I am annoyed that I can't copy and paste into Cygwin... is there a good alternative to Cygwin that will let me do this?

  • what do you mean you can't copy/paste into cygwin? I have just tried it, from cmd window, and from cygwin mintty. I maybe have them in quickedit mode. – barlop Oct 21 '15 at 22:55

From the official Cygwin FAQ:

How can I copy and paste into Cygwin console windows?

First, consider using mintty instead of the standard console window. In mintty, selecting with the left-mouse also copies, and middle-mouse pastes. It couldn't be easier!

In Windows's console window, open the properties dialog. The options contain a toggle button, named "Quick edit mode". It must be ON. Save the properties.

You can also bind the insert key to paste from the clipboard by adding the following line to your .inputrc file:

"\e[2~": paste-from-clipboard 
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    another option is to setup the cygwin SSH server on your box, and use PuTTY to connect to localhost. i like this better than minTTY, because PuTTY's cut-n-paste is simpler out-of-the-box. but there are disadvantages: PuTTY doesn't log you into the same desktop session, so (1) you don't get the same network drives you've already mounted on your desktop (though you can mount them again), and (2) you can't start GUI apps from the PuTTY connection. so i usually end up with a PuTTY window for most terminal stuff, and a mintty window for the rest. – quack quixote May 7 '10 at 23:38
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    @quack quixote: setting up a ssh-server and using putty is simpler "out of the box" than using mintty (which is a hacked version of putty anyway)? :) – akira Jun 8 '10 at 13:37
  • @akira: what i said was that "PuTTY's cut-n-paste is simpler out-of-the-box". yeah, minTTY is hacked out of putty, but it's not really the same anymore. – quack quixote Jun 8 '10 at 14:18
  • Fwiw, copy-on-select is enabled by default in the latest version of mintty. – ak2 Aug 7 '10 at 22:09
  • -1 Your entire answer contradicts the question. If it is the case that you can copy/paste into cygwin then you should make clear right at the start that you can copy/paste into cygwin, and even that you canjust as you can in the cmd window. Maybe he means you can't do ctrl-v though that's the same with cmd too. – barlop Oct 21 '15 at 22:58

the best terminal emulator for cygwin is 'mintty'

  • mintty is the default.. I don't know if it was in 2010. But either way you can copy/paste, so this is irrelevant. – barlop Oct 21 '15 at 22:58

I use rxvt. It is a nice terminal emulator, command shell, that comes with cygwin. You need to install it separately, since it isn't installed by default of cygwin.

It is so much better that the windows command prompt. You can resize windows both horizontally an vertically (without scroll bar problems). When you select and copy text, it selects newlines etc correctly (not the stupid block copy of windows). And you can paste using shift-insert.

Give it a try. You might like it.

  • requires an X-server (cygwin or other) tho. it's not a bad solution but X is an awful lot of overhead if you aren't using other X applications. – quack quixote Jun 8 '10 at 13:33
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    @quack quixote: not true, there are multiple rxvt packages in cygwin: "rxvt" works with pure windows, "rxvt-unicode-common" and "rxvt-unicode-X" need a Xserver. so, you can use rxvt with just pure windows and without a Xserver. – akira Jun 8 '10 at 13:40
  • @akira: ah, gotcha. i stand corrected. – quack quixote Jun 8 '10 at 14:22
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    @quack quixote: but any rxvt sux compared to mintty anyway. it is the reasoning behind your anti-rxvt which is flawed, not the general direction :)) – akira Jun 8 '10 at 14:39

Mintty or Console2 are good options.


You can also use PuTTY or KiTTY to ssh into your own machine, if you first set up sshd on your Cygwin install.


I just pipe everything into putclip and get it from stdout via getclip


Use puttycyg instead of putty; you can log into your local cygwin session (no sshd required) and copy & paste is just a select & right-click away.


This is an alternative I use. (Using AHK program)

;Paste w/Cywgin (CTRL+SHIFT+V)

^+v:: { :*:pste:: Send %clipboard% return }

  • Please explain where to add this code. – DavidPostill Oct 21 '15 at 22:19
  • @DavidPostill from memory, that looks maybe. an autohotkey script. – barlop Oct 21 '15 at 22:55
  • Yes this would use AHK. – John Eztech Oct 22 '15 at 15:55

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