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I have found links describing to do the exact opposite: accessing windows through virtualbox in ubuntu. I don't want to reboot the system everytime I want to check something small in ubuntu. I have ubuntu 12.04 and windows 8 (dual boot). How can I set up virtualbox (or any other free virtualization software) so that I can access ubuntu from windows?

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I usually install Samba on the client OS, and access it as a network share from the host OS.

You may also want to have a look at the feature Shared folders in VirtualBox.

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I also want to be able to access and run some apps. I guess I have to go with virtualbox, then. –  sodiumnitrate Oct 7 '13 at 18:27
    
Both options will provide a locally mounted file system on the host OS, you should be able to use all files/apps in the same way. If this was helpful, consider making it the accepted answer, thanks. –  thnee Oct 7 '13 at 18:58
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