ejward
Expert
Expert

Shared Folders option on Vmware tool ESXi

On the VMware Tools custom install, there is an option for shared folders.  I know how this works on workstation.  How does it work on ESXi?  I can't find any documentation on it.

I have a test lab that is sealed off from the rest of the world with no outside connectivity.  The client uses the lab through Virtual Center.  They sometimes need to get files in and out of this environment.  In the past, I've setup an intermediary VM with 2 NIC and have 2 NICs on each VM in the lab.  This is a pain to setup and I was looking for a better way.

7 Replies
AmitMalik
Contributor
Contributor

Shared folder isn't there for ESXI as ESXi itself is the BASE OS , which is not there incase of VMware workstation , you can use network sharers for data transfer

Regards

Amit Malik

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ejward
Expert
Expert

Unfortunately, this environment has several VMs all on the same host with no connectivity outside that host.  The VMs can talk to each other but, not to the outside world.

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AmitMalik
Contributor
Contributor

Collect the data into an ISO , upload ISO to datastore and then you can copy/map this ISO anywhere

Regards

Amit Malik

Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

Shared folders do not work on ESXi, it is a security precaution. However, you can set up a file sharing VM to be used by those VMs and then use a number of methods to get data into the file sharing VM....

  • USB Passthrough or USB over IP sharing for a USB disk that contains the data to share
  • The ISO method mentioned
  • Serial port passthrough and use a serial port transfer program such as kermit/etc.
  • Create a VM that has access to a 'network' but not to the internal. Upload to there. Shutdown the VM and then hot-add the drive to a VM and copy over the data, then repeat for all VMs.

For small or large amounts of data the USB passthrough mechanism may be best. I use that for some of my systems. The hot-add method adds a cut-out to the transfer as well.

Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009, 2010, 2011,2012,2013,2014

Author of the books 'VMWare ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2011 Pearson Education. 'VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment', Copyright 2009 Pearson Education.

Virtualization and Cloud Security Analyst: The Virtualization Practice, LLC -- vSphere Upgrade Saga -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XII: 2009-2020,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
ejward
Expert
Expert

Thank you all for your input.

I was told that the bits used for VMware Tools are the same for Workstation and ESXi and that while the shared folders option shows up in ESXi, it only works on Workstation.

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

That is correct the VMware Tools are the same, ESX/ESXi does not do folder sharing anymore, it used to. For secure environments folder sharing should be disabled within VMware Tools as a precaution (it is one of the DISA STIG and Hardening Guide controls).

Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009, 2010, 2011,2012,2013,2014

Author of the books 'VMWare ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2011 Pearson Education. 'VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment', Copyright 2009 Pearson Education.

Virtualization and Cloud Security Analyst: The Virtualization Practice, LLC -- vSphere Upgrade Saga -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XII: 2009-2020,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
hasnain_ahmad
Contributor
Contributor

Kindly explain the procedure how to share files using the network.

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