Suddenly copy/paste stoped working from/to windows8 host computer to/from ubuntu virtual machine. Ubuntu restart did not help. I tried command:

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools

But got report I have newest version. Guest Isolation settings are enabled. What could be scenario of fixing this problem?

  • Note that this is a known issue - there's an issued with shared files not working in a Linux VM, and it seems similar components of that don't work with VMware at this time. – Thomas Ward Mar 19 '16 at 21:54
  • Solution here: superuser.com/a/1323289/347416 – Austin Dean May 16 '18 at 17:07
  • I noticed this problem has to do with me using a different window manager. VM shared clipboard works fine using gdm3, but when I switched to DWM shared desktop no longer worked – Max Coplan Sep 20 at 18:44

I had the same problem and found that this can be fixed by executing the following commands:

  1. sudo apt-get autoremove open-vm-tools
  2. Install VMware Tools by following the usual method (Virtual Machine --> Reinstall VMWare Tools)
  3. Reboot the VM
  4. sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop
  5. Reboot the VM, after the reboot copy/paste and drag/drop will work!
  • 2
    I found I didn't need to install VMware Tools. Doing an apt-get of open-vm-tools, then open-vm-tools-desktop, and then restarting worked for me. – Billy May 31 '16 at 20:36
  • 1
    Did not work for me on Ubuntu 14.04 64bit. – Forivin Jun 9 '16 at 7:21
  • 2
    Didn't work for me either on 16.04 64 bit (server) – Mahn Jul 10 '16 at 17:50
  • Working on Xubuntu 14.04 LTS desktop. Thanks! – RawwrBag Aug 1 '16 at 18:47
  • 3
    Removing open-vm-tools and rebooting destroyed my kernel and I had to reinstall the OS from scratch. – dionyziz Oct 14 '16 at 21:20

I tried the approach suggested by solution101 above, but this didn't work for me.

I then did

1) sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools

2) sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop

3) restart the guest operating system

and this seems to have fixed the copy-and-paste issue for me.

  • This worked for me in Ubuntu 17.04 running on a macOS Sierra host - thanks! – Chris Kobrzak Sep 12 '17 at 15:30
  • Worked for me on 16.04, thanks :) – JREAM Dec 1 '17 at 18:16
  • Worked on Windows 7 / VMware Player - Ubuntu 16.04. Thanks. – N.. Apr 23 '18 at 12:11
  • 1
    Worked for Ubuntu 18.04. I had missed open-vm-tools-desktop. – phoenix Jun 6 '18 at 15:22
  • 2
    you only need to do open-vm-tools-desktop because that installs open-vm-tools automagically – JREAM Jul 29 '18 at 19:45

This is copied verbatim from a vmware community forum:

  1. Go into VM / Settings / Options / Guest Isolation
  2. UNCHECK bothcheckboxes (Enable drag and drop, Enable copy and paste) and click OK.
  3. Shut down the guest, and shut down VMware Workstation
  4. Reboot the host computer
  5. Run VMware Workstation but do not launch the guest yet.
  6. Go into VM / Settings / Options / Guest Isolation for the guest, and
  7. CHECK both checkboxes
  8. Power On the guest.
  • I don't have this Guest Isolation option – Alaa M. Dec 18 '16 at 8:44
  • @AlaaM. Perhaps they have removed the feature? I no longer run VMWare, but instead am using KVM/QEMU for virtual machines. – Charles Green Dec 18 '16 at 14:05
  • Maybe. But it's ok looks like i just had to sudo nautilus and then i could drag and drop – Alaa M. Dec 18 '16 at 14:07
  • 3
    Did nothing for me on Ubuntu 16.10 – Gudlaugur Egilsson May 17 '17 at 9:52
  • I'm using ubuntu 17.04 32-bit. I just did step: 1,2,3,[no 4],5,6,7,8 ~ the paste works now – simomo Jul 27 '17 at 13:44

The best and working solution is restarting your VMWare application (Workstation, Fusion, etc.), not the VM itself. (provided, of course, that you have installed the VMWare tools already.)

  • 1
    This simple answer is what worked for me. Thanks! – Dan Nissenbaum Jun 27 '17 at 17:34
  • 1
    I knew it had to be something simple! didnt even need to reboot my host. – n00b Dec 12 '17 at 1:40
  • In my case I also needed to restart the VMWare Workstation Server service (vmware-hostd.exe process). Just restarting VMWare application was not enough. – Alex Che Aug 31 '18 at 10:17

You can't uncheck the checkboxes while the VM is running; they are disabled. If you do this when the VM is not running, there is no effect (VMWare Workstation 12 Pro).


In my case, somehow the guest start-up job running the VMware User Agent was removed from my xfce session autostart. You need to run /usr/bin/vmware-user-suid-wrapper at login

protected by Community Sep 19 '16 at 14:04

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