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How to Copy/Paste/Upload in an Exercise Environment


U.S. Cyber Range virtual machines allow instructors and students to copy/paste text into an environment and upload files. The copy/paste functionality exists in all environments except the Ubuntu 12 based environments, such as Introduction to Forensics. The file upload feature can be accessed through the side-panel accessible within your exercise if it has been enabled for your exercise.

Opening the Copy/Paste/Upload Side Panel

To open the side-panel within your exercise environment, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift (or Ctrl+Option+Shift on macOS). You will then be able to see your Clipboard, a button with your “devices”, and other keyboard/mouse options below. A screenshot of this view is shown below.

The clipboard will appear on the left side of the environment

Copy & Pasting In and Out of Exercises

Copying text from inside an exercise environment to your computer's clipboard works as normal. You can simply copy the text with a right click and select "Copy" from the context menu. Application-specific shortcuts should also work. For example, Ctrl+C in text editors or Ctrl+Insert in terminals will copy the text to both the environment's clipboard and your computer's clipboard.

To copy text from your computer to your exercise environment, you can follow these steps:

  1. Copy the text from your personal computer
  2. Open the Copy/Paste/Upload Side Panel (Ctrl+Alt+Shift or Ctrl+Option+Shift)
  3. Paste your text into the Clipboard textarea
  4. Close the Copy/Paste/Upload Side Panel using the same shortcut
  5. Paste the text within the VM. You can use an application-specific shortcut or you can use right-click and selct "Paste" from the context menu.

Uploading Files

You can upload files by accessing the side-panel within your environment. The following steps will walk through the process:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift to open the panel.
  2. Click on directory selector within the Devices section
  3. Navigate to a directory where you have permission to upload a file
  4. Click on Upload Files.
  5. Once you have selected a file to upload, you may then close the window by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift.

The example below shows a file being uploaded to the Desktop directory.


If you are unable to see the Devices section, file upload is not supported on that virtual machine. Only Linux virtual machines currently have the capability to support file upload. All Linux catalog items we've published with "2020" or newer in the name should support file transfer. We hope and aim to ensure file transfer support is available on all VMs we build from now on.

Uploads are done using the default user account (typically student). This means the upload will fail if you try to upload a file to a directory the user is not allowed to write to. Uploads should go to a safe directory, such as under /tmp or /home/student.

It should be noted that this feature is NOT recommended to be used for students to upload "large" files. While there are no hard limits in place, you'll be constrained by the students upload speeds. If you need to get a large file onto the system, consider getting the files from within the VM itself. The VM can download at speeds far greater than virtually all students can upload.

Have a Question? Contact Support

We're here to help you. If you still have questions after reviewing the information above, please feel free to submit a ticket with our support team and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.