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May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

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Psst. Open beta.

Wow, didn't really expect you to read this far down. The latest iteration of the site is in open beta. It's a gentle open beta-- not in prime-time just yet. It's being hosted over at UpGuard (link) and you are more than welcome to give it a shot. Couple things:

  • » The open beta is running a copy of the database that will not carry over to the final version. Don't post anything you don't mind losing.
  • » If you wish to use your user account, you will probably need to reset your password.
Your feedback is appreciated via the form on the beta page. Thanks! -Jon & CLFU Team

pipe output of a command to your clipboard

Terminal - pipe output of a command to your clipboard
some command|xsel --clipboard
2009-07-08 11:52:48
pipe output of a command to your clipboard

In turn you can get the contents of your clipboard by typing xsel by itself with no arguments:


This command requires you to install the xsel utility which is free


There are 2 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

A shorter alternative would be xclip:

some command | xclip

which does the exact same thing.

Comment by spatz 406 weeks and 5 days ago

On Darwin, you can do this:

some command | pbcopy
Comment by isaacs 406 weeks and 5 days ago

In OSX, pipe to pbcopy and paste from pbpaste

Comment by zabouti 406 weeks and 3 days ago

Guess I should have read isaacs comment before posting!!

Comment by zabouti 406 weeks and 3 days ago

xclip and xsel are available as packages of the same names at least under Debian/Ubuntu. They are not installed by default.

Comment by bwoodacre 406 weeks and 3 days ago

"In turn you can get the contents of your clipboard by typing xsel by itself with no arguments" -- that's wrong. That'll give you the contents of the X selection, not the clipboard which was set by the command above it.

And spatz's comment is also incorrect -- his command will set the X selection, not the X clipboard as in the command he's replying to.

I'll explain:

xsel and xclip do pretty much the same things, but xsel is a little more advanced and has a nicer syntax.

It's important to realize that the X selection (there are two of these -- primary and secondary, but no-one really uses the secondary) is different from the X clipboard.

The (primary) X selection is what is set when some text is selected and is usually retrieved when the middle mouse button is clicked. The X selection is usually cleared when the program which set it exits.

The X clipboard is what most programs write to and read from when the cut/copy/paste commands are used. It isn't wiped when the program exits. So this is what to use if you want to do a control-v somewhere rather than a middle click.

Both xsel and xclip use the primary X selection by default. To set it

some command | xsel


some command | xclip

To retrieve it


(xsel detects what stdin and stdout are, and picks input or output automatically. See its manpage.)


xclip -o

To set the X clipboard

some command | xsel -b


some command | xclip -selection clipboard

And to retrieve it

xsel -b


xclip -selection clipboard -o

In vim you can read and write to both of these by using the "+ (X clipboard) and "* (X selection) registers. For example, to copy the current line to the X clipboard, type "+yy

To paste from X selection, type "*p

Comment by tremby 399 weeks and 2 days ago

Your point of view

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