I'm working on a VM that I've recently updated to the 14.04LTS.

Although the Guest additions are installed, the support for both clipboard and drag and drop is set to bidirectional, when my mouse over the VM I can't see the cursor nor I can't copy and paste in both directions as expected.

I'm using the server edition without any GUI installed.

Any idea?

  • 3
    I do not think you can use the shared clipboard without running X in the guest. ssh into the guest and copy-paste into the terminal on the host. – Panther Jun 12 '14 at 21:36
  • @Gilles I'm sure you can appreciate that Ubuntu is not like Debian and vice versa, and the issue is related to a specific version of the OS. – Andrea Moro Jul 17 '14 at 11:35

The VirtualBox guest additions provide clipboard integration between the host and a X11 GUI running in the guest. They don't provide clipboard integration with a Linux console guest (there is a feature request for this, but it's understandably very low priority, because very few people use that feature).

If you want a comfortable interface inside the guest, install a GUI, for a negligible added cost in disk space. Use a lighter GUI than Gnome/Unity if you want to save RAM.

If you want a comfortable command line interface to the guest, use SSH in a terminal emulator of your choice running in the host. Use the console inside the guest only when you've screwed up the firewall.


Try re installing guest additions. They put some source code in /usr/src hook it up to dkms and build some kernel modules to do the magic. It happens after distupgrade that the hooks get messed up and they don't rebuild the modules from source for the new kernel major, thus you don't have the magic glue.

  • can you try to be a bit more precise when you say "put some source code"? – Andrea Moro Jun 12 '14 at 21:38
  • The guest additions, which the asker has already installed, provide clipboard integration only in the GUI, which is explicitly not the point of this question. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 17 '14 at 8:01

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