This is really weird. I can't copy anything from the terminal. The Ctrl+Shift+C command and Edit->Copy does nothing, no matter how much or little text I have selected. What ever was on my clipboard before the command is still there after.

Why can't I copy text from the Terminal?

Pasting into the terminal works just fine

  • Works fine for me... How do you paste? Middle click or with Ctrl+V? Jun 15, 2012 at 13:00
  • Pasting into the terminal works just fine, added that to the question. What's the difference between pasting normally or using Middle click?
    – Hubro
    Jun 15, 2012 at 13:02
  • @Codemonkey Middle click pastes whatever text is selected at the moment. Ctrl-V uses the clipboard (ie. what is copied using Copy or Ctrl-C). Some clipboard managers synchronize both clipboards, but they are usually separate.
    – Hippo
    Jun 15, 2012 at 13:06
  • In that case, middle click works as it should, but no text gets added to the clipboard on copy
    – Hubro
    Jun 15, 2012 at 13:07
  • What's your Linux distribution version and kernel version? I guess your kernel version is too old, and does not match your distribution.
    – thtfpcuser
    Jul 1, 2021 at 10:10

3 Answers 3


you can, But you have to go into the settings.

Edit -> Keyboard shortcuts -> find copy and past commands -> Click to alter and enter new combo "ctrl+x, v, c, etc..."

  • Why would changing the copy key combo help if copying doesn't work
    – Hubro
    Jun 15, 2012 at 13:05

In most Windows environments (not sure for others), you will have to highlight the text and then hit Enter to copy the text. You can then simply Ctrl + v (paste) it e everywhere. Maybe that works on your (specific?) Ubuntu terminal as well.


I do a >copy.txt to output my screen result. Like aplay -l > text.txt give me a text.txt where I can open up in gedit by clicking on the file everything is formatted nicely. Here you can Ctrl-C then Ctrl-V just like Windows.

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 0: ALC888 Analog [ALC888 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 1: ALC888 Digital [ALC888 Digital]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

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