Linux: Sync X11 Primary Selection and Clipboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

How to sync X11 primary selection and its clipboard?

in Linux's Windowing System (X11), there are 2 different copy/paste mechanism in popular use.

  1. Primary selection. (mouse to select, middle-click to paste)
  2. clipboard. (Ctrl+c to copy, Ctrl+v to paste)

these two are independent. If you want to sync them always, so you can use both ways to copy/paste, then sudo apt-get install parcellite

then, start it in command line by parcellite &.

then, in the menu bar, you'll see a icon. Right-click on it to go to Preference to setup sync.

note: if you do this, then you can't select something then paste over, because after you select, that will be the content of your clipboard. You'll need to paste first then delete the parts you don't want.

note: KDE has Klipper, Gnome has Glipper. Parcellite works in Xfce or any GTK apps.

(thanks to Dan Christensen)