In one of my friend's system I have seen a very interesting feature. Whenever he selects a text/command from the terminal, the selected portion of text gets copied to clipboard automatically (without right click + copy). He then presses (Shift+Insert) to paste it somewhere else.

How can I implement the same in my system. I am running Ubuntu Mate 15 version.

  • And what is your friend running ? e.g. this feature is by default when using putty
    – mazs
    May 4, 2017 at 7:28
  • There are also some minimal terminal emulators that implement this by default - mrxvt or st come to mind.
    – schaiba
    May 4, 2017 at 7:29
  • 1
    I thought this was the default behaviour. I've had this in all Unices I've run since 1992...
    – Kusalananda
    May 4, 2017 at 7:45
  • 2
    @Kusalananda presumably you’re used to pasting using middle-click (from the primary selection), not with Shift+Ins or Ctrl+V ;-). May 4, 2017 at 7:51
  • @StephenKitt Ah, that's true. I was ignoring the pasting bit with the keys. Right-click + copy is something I've only had to use in Windows terminals though.
    – Kusalananda
    May 4, 2017 at 8:13

3 Answers 3


Try installing parcellite.

Your question has an answer here


If using Cinnamon DE, you can simply paste the highlighted/selected text by doing a middle click. You can check if it works on Mate too.

  • It depends on the application (more precisely, on the GUI toolkit it uses), not on the desktop environment. It works in most. May 4, 2017 at 21:56
  • Even works in pure console if you have gpm installed and running. And, if you don't have a wheelie mouse (ie, laptop w/ 2 buttons) you can click both at once to get the same effect.
    – ivanivan
    May 5, 2017 at 0:22

Comes for free with the xfce4-terminal that should be possible to install (maybe addtionally) wherever you want

  • I always thought so too ... but in recent installs of Xubuntu I have to check the option for this (i.e., in the terminal window under Edit | Preferences)
    – topsail
    May 9 at 1:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.