What is the simplest way to configure a common Files partition?


TheMystic

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Hello Community!

On my external SSD, I have 3 boot partitions:

1. Windows
2. macOS
3. Linux

In each of the OS, I have installed both VirtualBox as well as VMware. Now each of these have multiple VMs.

I have a separate partition on my external SSD that is supposed to act as a common point for files. Let's call it partition Z. The usual libraries (Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc.) are saved here. This partition is also where the actual VM Disks are stored.

I'm trying to set up the operating systems in such a way that all their respective libraries are mapped to the same folders in partition Z, i.e. they all access the same library in each category.

The problem is this:

Since I'm booting off the external disk, this partition Z is NOT accessible to the VMs (especially on macOS) because USB arbitration cannot work here since the host itself is booting from the external disk.

I tried sharing the libraries over the network, but that is creating a different kind of a problem since different OSes use a different address structure to access network shares. For example, Windows uses Z:/Downloads whereas macOS uses /Volumes/Downloads.

I hope I have been able to explain the problem properly.

What is the simplest way to configure a setup where all OSes (especially those inside VMs) have access to the exact same libraries present in a different partition of the same external disk that the host is booting from?

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
This all sounds too complicated ( and beyond me ) I keep mine simple and let the computer do it
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware M18 R1
    CPU
    13th Gen Core i9 13900HX
    Memory
    32GB DDR5 @4800MHz 2x16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 4090HX 16GB
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD / Realtek ALC3254
    Monitor(s) Displays
    18" QHD+
    Screen Resolution
    25660 X 1600
    Hard Drives
    C: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    D: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    Case
    Dark Metallic Moon
    Keyboard
    Alienware M Series per-key AlienFX RGB
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer Killer AX1690 Wi-Fi Network Adaptor Wi-Fi 6E
    Bluetooth 5.2
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen i-9 10900 K
    Memory
    32Gb Dual Channel DDR4 @ 8843MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Hard Drive C: Samsung 2TB SSD PM981a NVMe
    Hard Drive D:Samsung 2TB SSD 970 EVO Plus
    Mouse
    Alienware 610M
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Norton
This all sounds too complicated ( and beyond me ) I keep mine simple and let the computer do it
The reason is essentially two fold:

1. I want all files created/ downloaded/ modified using any OS or VM to be available irrespective of which OS or VM I am currently working from.

2. Saves space in the boot partitions. I don't keep any of my files in the boot partition.

There is one solution though. I can look for a program or a batch script that will automatically move all files from within the OS library to partition Z automatically on a time schedule. But I am still looking for a better way to do this.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

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