Symbolic Links Do Not Work in Folders Shared Between Linux/Mac Hosts and Windows Guests
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Symbolic Links Do Not Work in Folders Shared Between Linux/Mac Hosts and Windows Guests


Article ID: 341387


Updated On:


VMware VMware Desktop Hypervisor


  • Unable to access share from a Windows guest operating system when running on a Linux or Mac host operating system
  • The Windows guest might not be able to access symbolic links.
  • Cannot access files within a shared folder.


VMware Workstation 11.x (for Linux)
VMware ACE 2.0.x
VMware Player 6.x (Linux)
VMware Player 2.x (Linux)
VMware Player 3.x (Linux)
VMware Fusion 8.x
VMware Workstation Pro 14.x (for Linux)
VMware Fusion 7.x
VMware Workstation 10.x (Linux)
VMware Fusion Pro 10.x
VMware Workstation 6.x (Linux)
VMware Player 7.x (Linux)
VMware Fusion 10.x
VMware ACE 2.5.x
VMware Fusion Pro 8.x
VMware Fusion 3.x
VMware Workstation 7.x (Linux)
VMware Player Pro 7.x (Linux)
VMware Player 4.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Pro 12.x (Linux)
VMware Player 5.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 9.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation 8.x (Linux)
VMware Fusion 5.x
VMware Fusion 2.x
VMware Fusion 6.x
VMware Workstation Player 14.x (Linux)
VMware Workstation Player 12.x (Linux)
VMware Fusion 4.x


Symbolic links appear as regular files on Windows guest operating systems, but the links are not followed when you attempt to open them.
To resolve this issue:
  1. Ensure that the virtual machine is powered off
  2. Browse to the directory where the virtual machine running your Windows guest operating system is stored.
  3. Open the VMX configuration file in a text editor. Fusion users, for more information, see Editing the .vmx file for your Fusion virtual machine (1014782).
  4. Find the shared folder you want to use for accessing this symlink and add the necessary config options as below. For example, for a user called "test" and a shared folder called "share":

    sharedFolder0.hostPath = "/users/test"
    sharedFolder0.guestName = "share"
    sharedFolder0.expiration = "never"

  5. Add the following line directly below the current sharedFolder0 entries

    sharedFolder0.followSymlinks = "TRUE"

    Note: If you have multiple shared folders, add that line for each shared folder, changing the number as appropriate.
  6. Save the file and power on the virtual machine.