exporting it through NFS or by creating a samba share. Then connect to it from the guest just in the normal manner.

Since the guest has its own IP address, this should not present any problems. With NFS you can also easily limit the exported share to only accept connections from the guest (if that is what you want). All the other rules about NFS shares and samba shares still apply.

If either guest or host are Windows machines, then you are probably better of with a samba share.

share|improve this answer
I think I'll go with Samba. Thanks! – mat3001 Sep 5 '10 at 10:24
@aleroot provided an important pointer with his question. In order for this to work properly, you have to use bridged networking. – wolfgangsz Sep 5 '10 at 10:34
I like this option, but I'm having problems with ksoftirqd/0, in debian. Similar to what I see here. I wonder if a shared disk of some kind, or 9pvirto is better to minimize load. – isaaclw Jan 29 '14 at 1:17

Here's a 9p virtio example from the official wiki. (Further reading.)

The virt-manager GUI virtual machine editor calls it "filesystem passthrough".

share|improve this answer

I usually use sshfs to mount a [folder on the host machine] on the VM guest, e.g.:

sshfs magnus@ /path/to/dev/dir/on/guest

Were is the gateway and VM host. -- This works also with NAT (need not be a bridged networking setup).

(And I suppose Samba or NFS are better to use once you have them set up, since you need run no more commands, no sshfs ....)

share|improve this answer

With NAT you may be able to get back to the host via the NAT gateway IP.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.