pbcopy / pbpaste in Ubuntu (command line clipboard)

words by Brian Racer

OS X has a neat command-line tool called pbcopy which takes the standard input and places it in the clipboard to paste into other applications.

In Ubuntu(or any Linux distro with Xwindows), a similar tool is xclip. I like to make this alias:

alias pbcopy='xclip -selection clipboard'
alias pbpaste='xclip -selection clipboard -o'

or the following also works if you would rather use xsel:

alias pbcopy='xsel --clipboard --input'
alias pbpaste='xsel --clipboard --output'

Now you can pipe any text to pbcopy

$ cat ~/.ssh/id_dsa.pub | pbcopy

Your public ssh key is transferred to your clipboard and is ready to be pasted(perhaps with pbpaste).