What is HGFS?

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HGFS refers to Host Guest File Sharing, a feature of VMWare’s virtualization software.  Whenever VMWare is installed on a computer terminal for example, some of its features like VMWare tools are also installed along with it.  Part of VMWare tools is the service for file sharing between the host computer and guest system which is the virtual machine.  This file sharing system is called HGFS and it basically allows sharing and moving of files to and from the host computer and the virtual computer.

VMWare is a popular virtualization software tool as it allows the creation of another platform in a single computer.  Normally many users would want to install a virtualization program in order to create a new environment for a new operating system or to test applications and programs in another platform.  All these can be done through virtualization and the separation of the host computer and the guest system or virtual platform.  The greatest advantage for VMWare installation is that it allows the use of various systems and application in the virtual platform without harming the files on the main or host computer.  This is especially beneficial for programs that are for testing on the virtual platform.  Aside from this helpful feature though, VMWare also allows for file sharing between the host and guest computers through the HGFS service.  With this service, users can basically transfer files from the host to the virtual network seamlessly and easily much like transferring files from one drive to another.  This feature is included in the package to help ensure that users will be able to easily navigate with files from one platform to the next.

The HGFS feature may also be disabled though because some users are not so keen about file sharing between the host and virtual computers.   For these people, the main point of virtualization is to have a separate platform and enabling HGFS may pose a security risk in terms of virus or malware sharing between the host computer and the guest or virtual computer.  For this specific purpose, the HGFS may be disabled manually.

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