For users new to Linux, copying and pasting lines of code into your terminal is an integral part of the learning process. Even for experienced users though, it is often easier and preferable to copy in generic code rather than typing everything out by hand. This not only improves speed but reduces mistakes as well.
However, for users familiar with the generic commands of their Windows or Mac PC, they might be surprised to learn the copy and paste commands in Linux, although similar, aren’t exactly the same. Whether you’re brand new to Linux or simply looking for a refresher course on how to copy and paste, read on to learn the most common methods for copying and pasting within the Linux terminal.
How to Copy and Paste in the Linux Terminal
Depending on the Linux terminal you’re running, which is typical dependent on your Linux distribution, you may have access to multiple methods for copying and pasting.
Copy Command in Linux
To copy text in the Linux terminal, use the command:
As most users are probably familiar with using Ctrl+C on PC (or Command+C on Mac), the second option might be the easiest to adapt to.
Paste Command in Linux
To paste text in the Linux terminal, use the command:
Since most users are familiar with using Ctrl+V on PC (or Command+V on Mac), the second option listed is probably the easiest to remember.
Copying and Pasting with the Mouse
Assuming your terminal has a full graphical interface, you’ll likely be highlighting the text you’re copying using your computer’s mouse. If preferred, you can also handle all your copying and pasting using the mouse as well.
By highlighting and right-clicking the text you’d like to copy, you can open the context menu and select the option to Copy from the list of options. Alternatively, you can right-click on a new line in your terminal and select Paste, to paste any previously copied text into the terminal.
Additionally, you might also be able to copy and paste in the Linux terminal using the middle-button on your mouse. Whether or not you are able to easily do this will depend on the specific terminal application you are using, as some offer greater mouse functionality than others. Assuming your terminal allows you to use this (and that your mouse has a middle-button), you can copy and paste simultaneously, by highlighting a section of text, and then clicking the middle-button. This will copy the highlighted text from that line and automatically paste it into the terminal at the position where your cursor is currently.
And there you have it! With multiple methods for copying and pasting in Linux, you should be able to copy and paste text easily, regardless of your specific Linux distribution.
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