Ruby access to the clipboard on Windows, Linux, macOS, Java and Cygwin
Latest commit a47e259 Jul 25, 2016 @janlelis Release 1.1.1

Ruby Clipboard version

Lets you access the clipboard on Linux, MacOS, Windows and Cygwin.


  • Clipboard.copy
  • Clipboard.paste
  • Clipboard.clear


Add to Gemfile:

gem 'clipboard'
gem 'ffi', :platforms => [:mswin, :mingw]
  • Linux: You will need the xclip or xsel program. On debian/ubuntu this is: sudo apt-get install xclip


Multiple Clipboards

On Linux, you can choose from which clipboard you want to paste from by passing it as an argumument. The default is CLIPBOARD.

copy copies to all clipboards in Clipboard::Linux::CLIPBOARDS.

Windows Encoding

Windows uses UTF-16LE as its default encoding, so pasted strings will always come in UTF-16LE. You can manually convert them to your desired encoding (e.g. UTF-8) using the String#encode method:



To use the clipboard through ssh, you need to install xauth on your server and connect via ssh -X or ssh -Y. Please note that some server settings restrict this feature.


There is a Java implementation included (Clipboard::Java) as an option for JRuby. On Linux, it always operates only on the CLIPBOARD clipboard.


  • Native support on X (don't depend on xclip/xsel) would be great


blip is a handy commandline wrapper that lets you quickly copy file content to your clipboard: blip!


Copyright (c) 2010-2016 Jan Lelis released under the MIT license. Contributions by and thanks to Michael Grosser and all the other contributors!