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When you delete characters on the command line using readline commands (e.g. Ctrl-U, you can paste using Ctrl-y, but where does it get stored? It does not seem to use X11 clipboard at all.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It goes into a kill-ring, just like in Emacs. From the GNU Readline docuementation:

When you use a kill command, the text is saved in a kill-ring. Any number of consecutive kills save all of the killed text together, so that when you yank it back, you get it all. The kill ring is not line specific; the text that you killed on a previously typed line is available to be yanked back later, when you are typing another line.

Source: http://www.gnu.org/software/bash/manual/html_node/Readline-Killing-Commands.html

The kill ring is stored in memory allocated via malloc to a char pointer. From kill.c of the readline source:

/* Where to store killed text. */
static char **rl_kill_ring = (char **)NULL;
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Check out my comment to vonbrand's answer. – Emanuel Berg Mar 14 '13 at 1:42
@EmanuelBerg I would assume it's stored in memory. The GNU readline source is the best place to find that answer. – jordanm Mar 14 '13 at 1:47
@EmanuelBerg I had a look at the source and update the answer. – jordanm Mar 14 '13 at 2:02

readline is a library for tty use (at least originally), it is completely oblivious to any graphics environment (thus X clipboard or whatnot).

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Do you know where the kill ring is actually stored? Is it a stack (LIFO file) or something else? Can I examine it first hand? – Emanuel Berg Mar 14 '13 at 1:40

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