How to fix virtualbox's copy and paste to host-machine?




Last Updated February 19, 2017 04:02 AM

Sometimes while using VirtualBox, I have tried copying text from the virtual machine to the host machine but failed. Whenever that happens, I fix it by rebooting the virtual machine. Is there a solution to this because I don't want to keep rebooting again and again.

Note: Iit is always possible for me to copy text from the host to the virtual machine.

Answers 13

If needed, upgrade VirtualBox to latest version, currently 4.1.2, they solved many issues. Then reinstall Guest Additions on the VM, as copy-paste is managed by guest additions drivers.

September 29, 2011 20:36 PM

On a Windows XP guest, I can kill "VBoxTray.exe" using the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete), then restart it from "Program Files/VirtualBox Guest Additions".

December 19, 2011 03:08 AM

If your guest OS is ubuntu then running following two commands in ubuntu terminal should...

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Here’s something many of you probably already know. VirtualBox has a feature that allows you to copy and paste between the host machine and the guest machine or vice versa. If you don’t already know, this brief tutorial is going to show you how to enable it when using VirtualBox virtualization software.

Another thing you probably already know is when you first install VirtualBox guest machine, the guest machine will not automatically integrate with the host. That means taking advantage of the host resources and improved performance. To allow the integration, you must install VirtualBox guest additions.

Installing the guest additions software will also not automatically allow you to copy and paste between machines. To enable that you must allow bidirectional shared clipboard on each machine.

Without the shared clipboard feature enabled, you won’t be able to copy and paste between the host and the guest machines. This feature will come in handy especially if...

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I use Oracle’s VM Virtual Box several years now to test Operating Systems or applications in a virtual environment. And of course I often use the copy-paste functions between the Host and the Guest machine. So I always install the Guest Additions to the Guest Operating System in order to be able to use all features. But I recently noticed that the copy-paste function doesn’t work in either directions (Host to Guest, Guest to Host or Bidirectional). After some research, I finally found the solution that worked for me. If you cannot use Copy-Paste in Oracle VM Vistual Box then follow the guide below to solve your problem.

How to solve copy/paste (clipboard) errors in Oracle VM Virtual Box.

Before you continue to the solution below, make sure that:

1. You have installed Guest Additions to the Windows Guest OS. Otherwise from VisrtualBox's main menu: go to "Devices"and click "Install Guest Additions CD Image". Then open Windows explorer and explore "CD Drive...

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Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Install latest Guest Additions ^

Before you can work with copy and paste, you have to install the VirtualBox guest additions. Once you start the virtual machine, click the Devices menu, and then select Insert Guest Additions CD image.

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions

The Guest Additions CD image should be mapped to drive D:.

CD drive Virtual Guest Additions

To install the Guest Additions launch VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe. After you reboot the virtual machine, you can enable copy/paste on the Devices menu of the VM under Shared Clipboard. If you are testing software that you don’t trust, you might want to only enable Host To Guest. I usually enable bidirectional shared clipboard when I am working with multiple virtual machines, so I can copy and paste from VM to VM.

Enable copy and paste in VirtualBox

You also can enable copy/paste in the VM’s General...

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VirtualBox has a feature to allow copy and paste between the host machine and the guest machine (NOT DRAG AND DROP). This brief tutorial is going to show you how to enable this feature.

Intall VirtualBox Guest additions

It is necessary to install guest additions to make this happen, Im saying this based on my personal experience.

1. Open VirtualBox and select the guest machine, then click on start if is not already started.

2. From the menu click on Devices and Install Guest Additions CD image…

3. I am using Windows 8 as my guest machine. The first installation screen might be different depending witch operating system you’re using as guest.

4. Now run VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe.

5. Next to the Wizard.

6. Next. unless you want to select a different Destination Folder.

7. Install

8. Select I want to Manually reboot later and Finish the...

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From my brief research it appears that you can't copy & paste between a Linux guest that has no graphical interface. (ie no X server, so you're in the virtual console) This is the most relevant source I could find: Paste into Linux Console?. (Specifically, see Sasquatch's post near the bottom) I think this is because the virtual console has no clipboard functionality, which is generally managed by GUI's. If you were running, say GNOME on your Debian guest, then it would only be a matter of installing the Guest Addition through Virtualbox as others have pointed out.

Apparently, it's also possible to create an SSH connection between your host and the guest OS. You may want to try that instead depending on your needs. Here's a tutorial: Setup SSH access between VirtualBox Host and Guest...

