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Copy the contents of a file into the clipboard without displaying its contents

In the above post they provide a solution (xsel -b <file) to copy content from file to clipboard without opening file. I want to get the reverse solution, I have content in clipboard. I want to save the content as a file without opening the file and pasting the content.

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xsel’s default behaviour depends on whether its input or output is connected to a terminal, so redirecting to and from files typically does the right thing. As mentioned by codeforester, the solution in your case is to run

xsel -b > file

You can make your intent explicit by adding -o (when outputting the contents of the clipboard) or -i (when inputting to the clipboard). Without these options, if xsel’s context is indeterminate (i.e. neither standard input or standard output are connected to a terminal), it behaves in -o mode: xsel -b < /dev/null > file works as you’d expect, but xsel -b < file > /dev/null doesn’t.

You can also use xclip to copy the clipboard’s contents to a file:

xclip -sel c -o > file

xclip can additionally request specific versions of the clipboard’s contents (known as targets), depending on the selection’s owner; for example, if you copied text from a web browser, you could retrieve it as HTML using

xclip -sel -c -o -t text/html > file

The special TARGETS target will list the available targets:

xclip -sel -c -o -t TARGETS
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