I regularly uses xterm for web browsing because of its image rendering property but the one thing which makes xterm difficult comparing to terminal is the copy/cut paste availability in terminal program. I have found this method and according to this i saved the below code in .Xdefaults file in home directory

xterm -ls -xrm 'XTerm*selectToClipboard: true'&

After the implementation of this code I am able to select text in xterm but not able to copy or cut paste (using mouse or keyboard shortcuts ctrl+c etc) any text from or to the xterm.

Any idea what went wrong?


You shall not include that line in .Xdefaults. Thus shalt thou start the program.

xterm -ls -xrm 'XTerm*selectToClipboard:true' &

Or with .Xdefaults:

Add this line:


and reload the configuration

xrdb ~/.Xdefaults
  • It worked i am able to copy from xterm to a notepad but viseversa its not working. – Eka May 3 '15 at 17:41
  • 2
    @Eka Shift+Insert – A.B. May 3 '15 at 17:48
  • 1
    Better to use ~/.Xresources – Gayan Weerakutti May 8 '17 at 7:44
  • And don't overwrite everything from the previous configuration: xrdb -merge ~/.Xdefaults – finefoot Jun 18 '18 at 21:49

You can edit XTerm file, using vim or nano (I use vim):

vim /home/your_user_name/XTerm

Add this:

XTerm*Background: black
XTerm*Foreground: green
XTerm*SaveLines: 2000
XTerm*faceName: Ubuntu mono
XTerm*faceSize: 12
XTerm*rightScrollBar: true
XTerm*ScrollBar: true
XTerm*scrollTtyOutput: false
XTerm*VT100.Translations: #override \
      Shift Ctrl<Key>V: insert-selection(CLIPBOARD) \n\ 
      Shift Ctrl<Key>V: insert-selection(PRIMARY) \n\ 
      Shift<Btn1Down>: select-start() \n\ 
      Shift<Btn1Motion>: select-extend() \n\ 
      Shift<Btn1Up>: select-end(CLIPBOARD) \n\

Save and close whit:


Open xterm:

xterm &

This configuration allows:

  1. Select and copy text into xterm: Hold Shiht key, click left mouse, select your text and click right mouse, to add it to clipboard.
  2. Paste text into xterm: Press Ctrl+Shift+V
  3. Show ScrollBar.
  4. Personalize font.

I hope this help you.

  • 1
    How would you do Ctrl + Shift + c for interrput? – William Jan 21 '17 at 17:02
  • You must stop pressing the left mouse button and the Shiht key. – SIMON CEDENO7 Feb 20 '17 at 8:59
  • @SIMONCEDENO7 I think the last \n\ is not necessary and might even be a problem if you want to add more lines with settings after it. – finefoot Jun 18 '18 at 20:32
  • @Jayjayyy You are right! Then you can ignore it. Thanks – SIMON CEDENO7 Jun 18 '18 at 21:35

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