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Dragging and dropping files to a Linux host or guest fails during file copy (2056353)

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  • Cannot drag and drop files to a Linux host or guest
  • Dragging and dropping a file to a Linux virtual machine from a host fails
  • Dragging and dropping a file from a virtual machine to a Linux host machine fails
  • Dragging and dropping a file fails if the destination uses tmpfs
  • You see the error:

    Cannot write file to virtual machine. Canceling the file copy operation


Drag and drop operations to Linux hosts or guests involves temporarily storing files in a staging area located within the /tmp file system.  In recent Linux distributions, /tmp is directly backed by system memory. Though this may provide significant performance gains, it also has a downside of providing only limited storage. This may lead to drag and drop failures when the size of the files to be copied exceeds the size of the /tmp  file system. 
Note: In such configurations, /tmp  has a default size equal to half the memory available to the operating system. For example, a virtual machine configured with 1 GB of RAM has a /tmp  file system of just 512 MB.


To work around the issue, disable tmpfs  on the Linux host or guest.

For instructions to disable tmpfs, see your Linux distribution's documentation.

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  • 9 Ratings