Copy/Cut and Paste in vCloud Director Remote Console

This is a quick note to share something I happened to find out yesterday that I admit I was not even aware of.  I actually asked around and thought that cut and paste was simply not supported in vCloud Director.  I went so far as to ping my colleague David Hill to test it and he was saying that he was saying the same thing.  The key to this is that in both our labs, the base install is on vSphere 4.1.  As it turns out, as of 4.1 VMware starting setting the default on cut and paste to be disabled.  This it seems will also directly affect the function in the vCloud Remote Console.

This KB describes the situation but there is a few key things to point out:

  • You can do this on a per server or per Virtual Machine Basis
  • If you do it per server be sure to enable on ALL server in the cluster or a vMotion to a server without the setting will prevent it
  • It does require a restart of the Virtual Machine or a vMotion to a host where this has been enabled
  • The settings will not persist on an ESXi Upgrade and will have to be re-added
The basic steps from the KB to enable on the ESXi server itself are:
  1. Log in to the ESX/ESXi host as a root user and open the /etc/vmware/config file using a text editor.
  2. Add these entries to the file:”FALSE””FALSE”
  3. Save and close the file. The Copy and Paste options are only enabled when the virtual machines restart or resume the next time.
I will admit this was rather frustrating to me as I even tested this on vSphere 5 and vCloud Director 1.5 and saw the same issue.  I guess I did not feel so bad when others told me they could not get it working.  Thanks to Wade Holmes for pointing out the change in vSphere 4.1 so I could test it in my lab.  Hopefully this help keep other folks from providing mis-information like I did about this not even being something that is available in vCloud Director….that was totally my mistake.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. Great little piece of information. I’m going to go apply that now.

  2. Bumped in to this so many times 🙂

  3. Customer with vSphere 5.1, vCenter 5.1, vCloud 5.1.1. Using firefox. Doesn’t seem to work at all. I did edit all three ESXi hosts that this vCloud has, after the change I put all the hosts in maintenance mode one by one. But I can’t copy past at all between VMs or VM and desktop. Anyone else better experiences?

    • I have not gone back to test with the latest versions of the suite to see if there is something else new that needs to also be done. I am wondering if there is a new KB article for 5.1 since there was so rather significant changes there.

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