Whatever the Ubuntu flavor I am running I face the same issue. I tried with several versions with KDE or Gnome as guests. I am currently runing Ubuntu with gnome as Guest. Kubuntu as Host.

I also gave a try with EndlessOS (based on Debian) to see if the issue was the same. I wanted to figured out whether if it was Linux related, but no, it's working.

My conclusion: the issue is related for all Ubuntu based distribution as Guest.

When I "copy/paste" from host to guest, it works only once. If I try to make a new copy in the host, the copy is not taken into account and I can only paste the first copied text in the guest.

The workaround is to make a "copy" in the guest before doing a new copy in the host. In this case it works for once. This operation must be repeated each time.

With Windows as host, the issue is not there.

Any clue?

Either the issue is in Ubuntu or in the VirtualBox (guest additions?).

2 Answers 2


It is said that Copy&Paste will not work (reliably) when using Wayland instead of X11. Since Ubuntu has Wayland as default you might try to change it to the X-Server on login (use the small cog icon on the GDM login screen). See here


You need to have Guest Additions loaded to start this. So in each guest you want to copy from/paste to, go to the Devices menu, and use "Insert Guest Additions CD...". If has not already downloaded, VirtialBox will download it. Depending on the client and its settings this may or may not load automatically. But go to the CD and you can start the process manually.

Once Guest Additions has been loaded, go to the client and once more select the Devices menu. Select the "Shared Clipboard" and then "Bidirectional". This will enable being able to copy/paste from the host and the client.

My environment is with a Ubuntu Host. I have tested this with Windows 10 and Ubuntu clients today, and found it to be working.

--- EDIT 1 Sorry for the delay - I was away.

I can copy text from the host, and paste to the client, multiple times. The only time when this would fail is when an application clears the paste buffer.

I tested, but with trivial applications: Mousepad on Ubuntu and Notepad on Windows Guest. I wrote a line on Ubuntu copied it, pasted it in to Notepad. Then wrote a second line, copied, and posted it again to Notepad. I posted this line multiple times.

So is your problem application related? Is it possible that the client app is clearing the paste buffer after pasting? I know this sounds weird behaviour, but I am struggling to recreate your issue.

  • Ok. The guest additions are already loaded. The issue is not to make copy paste working, but to be able to make it several times.
    – Jean-Marc
    Aug 18, 2022 at 5:25

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