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I've installed Ubuntu Server under Virtualbox just to get a nice little shell. I've also installed the VirtualBox "Guest Additions" and set "Shared Clipboard: Bidirectional".

I still can't seem to get any copy-paste working. Am I missing something here?

I've installed gpm which gives mouse support in server mode (no X), and allows copy-paste using the mouse, but still the VirtualBox integration doesn't work.

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Just trying this myself. Couldn't get it to work with gpm and a console only guest.

I strongly suspect that the clipboard integration rely's on having a running X server in the Guest.

A work-a-round is to install openssh-server on the guest and ssh using a terminal from your host to the guest. Then you have 'clipboard integration'

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That's not a bad suggestion. In fact it's probably more efficient/responsive than using the VM window. – bukzor Feb 24 '11 at 5:32
@James Brilliant idea !!! :) – TraderJoeChicago Mar 30 '12 at 8:16
ran into this issue myself, this is definitely the only way I have found to work around this – adeleinr Dec 21 '12 at 2:01
Couldn't get it to work either on Ubuntu Server 16.04 no matter what, most likely it is tied to the X server like you suggest, so no-can-do with terminal only OSs. – Mahn Jul 11 at 17:53

Try to use PuTTY and connect via SSH to your virtual Linux system.

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This is probably not a "solution", but it's how I was able to get some data off my ubuntu server VM. I set up a simple php file upload script on one of my servers, then shot the file up to it via curl. As soon as I was done I removed it.

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I don't think that you will be able to copy/paste in Ubuntu Server, mostly because:

  1. If you try to do Ctrl+V, the OS will see that as a ^V control sequence.
  2. You can't do a copy/paste with a right-click menu as there are no mouse daemons that support that. (As far as I know anyways, someone feel free to correct me.)
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The shortcut I'd expect to work is shift-insert.… – bukzor Oct 4 '10 at 3:46
Not the point. This is a problem with the virtualization a guest additions. – GregB Apr 8 '13 at 21:58

You need to use CTL+Shift+V to paste, copy as normal in the Host, and back in the VM add Shift as well if you wish to copy, so CTL+SHIFT+C ( then Cut with same + X ).


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You are wrong. CTL+SHIFT+V is the keyboard shortcut for the Ubuntu terminal, but there is an issue with the guest additions in Ubuntu 12.04 which will cause copy/paste to periodically break in one, or both directions. – GregB Apr 8 '13 at 21:57

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