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Ruby access to the clipboard on Linux, MacOS and Windows
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Latest commit 362198d @janlelis release 1.0.6



Lets you access the clipboard on Linux, MacOS or Windows.


  • Clipboard.copy

  • Clipboard.paste

  • Clipboard.clear


Non-gem Requirements

  • Linux: xclip or xsel, you can install it on debian/ubuntu with sudo apt-get install xclip

ffi Dependency

This gem depends on the ffi gem to support the Windows clipboard. Since ffi requires native support, it cannot be installed on evevry platform and is not a hard dependency. If you need Windows support, you will need to put the ffi gem into your Gemfile.

Multiple Clipboards

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

copy copies to all clipboards in Clipboard::CLIPBOARDS.

Windows Encoding

If you paste with 1.9, the clipboard encoding will be translated to your Encoding.default_external.

If you paste with 1.8, it will fallback to CP850 encoding. Copying with 1.8 will fallback to the clip utility, which is installed by default since Vista


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. However, on Linux, it always operates only on the CLIPBOARD clipboard.


  • Don't depend on xclip/xsel (no plans to implement it, though)


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


Copyright © 2010-2015 Jan Lelis <> released under the MIT license. Contributions by and thanks to Michael Grosser and all the other contributors!

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