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How to copy a file’s content from Linux terminal?

Last Updated : 11 Jul, 2019
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This article shows the alternative method to copy the content of the file onto the clipboard, via the Linux terminal. In OSX, the commands pbcopy and pbpaste are available by default. Thus, to copy a file onto the clipboard via OSX terminal, type:

pbcopy < 'path of the file'

Since, in Ubuntu, pbcopy and pbpaste commands are not available by default, installing xclip will serve our purpose.

The next step is to open the bash_aliases file.

Next, type in the following inside bash_aliases file and save it.

#using pbcopy and pbpaste for copy-paste a file's contents

alias pbcopy='xclip -selection clipboard'
alias pbpaste='xclip -selection clipboard -o'

This will set pbcopy and pbpaste as the aliases for xclip’s copy and paste commands respectively. Now we are ready to test the commands in the terminal. Let’s create a file named ‘file.txt’ and add some content into it.

Save the file and exit from the text editor. Let’s try copying and pasting its content from the terminal with our pbcopy and pbpaste commands.

Thus, now we are able to copy and paste the contents of our file using the terminal.

Note: One can use pbcopy command in the terminal to copy the c++/python template file used for competitive programming. Instead of the opening and copying the template file every time you attempt a question, just run the command in the terminal to get the work done and save time.

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