I moved from Xfce4 to i3 recently but I still use xfce4-screenshooter. It works properly and I had no problems with it except that I can't save to clipboard.

On this page it is written:

Copy to the clipboard

The Copy to the clipboard option allows you to paste the screenshot in another application, such as a word processor. This option is only available when a clipboard manager is running.

Althrough I didn't have clipman while I was using Xfce, I was able to use option copy to clipboard. I want to know what program (clipboard manager) should I run at the start of every i3 session.

3 Answers 3


I did this very same migration myself! I found that I needed to install xfce4-clipman, and then run it on startup by putting exec --no-startup-id xfce4-clipman & in my ~/.i3/config.

I'm not sure why I needed to do this manually though, because I also did not have clipman before my switch to i3, and yet the clipboard option worked. Maybe there's another daemon serving that function?

  • 1
    I'm having trouble with the xfce4-clipman (arch linux + i3) where it keeps crashing shortly after use (but it does work for a short time) with this message: (xfce4-clipman:23285): Gtk-CRITICAL **: 10:20:47.172: gtk_widget_destroy: assertion 'GTK_IS_WIDGET (widget)' failed
    – Jachdich
    Jan 26, 2021 at 10:21

I've done the same migration as well and faced the same issue.
I was not satisfied with xfce4-clipman showing as a tray icon even tough it works. I also bound my Print key with xfce4-screenshooter in region mode but it won't let me cancel with escape if that was a missclick. Instead I went with gnome-screenshot whose --clipboard works out of the box.
My i3 config for this binding is:

# -c = copy to clipboard
# -a = area/region mode
bindsym Print exec gnome-screenshot -ca

Now I just have to press my print key, select the area I want to screenshot and it will be copied to my clipboard without having to click anything.

  • latest xfce4-screenshooter on Arch still has problem, cannot cancel file dialog, infinite loop. Thanks for documenting this, I thought it was just my setup. Switched to Gnome too.
    – Kevin
    Apr 13, 2021 at 14:06

As an alternative to installing and running a clipboard manager, a pipe to xclip will do:

xfce4-screenshooter --fullscreen --mouse --save /dev/stdout | xclip -i -selection clipboard -t image/png

If this is to be used as an application shortcut in the XFCE keyboard settings, the command line above must to be interpreted by a shell in order to build the pipe:

sh -c 'xfce4-screenshooter --fullscreen --mouse --save /dev/stdout | xclip -i -selection clipboard -t image/png'

The fullscreen and mouse options are my use case, other options (such as --window instead of --fullscreen) also work of course.

Caveat: The original question was about a migration from XFCE to i3. I encountered the same problem within XFCE (as have others apparently), and my search for solutions only led to suggestions involving a clipboard manager. I thought I should publish my solution in a suitable place and this seems to be the best one, but I have not tested this in i3.

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