copy-paste between client and host

Bug #614958 reported by Steve White
34
This bug affects 8 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
QEMU
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Hi,

I propose that copy/paste between VMs be implemented somehow directly in QEMU.
This has been discussed repeatedly elsewhere; various solutions are proposed. See below.

As it is, each user has to do their own research and testing if they are to find a solution. This makes the product frustratingly unattractive for many.

Most solutions involve either running vnc and using a vnc client that supports copy/paste (this can be tricky to find itself), or running some other tcp-based copy-paste application.

For many users, the networking in a client VM is unimportant--they just want to run some application there, and setting up netoworking in a VM itself can be an issue. Most of these solutions rely on un-maintained software, and some require that other software be installed to make them work (Basic interpreter, Java, etc). Any of these solutions take some work to set up.

I can tell you, the absence of a copy/paste mechanism makes the project an immediate no-go for many users. I work with a guy who spent a lot of time trying, gave up, and switched to VirtualBox for this exact reason.

It would be much better if copy/paste worked out of the box. Ideally, it should work independently of networking.

Cheers!

Some discussions and proposed solutions:
-----------------------------------------------------
http://qemu-forum.ipi.fi/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=161
    Somebody suggests VNC into the virtual host, and use vncviewer
    Somebody else suggests TCP/IP Clipboard (text editor with tcp/ip)

http://qemu-forum.ipi.fi/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2626
    primitive app for sharing text across machines (in Basic)
    http://homepage.mac.com/bnej/shareclip/

http://borderworlds.dk/blog/20070217-00.html
    Says doesn't know a good solution but points to unmaintained package
    Qemu Guest Tools
    http://wolfpackally.wo.funpic.de/qemu/qgt/

http://bonzoli.com/docs/How_to_setup_Qemu_on_Fedora_8.html
    proposes Java remoteclip running on client and server
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/rcm/WWW/RemoteClip/

Revision history for this message
Sergei Steshenko (sergstesh) wrote : Re: [Qemu-devel] [Bug 614958] [NEW] copy-paste between client and host

--- On Sun, 8/8/10, Steve White <email address hidden> wrote:

> From: Steve White <email address hidden>
> Subject: [Qemu-devel] [Bug 614958] [NEW] copy-paste between client and host
> To: <email address hidden>
> Date: Sunday, August 8, 2010, 3:19 AM

> I can tell you, the absence of a copy/paste mechanism makes
> the project
> an immediate no-go for many users.  I work with a guy
> who spent a lot of
> time trying, gave up, and switched to VirtualBox for this
> exact reason.

+1e9.

_Exactly_, _absolutely_.

Been there, done that, and even though I write code professionally, I
prefer VirtualBox just because many things in it simply work.

Regards,
  Sergei.

Revision history for this message
Paolo Bonzini (bonzini) wrote :

SPICE is supposed to address this kind of issue. Hopefully it will be merged in 0.14.

Anyway, after SPICE support is merged this feature would belong in SPICE, not in QEMU. See http://spice-space.org/page/Features/SharedClipboard for more information.

We might keep this open until SPICE is merged, but I'm not sure this bug really belongs in QEMU's bug tracker.

Revision history for this message
Steve White (stevan-white) wrote :

Hi Paolo,

Thanks for your acknowledgement! if a solution is on the way, I'm glad to hear it!

I agree that it would be best to keep this report open until *after* the solution arrives and this particular feature has been tested and it has been released to the public. If this SPICE doesn't completely satisfy the cut and paste requirement, then the bug report should be moved to the SPICE bug report system.

We are eagerly awaiting the new features!

Cheers!

Revision history for this message
Michal Suchanek (hramrach) wrote :

I use serial console to cut&paste between host and guest without networking.

It's nice SPICE is addressing this but I agree this is not really something qemu itself should do. There is no hardware cut&paste device qemu can emulate, the video hardware has not notion of cut&paste.

At the very least qemu could support paste but since the SDL interface has no controls and is direct input to the virtual machine there would be need for different interface with more features.

You can copy screenshots. To support true clipboard copy you need in-client software for every OS you run. While a nice project, and nice thing to point people to in qemu docs (if it exists) it is definitely out of the scope of qemu - a hardware emulator. Note that for SPICE cut&paste to work you will surely need some SPICE driver installed in the guest, and few platforms are supported.

Revision history for this message
Steve White (stevan-white) wrote :

Hi Michel,

It may be out of scope for qemu -- the scope is for the developers to decide.

My point remains though: If this functionality isn't there when the user installs qemu, they will find another solution. It won't be hard to find. I have watched this happen.

Perhaps there's some synthesis, for example, a preferred packaging of qemu with software that provides this functionality.

Revision history for this message
Thomas Huth (th-huth) wrote :

I think we can close this nowadays, according to comment #2.

Changed in qemu:
status: New → Fix Released
Revision history for this message
Ciro Santilli 六四事件 法轮功 (cirosantilli) wrote :

Having to launch a separate `remote-viewer` command to view the desktop is not very satisfactory for me, as you then have to think about two processes instead of one.

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