Clipboard management across most Linux distros is very basic. You can copy and paste anything you want, but you can’t have more than one item in your clipboard at a time which can be limiting.
This is where a clipboard manager could come in handy, as it will help to enhance the copy and paste functionality on your computer as well as retain all copied data for long-term storage.
Linux users are spoiled with choices, as there are several of these tools available, but I’m only going to list five of the best ones here. Feel free to add some more in the comments section below.
Diodon is a decent Clipboard Manager specially designed for GTK/GNOME-based desktops. It provides all the essential features of a clipboard manager such as image support, clipboard history (up to 100 items), keyboard shortcuts and a neat indicator applet on the system tray where you can see your clipboard history and copy items to be pasted into other applications.
CopyQ is a cross-platform clipboard manager for Linux, OS X and Windows, so if you switch operating systems often (such as in a dual-boot scenario), it may be the best option for you if you want a unified experience across each OS. In addition to the fundamental features, CopyQ offers a lot of advanced functions for power users such as clipboard filters, vim-like editing, content organisation (text, HTML, images), custom tabs, customisable keyboad shortcuts and more.
GPaste is an excellent clipboard tool made for Gnome 3-based desktop environments (such as Ubuntu GNOME). A native GNOME Shell extension is provided along with the main package, so you can easily access the clipboard from the topbar. GPaste allows you to control your history size and memory usage and also offers several keyboard shortcuts for quick access. What I like best about GPaste is that you can create several history categories for storing similar items, such as URLs or email addresses.
Parcellite is a very lightweight clipboard manager with only the most basic features. Upon installation, it adds its icon to the system tray where you can access the clipboard history or edit entry content before pasting. If you right-click on the icon, you can edit the history size, hotkeys and more via the preferances window. If you’re looking for the simplest option available, look no further than Parcellite.
ClipIt is yet another clipboard management tool which was built on top of Parcellite, so it sports a similar look and feel but offers more functionality. You can synchronize your clipboard if you check the “Use Primary Selection” checkbox or disable the “Ctrl + C” copy command. The history preferences allows you to customise the number of copied items in the history and menu, and each can contain several thousands of items.
Another key feature of ClipIt is the ability to exclude certain items you do not want saved in the history for reuse such as passwords or URLs, which is great for shared computers so you don’t expose any sensitive information.
Installing a clipboard manager is one great way to enhance productivity on Linux, especially if you work with a lot of text. Let us know your favourite clipboard management tool in the comments section below.