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I commonly use copy in a terminal window to grab stuff I have to paste. A few times in the last few days, the clipboard has gotten 'stuck' on some old text. I do the copy gesture (with keyboard or Edit menu) in the terminal window. I paste somewhere else, and get something other than what I just copied.

If all else fails, I can always tell the terminal to write it's content to a file and use that. But I'm wondering if there's something I'm doing to get into this pickle and if there's any way out.


This seems to be provoked by having a great deal of history scrollback on the particular tab. Sometimes the next thing that happens is that Terminal crashes.

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The only times I've had this happen is when I've been working with both my OS-X host and a Windows guest VM. In my case, the alt-keys differ between the two (Cmd-C/Cmd-V and Opt-C/Opt-V) and I'll occasionally use the opposite one. I.e., it's definitely been a "pilot error"; I don't suspect either system in my case. Any chance something similar is happening for you? – JRobert May 24 '10 at 13:21
Nope, virtual box is not running, and I've carefully used both the keyboard shortcut and the Edit menu with the same surprising results. – bmargulies May 24 '10 at 14:54
How much is "a great deal of history"? Also, what is your Scrollback set to in Terminal Preferences? I see mine is set to 10,000 rows, but I don't know if that's self-entered or a default. I've seen MS Excel 2008 be cruelly slow to copy something into the Clipboard, but I've never seen this with Terminal. – khedron May 25 '10 at 3:35

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