6 Linux clipboard managers to boost your productivity

6 Linux clipboard managers to boost your productivity

These handy Linux utilities will keep a history of everything you save to the clipboard.

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During a recent episode of Bad Voltage, each presenter had to name a small Linux utility we were surprised more people didn't regularly use. Fellow Opensource.com Community Moderator Ben Cotton suggested this topic would be of interest to the Opensource.com community, and I think he's correct. Thanks for the suggestion, Ben.

The item I chose to highlight is a clipboard manager. For those of you not familiar with a clipboard manager, it's a small program that runs in the background and keeps a history of everything you save to the clipboard. It sounds simple, and it is, but it will likely boost your productivity more than you'd initially anticipate. It also comes in handy when you copy something, only to realize that means you've lost something else in the clipboard that you actually needed.

Features to look for

When selecting a clipboard manager, there are a couple items I'd consider must haves and then a few items that are nice to have. First, you should pick a clipboard manager that integrates well with your desktop environment, shell, and toolkit of choice. This integration will lead to a much smoother experience, and consistency isn't something I'd settle on. You should also ensure you can exclude programs, as you don't want passwords and other sensitive information stored.

Personally, I prefer a clipboard manager that distinguishes between the clipboard and the primary selection, but I understand some have strong opinions about this, so it may not be important for everyone. Other features to look for are the ability to control from the command line, scriptablity, the presence of keyboard shortcuts, and solid search functionality.

Clipboard managers to consider

While not an exhaustive list, here are a few quality options to choose from.

  • Diodon: Integrates well with Unity and GNOME, including a nice indicator applet
  • CopyQ: An advanced clipboard manager that is also cross platform
  • GPaste: GTK+ 3 based and integrates well with GNOME
  • Klipper: A good choice for KDE users
  • Clipman: A lightweight option for those who prefer XFCE
  • Parcellite: A simple "basic-features only" option for those who like simplicity

If none of those suit your use case, a quick web search will turn up quite a few additional options. Once you have a clipboard manager installed, let us know what you think.

Other useful utilities?

Have a useful utility that you're surprised more people don't use regularly? Let us know in the comments.


About the author

Jeremy Garcia - Jeremy Garcia is the founder of LinuxQuestions.org  and an ardent but realistic open source advocate. Follow Jeremy on Twitter: @linuxquestions