So over the weekend I arrive to work, boot my PC and run the virtualbox session of Ubuntu but now I get the message:

The folder contents could not be displayed You do not have the permissions necessary to view the contents of "sf_virtual"

I don't understand what could have happened? I did install an update and read an article to re-install Guest Additions and it still doesn't allow access in /media. When I do gksudo nautilus and then sudo ls -al /media/sf_virtual it will display all the files in virtual as -rwxrwx--- 1 root vboxsf numbers month date time filename. When I am under name in the terminal ls /media/sf_virtual it returns Permission denied. Any ideas on how to get access back? I have removed the shared folders and added new ones but it still doesn't work.


It sounds like your user is no longer a member of the vboxsf group - you can check by using the id command in a terminal or getent group vboxsf

If that's the case, you can add the user back with

sudo gpasswd --add <username> vboxsf

or the equivalent adduser or usermod command

You will probably need to log off and back on for the change to take effect

  • I faced the same problem, when I try to add the user it says gpasswd: group 'vboxsf' does not exist in /etc/group – qurban May 31 '14 at 19:05
  • @qurban Have you installed the VirtualBox Guest Additions ? – steeldriver May 31 '14 at 21:34

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