I have on a Xubuntu 16.04 another Xubuntu 17 running in a VirtualBox. I have the bidirectional clipboard share activated and have also installed

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms

on the guest. But even after rebooting I can't copy/paste between the guest and host machine.

I am running Parcellite on the host,could that be a problem?


You should install virtualbox-guest-x11 package as dkms installs only the drivers. Then run the command VBoxClient --clipboard.

Sources How to fix virtualbox's copy and paste to host-machine?


The method with 'VBoxClient --clipboard' did not work for me.

So, I downgraded VirtualBox from verison 6.1.4 to 6.1.2 and the problem disappeared.


Using latest Virtual Box 6.1 on Windows10 host, using Ubuntu 18.04 guest

First I had installed by downloading How To Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 18.04

sudo apt install build-essential dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r)

sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run --nox11

The install was successful, It should have worked but didn't

Next I did (as suggested above):
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms
VBoxClient --clipboard

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11

This also did not work, I have rebooted and all that, enabled bidirectional - clipboard, drag-n-drop, etc.
Not only cut-n-paste does not work, I cant even scroll my mouse pointer above the prompt - so essentially makes the VM useless.
You would expect something like this to work by default, but unfortunately not, even after all the hoops.

  • If you use Ubuntu Sever you can not use clipboard, mouse integration. Only Shared Folders.
    – adasiko
    Dec 18 '19 at 12:10
  • @ adasiko - I was not aware of this limitation, documentation etc are not clear about this.
    – Sam-T
    Dec 18 '19 at 15:55
  • The menu has enable clip board, drag drop etc - none of them work. I thought setting X11 etc would make it work. But total waste of time. (same with VM Player also)
    – Sam-T
    Dec 18 '19 at 16:02
  • As I "answered" above, I think that Oracle has a bug in their latest 6.1 release. I also noticed that, after a completely-proper install of the necessary software on host and guest, the clipboard-sharing broke. Feb 26 '20 at 23:23

I just upgraded my VirtualBox to 6.1, and the Guest Additions on my Ubuntu guest to the corresponding version, and right now I think that this introduced a bug because my clipboard-sharing also stopped working ... as soon as I upgraded. (Yes, I installed the Additions both on the host and on my Ubuntu guest.)

Therefore, I'm pretty sure that this is Oracle's bug, and that we'll be seeing a hot-fix coming out from them in a few days.


I did not get any response here and could not figure it out - tried many options (same problem with VMPlayer also).

But the good news, at least from cut-n-paste perspective, use an alternative client. You can use SSH to log into the machine using your favorite tool - PuTTY or even cmd will work. This actually is a better solution - no need to muck with mouse capture and all that.

  1. So just setup an SSH server:

    $ sudo apt update
    $ sudo apt install openssh-server
    $ sudo systemctl status ssh
    Active: active (running)  
  2. Open firewall:

    sudo ufw allow ssh
  3. Check IP address:

    ip a
  4. SSH in with PuTTY or cmd or:

    ssh <username>@<ip_address>

You are done! It should work like a charm!

Note: This SSH works only from local host as the VM only has a private IP. If you can create a public IP on a VM (that is another arduous adventure - still working on it), you will be able to remote SSH.

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