Every time I launch screen(1), it clears my X11 clipboard. This is incredibly frustrating. I assume there's some default setting I can disable? I haven't been able to find it yet.

Using gnome terminal on Fedora 22.

  • It doesn't do it for me (F22 + Gnome), and screen doesn't talk to X. Perhaps you have a shell alias which does this. Feb 15, 2016 at 22:53
  • 1
    I have this problem as well. I have to paste into a text editor, open or reattach screen, then copy from the text editor. I'm on Linux Mint 18, which also uses Gnome Terminal.
    – Stephen S
    Sep 9, 2016 at 20:28
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    It does this for me (F24 + Gnome), and it is decidedly not a shell alias. Clearing the middle-click buffer is traditional, if annoying, behavior. This, though, is new. Sep 18, 2016 at 20:29
  • I've also noticed that the clipboard is cleared even when running screen on a remote server. This behaviour would likely be dependent on X11-Forwarding.
    – zaTricky
    Dec 26, 2016 at 14:39

2 Answers 2


This appears to be a bug in VTE, a compoment used by GNOME Terminal. screen resets the terminal when it is started, and due to the bug, the clipboard content is lost.


Note: This is a workaround - not a "proper" answer.

Personally I think this is a bug in the behaviour - and I suspect it is related to the fact that screen has its own copy/paste clipboard feature. But I'm not at all certain. :-/

My workaround is to install a clipboard manager. I won't make any specific recommendations. A quick Google revealed the following examples:

  • CopyQ - Qt-based
  • Diodon - intended for Unity/GTK
  • Glipper - GTK-based
  • Parcellite - GTK-based
  • xfce4-clipman - for xfce (I use XFCE, so am using this one myself)

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