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Selecting any text in Linux copies it and scroll-wheel middle click pastes it, separate to the Ctrl-c Ctrl-v clipboard. This means double clicking a non-line broke sentence copies it to the middle click paste clipboard.

This most used selection is the PRIMARY selection, and is used when the user selects some data. The CLIPBOARD selection is used when the user selects some data and explicitly requests it to be "copied" to the clipboard, such as by invoking "Copy" under the "Edit" menu of an application. An associated request of "Paste" results in the data of the CLIPBOARD selection being used.

"The PRIMARY selection is used when you select some text with the mouse. You usually paste it using the middle button. The CLIPBOARD selection is used when you copy text by using, for example, the Edit/Copy menu. You may paste it using the Edit/Paste menu."

  paste PRIMARY selection (where ctrl-v isn't supported)
  pate CLIPBOARD selection




  • xclip is a command line interface to the X11 clipboard. It can also be used for copying files, as an alternative to sftp/scp, thus avoiding password prompts when X11 forwarding has already been setup.


  • Autocutsel tracks changes in the server's cutbuffer and CLIPBOARD selection. When the CLIPBOARD is changed, it updates the cutbuffer. When the cutbuffer is changed, it owns the CLIPBOARD selection. The cutbuffer and CLIPBOARD selection are always synchronized. Since the VNC client synchronizes the Windows' clipboard and the server's cutbuffer, all three "clipboards" are always kept synchronized.



  • XSel - a command-line program for getting and setting the contents of the X selection. Normally this is only accessible by manually highlighting information and pasting it with the middle mouse button.


  • CopyQ is clipboard manager with searchable and editable history.


  • Parcellite is a lightweight GTK+ clipboard manager. This is a stripped down, basic-features-only clipboard manager with a small memory footprint for those who like simplicity.