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This comes, once again, from the department of "Should be working out of the box." Have you ever needed to type out a long string of text, a line of code, URL, or paragraph, into your VirtualBox guest—knowing said text is sitting there, waiting patiently, on your host? You want to simply copy and paste it, but the action never seems to work.

What if you could make that feature actually work? Better yet, what if you could enable the action so that it would work both ways (from host to guest and guest to host)? That would make working with VirtualBox significantly easier. Well, it's time you made that a reality. And I'm going to show you how.

I'll be demonstrating this on an Elementary OS host and a Fedora 26 guest. The process will be similar for nearly any platform (you'll just need to adjust one particular step).

Install Guest Additions

This is the sticking point. Without the Guest Additions installed, copy and paste will not work. I'm going to walk...

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Drag and drop and copy/paste are not supported in Hyper-V. It simply isn't supported at all.

If you use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to your running Hyper-V virtual machine, you can sort of accomplish this by doing the following:

1. Use the Options button to show all of the tabs.
2. Select the Local Resources tab.
3. Click the More button.
4. Check the Drives checkbox.

This will share the local physical machine's drives with the virtual machine. You will be able to drag and drop files between the machines using Windows Explorer.

For small files, using a floppy drive or virtual floppy drive is a way to share between the physical host machine and the virtual machines.

Iso files are a great way to get files into a virtual machine.

For transferring large files back and forth, mapping a network drive is a better option than the other options presented. You can also use network file...

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Sometimes while using VirtualBox, I have tried copying text from the virtual machine to the host machine but failed. Whenever that happens, I fix it by rebooting the virtual machine. Is there a solution to this because I don't want to keep rebooting again and again.

Note: Iit is always possible for me to copy text from the host to the virtual machine.

If your guest OS is ubuntu then running following two commands in ubuntu terminal should help:

$ killall VBoxClient $ VBoxClient-all

On a Windows XP guest, I can kill "VBoxTray.exe" using the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete), then restart it from "Program Files/VirtualBox Guest Additions".

In the Oracle virtual box setting go to

Settings > General > Advance

There is a an option Drag n Drop. Select the direction you want to copy the text.

For me, Windows 7 host and Ubuntu 16.04 guest, I had to install VirtualBox guest additions.

Start the virtual machine Click Devices menu Select Insert...
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Copy and paste stopped working in Virtual Machine? Cannot execute copy and paste file between guest operating system and host operating system? This article describes how to fix copy and paste problem on VM.

Option 1: Install or Reinstall VMware Tools

Make sure you have installed VMware Tool.

If you have installed it, uninstall the vmware tools and install it again, here's how:

1. Click VM > Reinstall VMware Tools.

2. You are prompted to download VMware Tools, select Run setup.exe program to start installing.

Tip: If you do not see VMware Tools installing, press the Windows + R. Then, enter D:\setup.exe

(Where D: is your virtual CD-ROM drive).

3. Follow on-screen instruction to finish installation process. After done, restart the VMware.

Option 2: Enable Copy and Paste in VMware Workstation

Make copy and paste is enabled, here's how:

1. Go to click VM > Settings.


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If you are virtualizing Ubuntu under Windows 7/Vista/XP or any other OS using


, you may notice, sometimes that the copy & paste feature between Windows and Ubuntu (Host and Guest) stops working unexpectedly. You should know that this error is common, especially after upgrading your

Linux Kernel

or upgrading Ubuntu using the

Update Manager

or this command:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If you upgrade Ubuntu, then the previous guest additions configuration will be lost and thus you will no longer be able to copy and paste from host to guest and vice versa. The solution is to reinstall VirtualBox Geust Additions by heading to Devices > Install Guest Additions:

Then follow setup instructions. When the installation is complete, reboot your system or just shut down the virtual machine running Ubuntu and start it again. You may also check if the "

Shared Clipboard

" option is enabled or not by doing this:


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I wonder whether you all have the same problem:

If I power on a vm or load a snapshot with copy/paste/drag/drop DISABLED, then enabling it does NOT work UNLESS

I save a snapshot after I enabled and then reload the snapshot.

In other words, it seems that copy/paste/drag/drop only works when a snapshot is loaded where it is already enabled.

IF such an enabled snapshot is loaded, I can disable/enable as many times as I want to.

It seems WMware does somehow not initialise correctly the clipboard connection if the checkboxes are initially disabled.

