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I am very new to Linux, please excuse me if this is a very simple question and point me to the things I need to read. But I've been unable to find an answer so far.

In Terminal, when I am trying to select the text in the command line by pressing Shift + Left or Right, I get "D" and "C" typed instead. (Shift + Up yields A and Shift + Down B). I've read somewhere how to copy-paste using the mouse; I cannot imagine the Terminal doesn't provide for full keyboard control.

Note: Ctrl + Left or Right moves the cursor around as it should, but Ctrl + Shift + Left or Right still types D and C. Puzzled.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Seems to be a known bug - see here: and the upstream bug here

Copy paste works with Ctrl-Shift-C and -V, respectively. Basically all relevant shortcuts you know from other Gnome applications can be applied in the terminal by adding an additional Shift- keypress... Ctrl-Shift-Q for quit, for example.

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Sorry to hear this but thank you for the answer anyway. – texnic Mar 25 '11 at 14:26

screen is a, well, it describes itself as a terminal multiplexer. It provides an enhanced terminal environment and includes a mechanism for text selection and copy/pasting using just keyboard. CTRL+[ lets you roam the buffer with a cursor. Press enter or space to start the selection, then again to finish the copy and exit roaming mode. CTRL+] pastes your selection.

Going this route (which I can't live without: GNU screen is one of the first things I install on any new computer), you find byobu less intimidating. Screen is a beast to configure, byobu makes it look beautiful.

tmux is another terminal multiplexer with similar functionality. Apparently it has a bunch of improvements over screen, not least of which is a sane configuration file.

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Thanks for contributing. I hope still, that the simple terminal will function the way it should one day. It's impossible to understand that one should use a mouse in the terminal! – texnic Mar 28 '11 at 6:58

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