One of the most powerful features of PocketVM is the ability to transport virtual machines (VMs) on your mobile device and efficiently resume them from any computer. PocketVM currently supports VirtualBox VMs. If you don’t have VirtualBox installed, you can download it from Oracle’s VirtualBox website.
With VirtualBox installed, once you login to your PocketVM account, you can launch VirtualBox from the PocketVM menu:
Please note that, in order to access your portable VMs stored in your PocketVM account, you need to always launch VirtualBox from the PocketVM menu. Launching VirtualBox directly from your system will give you access to the standard VirtualBox VMs.
After a fresh installation, the PocketVM account will have no portable VMs installed. You can either create a new VM after launching VirtualBox or you can import a VM from standardised VM archive formats such as ova and ovf, or as proprietary vbox archives. If you don’t want to setup or convert your own Virtual Machine, there are also a number of places you can even download free Virtual Machines such as from Oracle here (be sure to select one with Guest Additions already pre-installed). If you would like further details on how to import a VM into VirtualBox, you can consult the VirtualBox documentation.
Making documents inside your portable VM accessible from your mobile device
By default, the guest OS files inside VMs can only be accessed while executing VMs with VirtualBox. This means that while your VMs are carried by PocketVM on your mobile device, files you keep inside those VMs are not directly accessible. We’ll show you how to bridge this gap so that you can have easy access to files from outside the VM.
If you’d like to start using PocketVM with a fresh new portable VM, you can use one that we’ve prepared for you in this page. Alternatively, if you have existing VM’s that you want to make portable and make documents inside these VMs accessible from your mobile device, please read on.
The Shared folders feature in VirtualBox can be used to bridge access to files from inside to outside the VMs. You can configure a shared folder in your PocketVM mount to become accessible from inside the VM. This is even more beneficial if you configure your default directories to be directly mounted as shared folders. Doing so also allows all the documents in these shared folder directories to become accessible from PocketVM on your mobile device, giving you access to them everywhere you go. To configure shared folders with PocketVM, follow these steps:
- First connect PocketVM from your mobile device
- Launch VirtualBox from PocketVM
- Launch one of your portable VMs in VirtualBox
- For Linux/Unix guests, create a directory in the guest OS VM where the shared folders will be mounted. Skip this step for Windows guests.
- In the VirtualBox menu, go to Devices and select “Shared folders”
- Add a new shared folder (click on the ‘plus’ button). A new dialog box will appear where you set the following options:
- In the guest OS, mount the new folder by entering the following command (replace <sharename> with the name provided in step 6.2 above):
If you would like to make your guest VMs default documents folders mounted as a shared folder (e.g. My Documents in Microsoft Windows or the home folder in Linux/Unix systems), follow this extra step:
- Follow these instructions from Microsoft to change the default location of the My Documents folder to the new mount share
- Move all contents from /home/<usrname> to the newly mounted shared folder
- Remove /home/<usrname>
- Create a symbolic link from your home folder that points to the shared folder:
- ln -sf <path/to/shared/mount> /home/<usrname>