VMware Workstation 9.0.2 host Windows 7 / 64

Guests Windows 7 / 32 and Windows XP

Can anyone confirm that behaviour...

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This post is to discuss about the procedure to enable copy Paste operation between virtual machine remote console and guest operating system. This can be done with the help of adding advanced configuration parameters in the virtual machine advanced settings. Let’s take a look how

to do


Connect to vCenter server and power off the virtual machine, where you want to enable the copy paste operation.

Right Click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings
Go to Options Tab > Advanced > General

Click on Configuration Parameters and Click Add Row and add the below names and values false false

Click on OK and Power on the VM. Now, The copy & paste enabled.

Thanks for...

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Ok, did the dilligence, found the suspicious link to the security concerns.

Limiting Exposure of Sensitive Data Copied to the Clipboard
Copy and paste operations are disabled by default for hosts to prevent exposing sensitive data that has been copied to the clipboard.

When copy and paste is enabled on a virtual machine running VMware Tools, you can copy and paste between the guest operating system and remote console. As soon as the console window gains focus, non-privileged users and processes running in the virtual machine can access the clipboard for the virtual machine console. If a user copies sensitive information to the clipboard before using the console, the user—perhaps unknowingly—exposes sensitive data to the virtual machine. To prevent this problem, copy and paste operations for the guest operating...

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Not too long ago, we covered how to share drives/folders between XP Mode and the Windows 7 host machine to be able to access files and folders on the host machine right from the XP Mode.

In this guide, we are going to show you how to share a folder present under the host machine with the guest OS on VirtualBox.

Before you follow the procedure, please make sure that you have installed the Guest additions. Click Devices, Install guest additions option and then follow the simple on-screen steps to install it.

Method 1: To share folders between Windows 7/Vista guest OS and host machine.

1. Run the virtual machine (VM) under VirtualBox.

2. Click Devices under menu and then select Share folders option to open Share Folders dialog-box.

3. Click on Add shared folders button to browse to the folder (present on the host machine) that you want to share with the virtual machine. Once added, you can set the read-only permission to the...

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I use a Mac Host OS, and Ubuntu Guest (with lubuntu desktop).

Dmitry's answer got me so close! But VBoxClient wasn't running when I looked for it with ps, and trying VBoxClient-all failed:

$ VBoxClient-all Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service Failed to connect to the VirtualBox kernel service

Then I found

Turns out, VirtualBox additions didn't launch automatically for some reason. Starting vboxadd manually allowed me to then run the VBoxClient with the clipboard enabled.

arin@arin-VirtualBox:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/vboxadd start Starting the VirtualBox Guest Additions ...done. arin@arin-VirtualBox:~$ ps -ef | grep -i vbox arin 2687 22537 0 10:53 pts/1 00:00:00 grep --color=auto -i vbox arin@arin-VirtualBox:~$ sudo /usr/bin/VBoxClient --clipboard...
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With a virtual machine like VirtualBox you can virtually install multiple operating systems, without having to buy any new hardware.

Maybe you’ve heard of virtual machines (VM), but never tried one out yourself. You might be scared that you won’t set it up correctly or don’t know where to find a copy of your preferred operating system (OS). VirtualBox is the best virtual machine for home users VirtualBox vs. VMware Player: The Best Virtual Machine for Windows , and you can use this virtualization software with our help.

In this guide to using VirtualBox, you’ll learn why you should use the software, how to install an OS, and advice to make it work for you. We’ll explain everything and share tips along the way so you won’t get lost. Let’s jump in!

In this guide: Getting Started With VirtualBox | Install Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine | Install Ubuntu in a Virtual Machine | Install macOS in a...

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Mac user reports on freeware VM VirtualBox
Latest VirtualBox Version: 5.2.10, April 17th, 2018
Reports updated March 9th, 2017

This page is a catchall for info & feedback on freeware VM VirtualBox. (Free alternative to Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion.)

Latest Version/Update: VirtualBox 5.2.10, released April 17, 2018. See the Change Log for details.
Version 5.2 was a Major Update - here's a summary of new features from the v5.2 announcement:

VM export to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic (OCI Classic) format Automatic, unattended guest OS installation for Oracle VM VirtualBox Virtual Machines Improved Virtual Machine Tools, including a new dynamic interface to manage Virtual Machine configuration and snapshot capabilities New Global Tools handling Virtual Media Manager manages media attributes like size, location, type and description Host Network Manager simplifies managing corresponding networks and their attributes GUI...
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