Copying and pasting from a Windows guest to Linux host
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Copying and pasting from a Windows guest to Linux host


Article ID: 336880


Updated On:


VMware VMware Desktop Hypervisor VMware vSphere ESXi


Text copied to the clipboard from an application in a Windows guest operating system does not paste into an application on a Linux host. What is the problem?


First, make sure you have installed VMware Tools in the virtual machine. To use the copy and paste functions with the guest operating system, you must have VMware Tools installed.

If you have VMware Tools installed, this issue is probably a limitation with VMware's use of the clipboard in Linux.

Older X applications do not use a clipboard. Instead, they let you paste the currently selected text (called the "primary selection") without ever copying it to a clipboard. Pressing the middle mouse button is usually the way to paste the primary selection.

Newer X applications do support a clipboard (the "clipboard selection"). As in Windows, pressing Ctrl-C or selecting Edit > Copy is usually the way to copy the current primary selection to the clipboard, while pressing Ctrl-V or selecting Edit > Paste is usually the way to paste text from the clipboard. Some applications support both styles of pasting.

VMware Tools currently does not copy text from Windows to the X clipboard; it supports only the primary selection. Therefore, in most X applications you cannot paste this text using Ctrl-C or Edit > Paste; you usually can paste it using the middle mouse button, though. If the desired Linux application does not support using the mouse button for pasting, you may be able to paste your text into a different application that does support the middle mouse button, then copy the text from there.

Additional Information

Note : - Ensure to log-in to the virtual machine using an account with Administrator or root privileges.
Ensure that the Shared folder settings are set to Always enabled under virtual machine settings.

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