When trying to copy and paste from the terminal, it doesn't work. I can't use Ctrl + C to copy, and when I select the text with the mouse and right click, no option to copy or cut appears.

I installed Ubuntu 12.04 for the first time a few days ago and maybe it is missing something. Copy and paste does work in LibreOffice.

  • 4
    The shortcut for copying in the terminal is usually Ctrl-Shift-C, since Ctrl-C usually means "kill current program". Similarly for paste.
    – muru
    Nov 7, 2014 at 7:08

6 Answers 6


I hope these shortcuts are useful

  1. Ctrl+Shift+C : copy
  2. Ctrl+Shift+V : paste
  3. Shift+Insert : paste (In some cases, I can't paste data stored in clipboard from Intellij or Netbeans IDE)
  4. Use this tool for copying to clipboard: xclip
  • 1
    @muru doesn't work. terminal thinks ctrl + shift + C is a command. right buttons options don't appear at all. i am dual booting a chromebox with crouton ubuntu 12.4.
    – Syd
    Nov 7, 2014 at 8:40

Select the text you want to copy, then go to the place where you want to copy to and press the scroll wheel of the mouse.

This method doesn't require any keyboard shortcut.

  • @MadMike, thanks for editing my answer. I guess I should have put my answer correctly. :)
    – RD017
    Jun 15, 2016 at 18:38
  • You're welcome. Please don't take it as a criticism. We simply try to help each other. Each one with the time and ability we have.
    – MadMike
    Jun 15, 2016 at 18:42
  • Sure. No problem.
    – RD017
    Jun 15, 2016 at 18:43

You can use Ctrl + Shift + X for cutting the content and Ctrl + Shift + V for pasting.


You can change the defaults in the terminal:

In the terminal window menu you can go to "Edit" --> "Preferences", then the "Shortcuts" tab and select "Copy" and change it to "Ctrl+C", then select "Paste" and change it to "Ctrl+V" (you don't need to type it, just select the box and hit Ctrl and then C).

(this works in Ubuntu 18, I'm not sure about previous versions)

  • Is there any way to swap these shortcuts? On OSX, once I've made "Ctrl+C" copy, I can map "Shift+Ctrl+C" to the kill command, but I'm not seeing that option in Ubuntu 18.04.
    – Ed Lucas
    Feb 8, 2021 at 23:57

I earlier had this problem in my Ubuntu terminal on windows. Simple right click of the mouse on the desired postion in terminal will do the trick.


Select the text which you want to copy and then do right click two times it will paste your text.

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