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How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest

Clipboard and folder sharing are usually an important feature to have when we run virtual machines. So here am I sharing the complete guide for you guys.

I found people talking about Qemu/KVM on Reddit, so I decided to try. Main reason why I wanted to try because I want to move away from VirtualBox that I can never enable folder sharing, and VMWare which is paid.

I am currently running Ubuntu 20.04 as the Host and Windows 10 as the Guests.

Problems

It is quite confusing when you first started. I started with virt-manager and had no clipboard sharing enabled. By default, virt-manager is using SPICE. The key to this tutorial is, install spice-guest-tools and Spice WebDAV daemon.

Notes

I am writing this tutorial based on virt-manager. It should be working for any SPICE remote viewer too such as Cockpit (tested).

Solution – Clipboard sharing

(Updated as 26th Oct)

Step 1 – Download spice-guest-tools to Windows Guest

Open the download page (https://cutt.ly/2ROq8dK) on your Windows Guest, scroll down a bit until you found Windows binaries under Guest, click the Windows guest tools link to start the download. Or you can use this link

https://www.spice-space.org/download/windows/spice-guest-tools/spice-guest-tools-latest.exe 

Or easier, shortened URL: https://cutt.ly/SROqBqZ
Windows Guest Tools for clipboard sharing
In my case, I opened the link on my Windows Guest, but internet is required for that. If you have no internet, you can download the file on a device with internet, then transfer it to your Windows Guest using USB storage which sadly won’t be covered here.

Step 2 – Run and install spice-guest-tools

After the file is available on your Windows Guest, run and install the program.

The display might blinking a few times, so don’t worry about that.

How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 1

Step 3 – Test your copy/paste

You are pretty much finished. Try copying something in your Windows Guest and paste it in your Host, it should work. But if it doesn’t, try rebooting the VM. If it still won’t work, remove the program and reinstall. It should be working.

Solution – Folder sharing

(Updated as 26th Oct)

So, you have clipboard sharing enabled and now want to share folder?

We will be using virt-manager and Cockpit

Unfortunately, virt-manager has not implemented SPICE WebDAV in its client. So, we are going to use Cockpit, the alternative.

Step 1 – Install Cockpit and Cockpit Virtual Machines

First, install Cockpit and Cockpit Virtual Machines. For Ubuntu, run

Ubuntu: $ sudo apt install cockpit cockpit-machines
Arch: $ sudo pacman -Sy cockpit cockpit-machines

If you are using another Linux distribution, refer this page. You will still need to install cockpit-machines using your package manager to enable Virtual Machine manager.

Then enable and start cockpit

$ sudo systemctl enable cockpit.socket
$ sudo systemctl start cockpit.socket

Step 2 – Open the Web-UI in your browser

Cockpit provides Web-UI which you can access to use the program. Simply open this URL in your browser

http://localhost:9090
How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 2

Login using your PC user and username

Step 2 – Go to Virtual Machine and shutdown your VM

You need to shutdown your VM or your settings in the next few steps probably won’t work. Simply go to Virtual Machines and hit the Shut Down button to turn off the VM.

Notes: If your Virtual Machine is empty, go to Overview and check if there is a notification at the top asking for a permission. Allow the access and your VMs should be showing up.

How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 3
Hit “Shut Down” button and wait for a few moment until it shows the server is turned off.

Step 3 – Open virt-manager, add new hardware

Open your virt-manager, right click on your VM and select open. You can also click on your VM, then hit the big “Open” button at the top.

How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 4

Click Add Hardware and select Channel. Delete whatever in “Name” column, and insert this

org.spice-space.webdav.0
How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 5
Only modify “Name” column. Leave everything else as default.

Step 4 – Return to Cockpit Web-UI, run your VM

You don’t need virt-manager for now, so you can close it. Then return to Cockpit Web-UI and hit Run button to start your VM.

Then go to Consoles tab and click “Launch remote viewer”

Notes: You probably need to install Remote Viewer if you are not on Ubuntu. On Arch, Install virt-viewer.

How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 6

Click “OK” and you will see your Windows Desktop.

