Copying from (and to) dom0

Copying from dom0

To copy a file from dom0 to a VM (domU), simply use qvm-copy-to-vm:

qvm-copy-to-vm <dest-vm> <file>

The file will arrive in your destination VM in the ~/QubesIncoming/dom0/ directory.

Copying logs from Dom0

In order to easily copy/paste the contents of logs from dom0 to the inter-VM clipboard, you can simply:

  1. Right-click on the desired VM in the Qubes VM Manager.
  2. Click “Logs.”
  3. Click on the desired log.
  4. Click “Copy to Qubes clipboard.”

You may now paste the log contents to any VM as you normally would (i.e., Ctrl-Shift-V, then Ctrl-V).

Copy/paste from Dom0

For data other than logs, there are several options:

  1. Use the Qubes Clipboard widget:
    • Copy text to the clipboard normally in dom0.
    • Click the Qubes Clipboard icon in the Notification Area.
    • Click “Copy dom0 clipboard”.
    • Receive a notification that text has been copied to the inter-qube clipboard.
    • Press Ctrl + Shift + V in a qube to paste into the desired qube’s clipboard.
    • Paste normally within that qube.
  2. Copy it as a file (see above)
  3. Write the data you wish to copy into /var/run/qubes/qubes-clipboard.bin, then echo -n dom0 > /var/run/qubes/qubes-clipboard.bin.source. Then use Ctrl-Shift-V to paste the data to the desired VM.

Copying to Dom0

There should normally be few reasons for the user to want to copy files from VMs to Dom0, as Dom0 only acts as a “thin trusted terminal”, and no user applications run there. Copying untrusted files to Dom0 is not advised and may compromise the security of your Qubes system. Because of this, we do not provide a graphical user interface for it, unlike copying files between VMs.

One common use-case for this is if we want to use a desktop wallpaper in Dom0 we have located in one of our AppVMs (e.g. in the ‘personal’ AppVM where we got the wallpaper from our camera or downloaded it from the Internet). While it’s a well-justified reason, imagine what would happen if the wallpaper (e.g. a JPEG file) was somehow malformed or malicious and attempted to exploit a hypothetical JPEG parser bug in Dom0 code (e.g. in the Dom0’s Xorg/KDE code that parses the wallpaper and displays it).

If you are determined to copy some files to Dom0 anyway, you can use the following method (run this command from Dom0’s console):

qvm-run --pass-io <src-vm> 'cat /path/to/file_in_src_domain' > /path/to/file_name_in_dom0

You can use the same method to copy files from Dom0 to VMs (if, for some reason, you don’t want to use qvm-copy-to-vm):

cat /path/to/file_in_dom0 | qvm-run --pass-io <dest-vm> 'cat > /path/to/file_name_in_appvm'