A. Mikkelsen VMware ESX scripts, commands, tools and other nice to know things that will make your virtualization days easier!!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Copy & Paste option is disabled in vSphere Client 4.1 – default

Filed under: Security,Troubleshooting — Tags: , , , , , — A. Mikkelsen @ 14:23 pm

Yesterday we upgraded one of our vSphere Clusters to 4.1 – it went smoothly 🙂

But today the users reported that they weren’t able to use cut % paste between the guest and their computer using the vSphere Client (Console).

After a quick google we found that VMware has tightened the vSphere security by disabling this feature. See VMware KB 1026437.

If you need the cut & paste functionality you can enable it again on the guest or host level.

For a single VM:

  • Using the vSpher Client logon to your vCenter server.
  • Poweroff the VM.
  • Edit the VM’s settings
  • Navigate to Options > Advanced > General
  • Click Configuration Parameters
  • Add the following rows, by using Add Row
    isolation.tools.copy.disable –  false
    isolation.tools.paste.disable  – false
  • Click OK twice to close the dialogs and save the changes.
  • PowerOn the VM

For all VM’s on a host ESX/ESXi

Must be done on all hosts, so you don’t loose the functionality when the VM is migrated to another host.

  • Open a SSH to the host ex. using Putty
  • Open /etc/vmware/config in your favorit editor .
  • Add these lines to the file

  • Save and close the config file. Cut & Paste will work after a VM powerson, reboots or resume.


  1. We have SSH disabled on vSphere 4.1 (as a best practice) is there another way to edit the /etc/vmware/config file? vMA perhaps?

    Comment by ubergeek — Thursday, October 28, 2010 @ 3:16 am

  2. Not sure.
    Couldn’t find anything on Google and haven’t tried.

    On how many hosts do you need to change the config file on?

    A. Mikkelsen

    Comment by A. Mikkelsen — Thursday, October 28, 2010 @ 9:49 am

  3. Thanks.. was looking for this.
    But the copy paste works only one way – from VM to host. Does not work the other way around.
    Any ideas?

    Comment by Sonu — Tuesday, May 3, 2011 @ 10:02 am

  4. Hi,
    For me it works both ways..
    Try using “Right Click”+ Copy / Paste.
    That’s how i do it.

    A. Mikkelsen

    Comment by A. Mikkelsen — Friday, May 6, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  5. Any suggestions for doing this to 48 hosts?

    Comment by andrew — Thursday, September 1, 2011 @ 5:11 am

  6. Hi Andrew,

    There is no quick way of doing this for 48 hosts.

    But you may want to look at using plink through PowerCLI.
    This is you only option for automating the task, as I see it.

    We have decided not to enable it in our environment 220+ hosts 🙂

    A. Mikkelsen

    Comment by A. Mikkelsen — Thursday, September 1, 2011 @ 6:54 am

  7. You can also directly edit the .vmx file 🙂

    VMware – Cannot Cut, Copy, or Paste to and from VM’s


    Comment by PeteLong — Wednesday, September 28, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

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