Enabling copy and paste between VM console and Windows VM on ESXi 6.x

I’ve seen this issue some up a few times on the VMTN forums so I’ve explained the reasons why this is disabled by default ans how to enable it in the blog post. I’ve also published a video at the bottom of the page.

Copy and paste is disabled between the VM console and Windows VMs¬†by default. The console acts exactly like a console, you cannot copy and paste form a physical console to your notepad! VMware also disable this feature by default as a security concern and it’s mentioned in their Virtual Machine security hardening guidelines.

However, if you must enable copy and paste between a Windows VM’s console and your workstation running the vSphere C# client, then here is how you do it:

  1. Install VMware Tools on the VM
  2. Power down the virtual machine
  3. Edit setting for the VM.
  4. Navigate to the Options tab > Advanced > General > Configuration Parameters
  5. Add a row for each of the following:
    isolation.tools.copy.disable FALSE
    isolation.tools.paste.disable FALSE
  6. Ensure the value field is set to FALSE for both
  7. Power on the VM
  8. Try to copy and paste to / from the VM console to your workstation

If you are using a “headless” linux VM then I believe that copy and paste operations between the console and your workstation via the vSphere client are not possible.


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