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In a terminal in OSX I can pipe output to pbcopy and then go into a web browser and paste it. I tried this in Linux with xcopy but when I switch to the browser it just overwrites the clipboard with with whatever was in it the last time the browser was used. What works like pbcopy in Linux?

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...and for those that don't know what pbcopy is, here's the man page developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Darwin/Reference/… –  Rob Cowell May 25 '11 at 9:48
+1 for my new favorite tool! –  Chris Nava May 25 '11 at 14:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 48 down vote accepted

if you have X installed you may try xsel in this way :

alias pbcopy='xsel --clipboard --input'
alias pbpaste='xsel --clipboard --output'

or with xclip :

alias pbcopy='xclip -selection clipboard'
alias pbpaste='xclip -selection clipboard -o'

now you can use'em :

echo 'go to my clipboard' | pbcopy

when I don't have X I use GNU Screen functionality to copy between open shells in a session using keyboard

to copy : Ctrl-a -> Esc -> go to wanted position * -> Space (to begin selecting) -> press k to go forward mark text -> Enter

to paste : Ctrl-a + ]

* movements are done with vim like key bindings (j, k, l & m).

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Thanks this is exactly the information I wanted. Tho now I wonder if there is a way I could make Screen let me use Emacs commands to select the area I want to copy... –  Noah Sussman Dec 31 '11 at 16:58

Put a script like this called pbcopy in your bin folder:

cat |xclip -i -sel c -f |xclip -i -sel p

This will put STDIN in both your selection buffer and clipboard:

echo Hello world |pbcopy
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