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

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Symptoms

  • 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

Cause

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.

Resolution

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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