54

I have a QEMU/KVM virtual machine created with Virtual Machine Manager.

I would like to be able to copy text on the host and paste it into the guest, and the other way around too.

How can I share the clipboard between the host and the guest?

1
57

The solution is simple. Just install the package spice-vdagent in the guest virtual machine:

sudo apt install spice-vdagent

The clipboard is automatically shared - we can copy and paste between the host and the guest.

10
10

For my Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya machine timelf123 provided the answer:

  • In my Windows guest (Windows 7) downloaded and installed spice-guest-tools-latest.exe.
  • Before That, back in my QEMU/KVM Virtual Machine Manager I had to switch the guest machine's display to Spice.
  • Before That, back in my Linux host I had to fire up Synaptic Package Manager and install gir1.2-spice-client-gtk-3.0.
3
  • 1
    Sorry. It's all right here. "“timelf123's link” is a reference his (timelf123's) comment on the preceding answer. I see that's not clear. In hindsight perhaps I should have commented rather than answered.
    – user435822
    Oct 11 '18 at 20:17
  • 1
    Thank you for the clarification! I included the links directly to your answer to make it clearer.
    – Melebius
    Oct 12 '18 at 6:30
  • For Centos7, I got it to work with yum install libguestfs-tools instead of gir1.2-spice-client-gtk.
    – JosephK
    Jan 2 '20 at 5:44
5

In case the question pops up - what if it's Ubuntu server or similar?

Don't run around in circles - install openssh-server on the vm, and when you ssh in you cut and paste into your favourite terminal.

2
  • although this might not directly answer the question, this is a viable option if you can reach the host via ssh from the network your favorite terminal is running from. It also seems that an X server needs to be running for the clipboard to work via SPICE if using virt-viewer but it should work with virt-manager with spice-vdagent installed. Jan 15 '20 at 13:17
  • 1
    That's "out of the box thinking", and although it doesn't answer the question directly, it's the best answer, if the guest is a Linux type machine. Previously the answer was downvoted, but I find that a bit harsh.
    – ISparkes
    Mar 13 '20 at 12:09
0

In year 2021, qemu uses qemu-vdagent chardev for copy&paste, which turns off clipboard by default, so simply installing spice-vdagent package in guest OS does not work.

The solution of 2021 is:

  1. Install spice-vdagent package as the current answer said,

  2. Have qemu support spice (--enable-spice --enable-spice-protocol in ./configure option),

  3. Launch qemu using:

    qemu-system-x86_64 [ ... ] \
      -chardev qemu-vdagent,id=ch1,name=vdagent,clipboard=on \
      -device virtio-serial-pci \
      -device virtserialport,chardev=ch1,id=ch1,name=com.redhat.spice.0
    

    P.S. A side effect on my qemu is that the mouse moves more smoothly thanks to vdagent.

Reference: https://www.kraxel.org/blog/2021/05/qemu-cut-paste/

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.