I have recently installed the i3 tiling window manager [1] on my Ubuntu system and I'm trying to figure out how to copy & paste between various terminal and application windows.

How can this be done?

[1] http://i3wm.org


Some terminals use CTRL+SHIFT+C and CTRL+SHIFT+V to copy and paste, while others use CTRL+ALT+C and CTRL+ALT+V, like urxvt (See https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Rxvt-unicode#Cut_and_paste ).

For i3wm, try using a clipboard manager, like clipit.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install clipit

Add exec --no-startup-id clipit to ~/.i3/config to start it automatically.


I have just had success using the middle mouse button with xterm in i3 to copy from a remote terminal to firefox. Use the middle mouse button to copy and paste.

  • Yeah - it's working - select text from terminal and middle click to paste to browser – Adam Oct 12 '18 at 16:08

I installed xfce4-terminal which pretty much does exactly what I need.

sudo apt-get install xfce4-terminal

You have had good answers above, I will just add a detail. As a default, the clipboard of each container is emptied when the container is closed. So if you copy some text from a terminal, close the terminal, and paste the text in another terminal - it will not work, because the clipboard will have been emptied in the meanwhile.

  • This should be the answer – ZirconCode May 12 '18 at 12:29

I don't use that myself, but your copy buffer might be accessible through ctrl +shift+c to copy and v to paste. These is also programs like xclipboard for capturing output of terminal commands into a clipboard. Try it out, report back!

  • 1
    Hi. I tried the ctrl+shift+c and ctrl+shift+v but it definitely doesn't work. Not sure about the xclipboard thing, sounds a bit complicated. – Luke Oct 5 '13 at 5:31
  • yah, it's more to pipe the output of a command into to get it into your clipboard – Jacob Minshall Oct 5 '13 at 5:32
  • Have you tried terminator ? It's another tiling terminal which ctrl+shift+c works in – Jacob Minshall Oct 5 '13 at 5:34
  • Terminator is kinda defying the point of i3. I tried gnome-terminal but it does something weird like not everything is displayed correctly. – Luke Oct 5 '13 at 5:49

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