Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

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Fargo
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Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#1 Postby Fargo » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:41 pm

I'm setting up my virtual box install and I noticed that every folder I share becomes a network connection with a harddrive designation in the Windows XP guest. That is a nice way to do it but I didn't know if I wanted a half dozen extra network drives. Then I had the epiphony that I could just share my HOME folder and everything on my Linux harddrive would be available to Windows. But then after thinking about it I thought that might be foolish to give windows access to all my Mepis settings and info in the HOME folder. So what do the experts say? Is sharing home brilliant or the most foolish thing I could do with virtualbox.

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lucky9
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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#2 Postby lucky9 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:10 am

I've always setup the Share folder and put everything in there.
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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#3 Postby m_pav » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:56 am

You could share your entire home reasonably safely with permissions set correctly.

By default, Mepis creates folders with an octal permissions set of "755", which is read/write by owner, read-only by group, read-only by others

Start by removing all individual shares, then make your /home/you folder available.
Now open a terminal, make sure you are in your home directory and type the following
chmod -R 750 *

This will simply remove "othes" from being able to read the files, in essence, those coming from another system across the network.

Now make a text file with the full path to the folders you want to make available in this manner,
chmod -R 755 /home/you/Music /home/you/Pictures /home/you/Shared /home/you/Videos
This example supposes your user account is "you" and the folders you want to share are Music, Pictures, Share and Videos, so change it to match your system and desired folders.

When you have the line of text sorted, copy it into the terminal, press return, wait a minute, then try looking in from the other machine, you should see only the folders you have "enabled"

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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#4 Postby Fargo » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:27 am

Wow thanks Mike. I never considered that I might have to change permissions on the home folder. I figured I could see it in VirtualBox so it would just work. But my concern was opening up my HOME directory to Windows virus and the outside word of hackers. I figured its probably safer kept inside of Linux. What would happen if I just shared it in VBox without the changes? Would I loose read/write capabilities?

I'll consider setting it up like you said. But since I am looking for a clean way to setup my system and to make it portable to my laptop, I may just share individual folders or setup one main VBox share folder as Lucky does. Besides, if I was to reinstall the next Mepis 12+/- I don't know if I would remember to do all that setting up again. But I would like to hear your thoughts on what would happen if I shared home without changing permissions. I'm new to vbox so I'm not really sure just what to expect. If you know how to make copy/paste work between guest and host that would be huge help too.

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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#5 Postby GoManutd » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:28 am

just would be leery of having your kde and app config info overwritten...

sticking with the shared folder option mentioned is best.

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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#6 Postby Fargo » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:52 am

GoManutd wrote:just would be leery of having your kde and app config info overwritten...

sticking with the shared folder option mentioned is best.


Yeah, it does seem like there are some risk in sharing home. Its maybe best to not chance it. I'd like to leave things as close to stock as possible so you guys can help me if I have problems.

Also I found that copy/paste seems to only work with text and not images. Too bad, I really need to copy images from host to guest. But I'll give it a try and see how it works. I might just find work arounds as I use VB. Then again I might find its not worth the hassle and return to full windows for my work machine. I sure wish companies wrote programs in java or something cross platform.

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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#7 Postby DBeckett » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:10 pm

The best approach is to share only what you need, and nothing more.
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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#8 Postby Fargo » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:07 pm

DBeckett wrote:The best approach is to share only what you need, and nothing more.



Good point. That is the direction I will go.

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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#9 Postby richb » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:11 pm

DBeckett wrote:The best approach is to share only what you need, and nothing more.

That is the approach to use whether in VBox or on a regular HD install.
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Re: Would sharing HOME in VirtualBox be unwise?

#10 Postby lucky9 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:55 pm

Permissions in Linux is reasonably flexible. But I'd hate to be someone that really needed good security. I'd have to have physical locks and even then there are those who can hire the very best Locksmiths. Best security is keeping things in your head.
After all it only took the Federal Prosecutor an extremely short time to decrypt an encrypted hard disk! Anyone know what encryption method was used in that Colorado case?
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