Provided by: xsel_1.2.0-2_amd64 bug


       xsel - manipulate the X selection.


       xsel [OPTION]...


       Retrieve and set the X selection.

       The  X  server  maintains  three  selections, called PRIMARY, SECONDARY and CLIPBOARD. The
       PRIMARY selection is conventionally used to implement copying and pasting via  the  middle
       mouse  button.  The  SECONDARY  and  CLIPBOARD  selections  are  less  frequently  used by
       application programs. This program operates on  the  PRIMARY  selection  unless  otherwise

       By default, this program outputs the selection without modification if both standard input
       and standard output are terminals (ttys). Otherwise, the current selection  is  output  if
       standard  output  is not a terminal (tty), and the selection is set from standard input if
       standard input is not a terminal (tty). If any input or output options are given then  the
       program behaves only in the requested mode.

       If  both  input  and output is required then the previous selection is output before being
       replaced by the contents of standard input.

       Input options

       -a, --append
              append standard input to the selection. Implies -i.

       -f, --follow
              append to selection as standard input grows. Implies -i.

       -i, --input
              read standard input into the selection.

       Output options

       -o, --output
              write the selection to standard output.

       Action options

       -c, --clear
              clear the selection. Overrides all input options.

       -d, --delete
              Request that the current selection be deleted. This not only clears the  selection,
              but  also  requests to the program in which the selection resides that the selected
              contents be deleted. Overrides all input options.

       Selection options

       -p, --primary
              operate on the PRIMARY selection (default).

       -s, --secondary
              operate on the SECONDARY selection.

       -b, --clipboard
              operate on the CLIPBOARD selection.

       -k, --keep
              Do not modify the selections, but make the PRIMARY and SECONDARY selections persist
              even  after the programs they were selected in exit. (Conventionally, the CLIPBOARD
              selection  is  persisted  by  a  separate   special   purpose   program   such   as
              xclipboard(1)). Ignores all input and output options.

       -x, --exchange
              exchange  the  PRIMARY  and  SECONDARY  selections.  Ignores  all  input and output

       X options

       -d displayname, --display displayname
              specify the server to use; see X(1).

       -t ms, --selectionTimeout ms
              Specify the timeout in milliseconds within which the selection must be retrieved. A
              value of 0 (zero) specifies no timeout (default).

       Miscellaneous options

       -l filename, --logfile filename
              Specify the file to log errors to when detached. (Default $HOME/.xsel.log)

       -n, --nodetach
              Do not detach from the controlling terminal. Without this option, xsel will fork to
              become a background process in input, exchange and keep modes.

       -h, --help
              display usage information and exit

       -v, --verbose
              Print informative messages. Additional instances of -v raise the  debugging  level,
              ie. print more information.

              output version information and exit


       There  is  no  X  selection  buffer.  The  selection  mechanism  in  X11 is an interclient
       communication mediated by the X server each time any program wishes to know the  selection
       contents,  eg.  to perform a middle mouse button paste. In order to implement modification
       of the selection(s) (in input, keep and exchange modes) this  program  detaches  from  the
       terminal,  spawning  a  child process to supply the new selection(s) on demand. This child
       exits immediately when any other program takes over the selection(s), eg.  when  the  user
       next selects some text in a terminal window or by running xsel -c.


       xsel conforms to the Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual Version 2.0 (ICCCM2).


       X(7), Xserver(1), xset(1), xclipboard(1), xpaste(1)


       Conrad Parker <>, July 2001

                                           January 2008                                  XSEL(1x)