Step 5 – Enable Folder Sharing

Click menu File, then select Preferences. tick “Share Folder” and choose which folder you want to share with the Guest.

Notes: On Arch, Preferences is in hamburger menu on the right.

Remote Viewer Folder Sharing preferences

Download and install spice-webdavd in Windows Guest. Pay attention on the file extension. You will want to donwload .msi file which usually larger than the other. Or you can just use this link for the latest installer

https://www.spice-space.org/download/windows/spice-webdavd/spice-webdavd-x86-latest.msi

Be aware, some browsers will open the link instead of downloading it. At least Edge displaying the file content to me instead of downloading it.
How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 7

Then in the Windows, open Task Manager and go to Services tab. Find “spice-webdavd” and start the process if it doesn’t.

How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 8

Step 7 – Verify the Folder Sharing is working

After running the “Spice webdav proxy” service, you should see a new storage in “This PC” or “My Computer”.

How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest 9

Try creating a file or folder and check shared folder on your Host to see if the changes reflected.

You are now done 🙂

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Pn Raihan

Salam tuan.

Terima kasih atas perkongsian ini. Baru tahu yang clipboard pun boleh ‘enabled’ untuk vm juga.

Izinkan saya berkongsi cara saya dapatkan perkongsian folder dengan ‘Windows guest’ ni tanpa cockpit yang saya muatkan di weblog saya; https://wraihan.com/posts/spice-webdav-kongsi-folder-windows-vm/

Cuma penulisan saya dalam bahasa Melayu.

Bart

Hi There

I tried your guideline and for the copy-paste, it worked like a charm. The shared folder, however, is not working. I got it all right till the last step. But the Windows machine does not have “spice-webdavd” in the list of the Task Manager. Any suggestions where the problem might be?
Thanks! Bart

malick

spice-webdavd is a service hence you wouldn’t be able to see it (running) shouldn’t the service be running itself. Go for “Services” tab and check.

Cato

Yeah I’m encountering this as well, there is no “spice-webdavd” service to start 😐

comment image

Raffi

Make sure “spice-webdavd” is installed in windows. Google it, download, install and restart the windows.

Victim of Bad Advice

Can confirm that this does not work – no spice webdavd service in Windows taskmanager!

VonNaturAustreVe
Sean

Out of curiousity, wouldn’t setting up shared folders in Samba do the same thing?

Virtualising Fan

Install spice-webdavd Daemon (https://www.spice-space.org/download/windows/spice-webdavd/?C=M;O=A) and you’ll see that service

Betsy

Betsy ih

Betsy

No problem

juan kungfoo

hey, tried the copy-pasta solution using the spice-guest-tools… it worked like a charm… thanks for this article!!!

iutech

Hi.
Thanks for this tutorial, but at the second step 2 of “Folder sharing” I don’t have any VM appearing in the Cockpit window ?

iutech

(I mean, I don’t even have the button “import VM” nor “add VM”)

Andrea

Hello,
If I launch my VM through Virtual Manager, I cannot select any shared folder.
Do I always have to use the webinterface?

Thanks,
Andrea

Daniel Krajnik

Last edited 1 year ago by Daniel Krajnik
Daniel Krajnik

Daniel Krajnik

That’s a lot of extra steps for basic functionality. Even VirtualBox has bi-directional drag-and-drop. Has Spice team considered adding it? Is it difficult?

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[…] How to Enable clipboard and folder sharing in Qemu/KVM on Windows Guest […]

mirec

it is not possible to install spice-guest-tools in windows-guest on linux-host because of “NSIS Error: Error launching installer“. I tried most recent version as well as few older versions…

Samuel Kek

Works fine for me on Fedora 34, thanks!

Dave

Thanks, worked like a charm very useful very important

Dunk

Works like a charm! Is the only tutorial I have found with all step by step to share folders between windows guest and Linux host. (Arch Linux host / Windows 10 guest). The only thing is that only one shared folder is possible but anyway if you want to go from VirtualBox to QEMU for Windows guests, sharing folder is nowadays the only thing it is not as good as VirtualBox. Anyway this tutorial rocks!

Thank you!

Andrew

This works great on Linux Mint 20.3, excellent tutorial.
Thanks!!

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