Linux – Pipe to/from the clipboard in a Bash script

bashclipboardlinuxmacos

Is it possible to pipe to/from the clipboard in Bash?

Whether it is piping to/from a device handle or using an auxiliary application, I can't find anything.

For example, if /dev/clip was a device linking to the clipboard we could do:

cat /dev/clip        # Dump the contents of the clipboard
cat foo > /dev/clip  # Dump the contents of "foo" into the clipboard

Best Solution

There are a wealth of clipboards you could be dealing with. I expect you're probably a Linux user who wants to put stuff in the X Windows primary clipboard. Usually, the clipboard you want to talk to has a utility that lets you talk to it.

In the case of X, there's xclip (and others). xclip -selection c will send data to the clipboard that works with Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V in most applications.

If you're on Mac OS X, there's pbcopy. E.g., cat example.txt | pbcopy

If you're in Linux terminal mode (no X) then look into gpm or Screen which has a clipboard. Try the Screen command readreg.

Under Windows 10+ or Cygwin, use /dev/clipboard or clip.