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Clipboard sharing starts working fine, but it stops working after some time (until I reboot the machine).

From what I understand sometimes the guest additions stop working. I read that I should see vboxadd-timesyn running on my system. I checked ps -A | grep -i vbox and I don't see it. All I get is:

VBoxSerive
VBoxClient
VBoxClient
VBoxClient
VBoxClient

If this is indeed the problem, how do I restart the service? If it isn't, what else I could look at?

This is with a Windows 7 host and Linux Ubuntu guest.

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4 Answers

Try running vboxadd-timesyn start to restart the service.

One other thing that I remember reading was to change the clipboard sharing from bidirectional to host to guest.

Here you can find an old bug ticket that looks similar to your problem. It's a long read, but you may find some suggestions in there useful.

Finally, if nothing solves the problem, I suggest you to open a bug report in VirtualBox's Bugtracker yourself, because you are not the first one having problems with the shared clipboard.

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Thanks! But when I type vboxadd-timesyn start I get: command not found. Any suggestions? –  user815423426 Jan 15 '13 at 22:50
    
The commands available are: VBoxClient, VBoxClient-all, VBoxControl and VBoxService. –  user815423426 Jan 15 '13 at 22:52
1  
Can you try running /etc/init.d/vboxadd-timesync start? –  user1301428 Jan 15 '13 at 22:53
    
The only commands completing /etc/init.d/vboxadd are vboxadd, vboxadd-service and vboxadd-x11 –  user815423426 Jan 15 '13 at 23:04
1  
I've googled around a bit, and it looks like that command may have been renamed to vboxadd. If this is true, you might want to try running /etc/init.d/vboxadd and similar commands. –  user1301428 Jan 15 '13 at 23:22
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How to fix shared clipboard in VirtualBox

  1. In VirtualBox Windows Guest, Open Task Manager
  2. Go to Processes Tab, highlight VBoxTray.exe and select End Process
  3. Go to Applications Tab and select New Task
  4. Browse to the VirtualBox Guest Additions installation folder and select VBoxTray.exe and select OK.

The clipboard should work afterwards.

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I found out that on Linux guests (Ubuntu in my case) and Windows 7 hosts (I guess that doesn't matter) you just have to restart the following process on your guest machine:

/usr/bin/VBoxClient --clipboard

Find out the PID of the process with ps and kill it. Afterwards start the process with the above command again and the clipboard starts working again. I use this for example:

kill $(ps aux | grep '/usr/bin/VBoxClient --clipboard' | grep -v grep | awk '{print $2}')

/usr/bin/VBoxClient --clipboard

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The problem may be caused by VirtualBox Addons not starting correctly. Try this command in the guest OS:

sudo /etc/init.d/vboxadd start
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What does that command actually do for you? Where would you type that in, Windows host or Linux guest? –  Andrew Lott Jul 5 '13 at 7:18
    
@AndrewLott It's obviously a Linux command (sudo and init.d scripts). But still, having a little more explanation as to what it does would be nice. –  slhck Jul 5 '13 at 8:10
    
You and I can tell it's a Linux command, but I'm thinking about other visitors who might not be so certain. –  Andrew Lott Jul 5 '13 at 8:12
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