Ok, I know I’ve whinged about Copy & Paste before. It just seems to have got worse. Maybe I am becoming more inept.

Though I have a dream. A dream whereby I can copy and paste the URL bar of my Firefox with:

  1. CTRL+L
  2. CTRL+C
  3. Alt+1 (switch to uxterm)
  4. Middle click into uxterm or shift+insert on keyboard

Instead of the nightmare right now:

  1. CTRL+L
  2. CTRL+C
  3. Alt+1 (switch to uxterm)
  4. Middle click into uxterm
  5. Wrong text! (if you are using vim and pasting a lot of text, hilarious consequences ensue)
  6. Undo damage
  7. Alt+2 (switch to firefox)
  8. Find correct tab
  9. CTRL+L
  10. Double click with LMB (i hate having to use the mouse here)
  11. Pray
  12. Double click with LMB again just to be sure
  13. Alt+1 (switch to uxterm)
  14. Middle click into uxterm

Weird, in my case it works like in your dream
3. Alt+Tab
4. CTRL+Shift+V
(all under Gnome)
Where does Shift+Insert come from?

Comment by Andrzej Mendel
If you want working copy&paste, you can use GNOME or KDE, where it is working. I have checked between epiphany and gnome-terminal or uxterm, and the exact key sequences you are describing work. In fact, you can use either middle-click, maj-insert or maj-control-V to paste, and the two first shortcuts work even without Control-C.
Comment by Josselin Mouette

The problem is that xterm doesn’t use the CLIPBOARD selection: it only uses the PRIMARY selection, in defiance to how all (modern) X11 apps behave0. When you hit Ctrl+C in Firefox, that’s the same as Edit->Copy, which copies the selection to the CLIPBOARD selection. You can verify this by pasting into gnome-terminal, or gedit, or another program that uses the CLIPBOARD correctly.

You have three options; first, switch to a different (dare I say, better) terminal emulator; second, use the mouse for selecting text, which will then go to the PRIMARY selection, which is the only one that xterm can use; third, patch1 or configure2[3] xterm to use the CLIPBOARD selection instead.

[0] http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Standards_2fClipboardsWiki
[1] http://www.davidsimmons.com/soft/xtermhacks/
[2] http://wiki.tcl.tk/1217
[3] http://linux.seindal.dk/item71.html

Comment by Sam Morris
Afaik you could rewrite which clip buffer xterm sees using an Xresource setting.
Comment by Jon Dowland

I dare say that the purchase of a Real Keyboard with dedicated buttons for copy and paste would be less frustrating than trying to actually fix the issue, which will only really happen when Canonical pay someone to do it (much like all other free software desktop work at the moment).

- Chris

Comment by Chris Cunningham

Ok, firstly I refuse to use bloatware such as Gnome or KDE.

Sam, are you suggesting gnome-terminal is a better terminal? I find it really buggy. Thanks very much for the links!

Chris your suggestion of special keyboard keys for this problem is kinda “out there”.

nion, wmiipsel is great, though that seems to be for PRIMARY, not CLIPBOARD

autocutsel program looks interesting, but I gather it needs to be run constantly in the background. That’s too phat for me.

I’ve updated my Xresources and I can now paste with Shift+Middleclick in Uxterm. Major improvement !!! :)

Comment by hendry