I have copied something from Internet and I want that copied text to get copied to a file. But how can I copy that text without using mouse or any command like Ctrl+V. I want to do this from terminal. How can I do that in Ubuntu 12.04?


4 Answers 4


Using xclip.
For writing clipboard to file, overriding existing content:

xclip -o > /path/to/file.txt

or for appending clipboard to file:

xclip -o >> /path/to/file.txt
  • 1
    Good one. +1 from me. May 22, 2014 at 15:32

If you don't want (or you can't) install extra software, you can do it with cat

cat > /path/to/file.txt

after this the terminal waits user input, so you can paste from your clipboard:

Ctrl + Shift + v

Then press Enter

And exit cat with Ctrl + c

I learned this while watching:

  • 1
    This answer worked on mac terminal. Thank you. Jul 6, 2020 at 14:53
  • 2
    Finally, a solution that works over ssh!
    – mchid
    Nov 26, 2020 at 0:17
  • This is the WAY BETTER answer!!!
    – GWD
    Feb 19, 2021 at 18:10
  • right-click to paste, instead of Ctrl + Shift + v, worked for me (Ubuntu terminal on WSL), but otherwise great solution, installed xclip for nothing as it did not work.
    – sritmak
    Sep 15, 2022 at 12:13

copy to clipboard then

xsel -o >> note.txt

but it not include new line "\n"

用件、用例(scenario): I input some Japanese 言葉 on google.translate.com then I'd like to take a note to save input history for review it later.


Press Ctrl + Shift + C to Copy

Press Ctrl + Shift + V to Paste

  • "how can I copy that text without using mouse or any command like Ctrl+V"
    – Tim
    Jun 1, 2022 at 20:51

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