pipe output of a command to your clipboard

some command|xsel --clipboard
In turn you can get the contents of your clipboard by typing xsel by itself with no arguments: xsel This command requires you to install the xsel utility which is free

2009-07-08 11:52:48

What Others Think

A shorter alternative would be xclip: some command | xclip which does the exact same thing.
spatz · 641 weeks and 2 days ago
On Darwin, you can do this: some command | pbcopy
isaacs · 641 weeks and 2 days ago
In OSX, pipe to pbcopy and paste from pbpaste
zabouti · 641 weeks ago
Guess I should have read isaacs comment before posting!!
zabouti · 641 weeks ago
xclip and xsel are available as packages of the same names at least under Debian/Ubuntu. They are not installed by default.
bwoodacre · 640 weeks and 6 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 or some command | xclip To retrieve it xsel (xsel detects what stdin and stdout are, and picks input or output automatically. See its manpage.) or xclip -o To set the X clipboard some command | xsel -b or some command | xclip -selection clipboard And to retrieve it xsel -b or 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
tremby · 633 weeks and 6 days ago
Good article, but it would be better if in future you can share more about this subject. Keep posting praise
yeoyeo · 9 weeks and 5 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Share Your Commands

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for: