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Access the clipboard and do not care if the OS is Linux, MacOS or Windows.


You have Clipboard.copy,

Clipboard.paste and


Have fun ;)

Multiple clipboards

On Linux, you can choose, from which clipboard you want to paste, default is CLIPBOARD.

copy copies to all clipboards in Clipboard::CLIPBOARDS.

Windows Encoding note

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

SSH note

To use the clipboard through ssh, you need to install xauth on your server and connect via ssh -X or ssh -Y. However, some server settings restrict that feature, so don't rely on it, untested.

Java note

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

Non-gem requirements

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


  • Don't depend on xclip/xsel

…if there is enough demand or motivation for me °_°


Want to access the clipboard form the command line? Try blip!


Copyright © 2010-2012 Jan Lelis,, released under the MIT license

Contributions by and thanks to

  • Michael Grosser


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