How to Fix “Error While Copying” in VMware Ubuntu?

Are you having trouble copying and pasting files from your Host Operating System to the Ubuntu Virtual Machine inside VMware and vice versa? If that is the case, this guide is for you.

Anyone looking to try out Ubuntu uses it as a virtual machine in their main operating system. Sometimes, even the pros use Ubuntu as a virtual machine, as running Ubuntu as your computer/server’s primary operating system has pros and cons.

Sometimes, when the user wants to copy and paste or drag and drop files from the host operating system to Ubuntu inside a VMware, an error message says “Error While Copying.” This guide will explain the reason for this error and provide various solutions that can be applied to resolve this error.

Let’s get started.

How to Fix “Error While Copying” in VMware Ubuntu?

First, you should restart VMware completely, as a temporary “mismatch may cause the error.” After that, you should check if the VMware tools are installed on your Ubuntu operating system, as they allow VMware to integrate different features into your Ubuntu OS.

If a “service” malfunction causes the error, then you can restart the VMware service by heading inside the services of the host operating system. Let’s discuss these solutions in detail.

Install VMware Tools in Ubuntu VM

The first solution is to install the Open VMware Tools, which allow multiple VMware features to be integrated with the Ubuntu OS. One of these features is smooth copy-paste and drag-drop between the Host Operating System and the Guest Operating System.

However, by default, when you install Ubuntu inside VMware, these tools are automatically installed. If these are corrupted or uninstalled for any reason, you can just reinstall them.

To do this, open a new terminal session in the Ubuntu Guest VM and execute the following command.

sudo apt-get autoremove open-vm-tools

This command will remove the previous VM tools from your Ubuntu VM. Even if this command results in an error that the package “open-vm-tools” is not found, you don’t need to worry. Next, install/re-install the VM tools by running the following command.

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop

After the installation, reboot your Ubuntu Guest VM, and then you can test whether the copy-paste and drag-drop are working with any errors.

Restart VMware Completely

Most of the time, when multiple services keep running in the host operating system, small and temporary mismatches can occur. Such small mismatches can be fixed by closing the application and launching it again.

Therefore, close down the VMware Workstation or VMware player completely and relaunch it. After that, boot into your Ubuntu Guest VM and see if the copy-paste works.

Restart the Host Operating System

As mentioned earlier, there can be various mismatches, and if restarting the VMware didn’t work, you can restart your PC entirely.

This solution does not only restart the services of the Guest VM inside the VMware but also the services of the Host Operating System.

Configure Guest Isolation Settings Inside VMware

VMware has a category inside settings called “Guest Isolation,” which includes enabling and disabling Copy and Paste between the Guest VM and Host Operating System. Therefore, you need to ensure that these settings are configured properly.

To do this, right-click on your Ubuntu VM inside VMware, head inside the “Power” tab, and click on the option “Shut Down Guest.” This step is necessary as no changes can be made to the configuration of a running VM.

Once the Virtual Machine has shut down completely, right-click on the Ubuntu VM again and go to “Settings.” In Settings, go to the “Options” Tab and click “Guest Isolation” from the left-side navigation panel.

How to Fix "Error While Copying" in VMware Ubuntu?

Ensure the checkboxes allowing copy-paste and drag-drop are checked within the guest isolation settings.

After that, click the “OK” button to apply the changes, boot into the Ubuntu Virtual Machine, and test if the copying works without errors.

Use the Latest Version of VMware and Ubuntu

If you are using an old version of VMware or Ubuntu, then the Open VM tools might not work correctly. The only way to fix this is to download and install the Latest Version of VMware (Player or Workstation) and the latest version of Ubuntu.

Ensure VMware Services in Windows

If your host operating system is Windows, you need to ensure that VMware services are running.

To do this, press the “Win” key, search for the “services” application, and launch it.

How to Fix "Error While Copying" in VMware Ubuntu?

Inside the Services Application, you will see a long list of all the services registered/installed inside your Windows operating system. Scroll through this list to find the VMware services and ensure they are all in the  “Running” state.

How to Fix "Error While Copying" in VMware Ubuntu?

If any service for VMware is not running or the Startup Type is not “Automatic”, right-click on that service to make the required changes. After that, reboot the Ubuntu VM and try the copying process to see if it works error-free.

Run the VMware User-Agent Manually

The VMware user agent enables various features inside the Ubuntu Operating System. However, due to some reasons, there is a chance that this agent is loading up automatically. Therefore, you must head inside the Ubuntu Virtual Machine and run the VMware Agent Manually.

To do this, open up a new terminal session inside the Ubuntu VM and execute the following command.

sudo /usr/bin/vmware-user-suid-wrapper

Upon executing this command, you will be prompted by the terminal to provide the password for the sudo users. Therefore, type the password and press the “Enter” key. If the VMware User-agent is not corrupted, you will not get any error messages on the terminal as an output.

Afterward, retry the copying or the drag-drop process to see if it works without errors. If an Error is displayed while running the VMware User-Agent, you might have to re-install the Ubuntu VM.

Set Update Settings Inside VMware

You must always set the updates to automatic for VMware tools, as they are necessary for various features to work between the Host Operating System and the Guest VM. Moreover, you need to Download Component Update if the updates are turned off.

To do this, click on the “Edit” Tab in VMware and select the option “Preferences” to open up the Settings for VMware.

Inside the Preference Settings, click on the “Updates” Tab from the left-side navigation panel to show all the settings related to Updates to VMware Tools and Components.

How to Fix "Error While Copying" in VMware Ubuntu?

Within the Update settings, ensure the following things.

  • The checkbox to “Check for product updates at startup” is marked as this would ensure that your VMware is always up-to-date.
  • The check box “Automatically Update VMware Tools on a Virtual Machine” is marked as this would remove the need to manually install/update VMware in any of the Virtual machines.
  • The checkbox for “Check for Software Component as Needed” is marked.

At the end, the settings will have the following configurations.

How to Fix "Error While Copying" in VMware Ubuntu?

After that, restart your VMware and wait for updates to be downloaded and installed (if any). After that, log into the Ubuntu VM and check if the copying works correctly.

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The “Error While Copying” error occurs when the user tries to copy-paste (Drag-and-drop included) something from the Host Operating System to a Ubuntu VM. To fix the “Error While Copying” for a Ubuntu VM running inside VMware, ensure that the Open VM Tools are correctly installed inside the Ubuntu VM.

The best way to do this is to remove and reinstall the old VM tools. Once that is done, try to restart your Ubuntu Virtual Machine, the VMware, because this will restart all of the services of VMware and Ubuntu and remove any service mismatch.

The Host operating system can also cause a service mismatch. Therefore, restarting your PC entirely and seeing if the error is resolved is beneficial. Otherwise, ensure that the Guest Isolation settings allow copy and paste between Host and Guest OS.

Lastly, you need to ensure that everything is up-to-date and the update settings are also set to automatic.

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