clipboard is not working on vnc

Asked by Jerome Yanga on 2020-07-24

Issue: I can copy text from the server and paste it on my workstation, but I cannot copy from my workstartion and paste into the vnc server. This works for Ubuntu 16.04 but fails on 20.04 and 18.04.

I am running the following config.

OS: Ubuntu 20.04
xfce4 xfce4-goodies firefox autocutsel tightvncserver

Here is my xstartup file.

autocutsel -s CLIPBOARD -fork
startxfce4 &
[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r /home/bldgis/.Xresources ] && xrdb /home/bldgis/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &

I am open to use any desktop manager. Xfce4 is the only one that I can get to work this far. :)


Thank you in advance.

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11 hours ago

You can copy it over SSH to a text file then open that in a text editor in the GUI. This acts as a buffer for the system. If you are accessing VNC over the Web then this should be done as VNC has no encryption.

What are you using VNC to achieve? There may be a sleeker solution

Here is a cracking guide
I use LXDE myself. Works in a similar way but I need to check my GUI application occasionally and do so with VNC

Jerome Yanga (jgyanga) said : #3


I use VNC to run some GUI applications. From time to time, I need to copy and paste a multiline text into the VNC server or vice versa.

I actually used that link that you have provided to setup my environment. It successfully help me setup the VNC server but the cut and paste functionality did not work at all. In effect, I Google'd some more and found an article that suggests to use autocutsel. This solution only works on Ubuntu 16.04.


The terminal will give you a work around for now. You can use vi/nano to make a text file and paste the text you need then open in the VNC session.

What GUI apps are you running? There may be a sleeker solution to what you are doing.

Jerome Yanga (jgyanga) said : #5


Cutting and pasting via the SSH session is currently what I have been doing as a workaround but it is such a pain. Hence, I posted the question here.

The software that I am using is ESRI's ArcGIS suite.


Maybe others can help. At least you have a work around.

Oh, be sure you add the "-local" option in the service file for VNC so that you have to go via an SSH tunnel to connect (if it's over the Web)

Jerome Yanga (jgyanga) said : #7


Thank you for the SSH tunnel suggestion. I shall utilize that.


Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #8

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.