May 26, 2018

Interface to X selections (“the clipboard”) from the command line

xclip is a command line utility that is designed to run on any system with an X11 implementation. It provides an interface to X selections “the clipboard” from the command line. It can read data from standard in or a file and place it in an X selection for pasting into other X applications. xclip can also print an X selection to standard out, which can then be redirected to a file or another program.


  • Reads data piped to standard in or files given as arguments
  • Prints contents of selection to standard out
  • Accesses the XA_PRIMARY, XA_SECONDARY or XA_CLIPBOARD selection
  • Supports the INCR mechanism for large transfers
  • Connects to the X display in $DISPLAY, or specified with -display host0
  • Waits for selection requests in the background

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