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I tried Ctrl+a and the cursor changes but what do I have to press afterwards? ( tried Arrow keys and Alt+Arrow keys and Shift+Arrow keys and so on)

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Are you talking about an X terminal or about the TTY console? If it's an X terminal you can simply select it with your mouse. In a TTY, selecting doesn't make much sense to me. – Danilo Bargen Mar 29 '13 at 15:42
@DaniloBargen being the linux newbie that i am i can only tell you that the name of the software is MATE Terminal 1.2.1. If it's not too much to ask could you also explain the diff between x terminal and tty console? – oldie Mar 29 '13 at 17:41

The easiest way to copy is to use your mouse. Highlight the text you are interested in and then use middle click to paste.

Alternatively, if you are using gnome-terminal:

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Thanks a lot but i'm interested in finding the hotkeys for this one. – oldie Mar 29 '13 at 18:00
Hot keys for what? Copy all? Copy specific text? Why don't you just redirect the output of the command you want to use ls >ls.txt? Wha exactly is it that you are trying to do? – terdon Mar 29 '13 at 18:06
well i'm looking to paste and copy between VMs. I know i could use the mouse, it just bugs me that i don't know how to select text in the terminal window using just the keyboard ( don't know why i'm so obssesed with it :) ).As said in the question, somebody mentioned using ctrl + a to enter select mode and then use arrows to select the text but it does not work. It's a matter of "can it be done using just the keyboard?". And it also helps when i disable the touchpad on my laptop- i tend to click other windows accidentally when typing and it disrupts my workflow) – oldie Mar 29 '13 at 18:47
The thing is, this depends on the terminal emulator you are using. I don't know of any terminal emulator that has a select all shortcut because, frankly, it is not very useful. All you need to do is select with the mouse or redirect the output to a file. Anyway a shortcut might exist in some terminal emulator or other. Look around, see if you can feed your obsession :). – terdon Mar 29 '13 at 18:50
Well thanks anyway. And i wasn't talking of a select all feature. Just plain select – oldie Mar 29 '13 at 18:52

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