I wan't to be able to copy-paste the contents of my screen scrollback buffer into various browser text fields, usually when pasting an excerpt from a log file. One way that works well is the following:

$ xsel -bi
<CTRL-A ]> Enter

Then simply pasting into the browser with CTRL-v. This works well for short excerpts of text. The problem is that these log excerpts often exceed 4 kilobytes, perhaps reaching 16k or 32k at a maximum. This causes CTRL-v to hang in the browser, perhaps due to the issues raised in the following two questions:

I tried the solutions suggested in the answers to these questions to no avail. Is there any other way of getting around the 4k buffer limit?


If you don't mind using a temporary file, you could do:

C-a : writebuf filename
$ xsel -bi < filename
  • This is an interesting idea. It creates the file correctly, but pasting into the browser still hangs for around a 10k block of text that was selected using this approach. Incidentally, pasting into a file in the terminal using CTRL-Shift-v works (this works with the original approach I tried above as well). BTW, manually copying from the file via CTRL-c using TextEditor works, but isn't satisfactory as a complete solution because it involves too many steps. – jonderry Sep 15 '15 at 20:42
  • 1
    In that case, it's probably not related to the 4k-per-line limit in the line discipline, but is on the browser's end. In that case, there probably isn't that much you can do about it. If you're using a pastebin, you could use wgetpaste or similar, or might be able to improvise a command-line solution using curl, if you wanted to be really clever. – Tom Hunt Sep 15 '15 at 20:48
  • I don't think it's on the browser end, because I can't paste into other apps outside the terminal. Also, as I mentioned, I can copy-paste larger chunks of text into the browser as long as they were input into the clipboard in a different way, such as by sending the scrollback to a file, then opening it in an application outside the terminal and hitting C-a C-c to copy all. – jonderry Sep 15 '15 at 21:52
  • If that's the case, then it's maybe somehow xsel's fault? xsel -i has to hang around waiting for something to paste, since the selection is an IPC mechanism and not a dedicated buffer; maybe something is interfering with that process. I've used this method before, though, and never had any problem. – Tom Hunt Sep 15 '15 at 21:55
  • Accepting since this is part of the best solution I know of now (send to file per this answer, open in Text Editor, C-a C-c, then paste). Would be great to resolve the underlying xsel issue though to get a simpler solution. – jonderry Sep 15 '15 at 23:19

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