Using a Vagrant Ubuntu backend on a Windows 10 is my current preferred development environment, but unfortunately the folder syncing process causes a lot of issues. A recent project I’m doing involves a lot of JS, and npm in particular caused quite a few headaches. This is a list of stuff I had to do in order for it to work:

  • Polling: See - CHOKIDAR_USEPOLLING=true npm start is needed for autorestarting the react server.
  • If permissions errors occur, change (from Windows) the Attributes of the shared folder and deselect “Read-only”.
  • Issues with symlinks. Resolved per
    • On the host machine (assuming Windows), but some variation of this will work in any OS: cd C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox
    • Run the following command: VBoxManage setextradata VM_NAME VBoxInternal2/SharedFoldersEnableSymlinksCreate/SHARE_NAME 1, replacing VM_NAME with your Virtual Machine’s name (if you don’t know this, in VBox go to Machine > Settings > General > Basic > Name — also replace SHARE_NAME with the name of your shared folder, if you don’t remember this, go to Machine > Settings > Shared Folders.
    • Restart your VM AND VirtualBox, but run it as administrator. On Windows hosts, just right click the icon for VirtualBox and select Run as Administrator.
    • Also see:
  • Other issues with Windows: Disable antivirus/firewall per


  • RSync is one way, useless.
  • npm is generally weird to use on shared folders, most of which is due to symlinks.
  • Windows Linux subsystem is useless, you can’t edit stuff from Windows.