Copy/Paste Text between Windows XP Host and Ubuntu Guest in VirtualBox

I’ve recently upgraded the amount of memory and graphics card in my computer to order to be able to smoothly run virtual machines and support 2 monitors.

So instead of using dual boot for Windows XP and Ubuntu, I’m now running Ubuntu in VirtualBox.

One thing, I wanted to do is to copy text from the right screen (e.g. Instructions in Web Browser in Windows XP) to the left screen where I have Ubuntu 11.10 running in VirtualBox. This does not work right out of the (virtual)box however.

VirtualBox Copy/Paste Text betwem host and guest machine
Copy Text in Firefox (Windows XP) and Paste it in a Terminal Windows (Ubuntu)

The procedure to enable “Shared Clipboard” is straightforward. First, you need to install the guest additions. While Ubuntu is running, click on “Devices->Install Guest Additions” in VirtualBox top menu, this will start the installation in Ubuntu, simply enter you root password until the installation completes. Restart Ubuntu and you should now be able to copy/paste text between the host and guest machines.

If this does not work, you can check the Shared Clipboard settings. Click on “Machine->Settings” and in the “General” settings, click on “Advanced”.  Make sure “Shared Clipboard” is set to bidirectional.

Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.

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1 Comment
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7 years ago

Very helpful. Thanks 🙂