VMware – Cannot Cut, Copy, or Paste to and from VM’s

KB ID 0000515 Dtd 28/08/11

Problem

Ever since ESX 4.1 this feature has been disabled, VMware say in their own documentation:

vmware copy paste

Source (Page 215 - ESX Configuration Guide ESX 4.1 vCenter Server 4.1).

To turn this feature back on you have a few choices.

Please be aware: We are talking about copy and pasting TEXT to and from a guest VM NOT files and folders.

Solution

Option 1 (Enable Copy and Paste on an individual Guest machine)

1. Firstly, you need to shut the virtual machine down > Right Click it > Edit Settings > Option Tab > Advanced > General > Configuration Parameters.

vmware copy paste

2. Select "Add Row" and add the following two options:

isolation.tools.copy.disable<br /> isolation.tools.paste.disable<br />

Set both these values to FALSE > OK > OK > Power the VM back on again.

vmware copy paste

Note: Even without these values set, if a VM is vMotioned to an ESX host that has the copy.paste options set in it's config file (see below) then these features are automatically enabled.

Option 2 (Enable Copy and Paste on an individual Guest machine)

1. You can also achieve the same as above by directly editing the .vmx file for the virtual machine, Add the following two values as shown below:

isolation.tools.copy.disable="FALSE"<br /> isolation.tools.paste.disable="FALSE"<br />

vmware copy paste

Note: Even without these values set, if a VM is vMotioned to an ESX host that has the copy.paste options set in it's config file (see below) then these features are automatically enabled.

Option 3 (Enable Copy and Paste on the ESX host for all the VM's on that host)

Note: This procedure will be removed/reset after an ESX upgrade. (You will need to carry out this procedure again post upgrade).

1. Connect to your ESX server, either directly on the console, or via SSH. and execute the following command:

vi /etc/vmware/config

vmware copy paste

2. Press i to insert text and paste in the following two lines:

isolation.tools.copy.disable="FALSE"<br /> isolation.tools.paste.disable="FALSE"<br />

Press Escape > then type :wq to save the changes.

vmware copy paste

Additional Steps for Linux / Ubuntu to allow Copy and Paste

1. Assuming you have the VMware tools installed in your Linux guest VM, if not execute the following command:

sudo apt-get install open-vm-toolbox

To enable copy paste on the guest execute the following command:

vmware-toolbox &

One the VMware tools properties page pops up you will be able to copy and paste.

vmware copy paste

Enabling Copy and Paste in VMware Workstation

Out of the box, this functionality is switched on. However if you lose it then open the virtual machines settings > Options tab > Guest Isolation > Enable the Copy and paste option.

vmware copy paste

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

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Author: Migrated

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