gVim has special registers,
"+, that correspond to X11’s
PRIMARY and CLIPBOARD selections. I suspect that most people use those
(or just the mouse). As usual with X11 selections, they are lost when
the application quits. One option to deal with this is to run a
Another option is to explicitly fork a new process that sticks around and holds the selection. That’s what xclip does, essentially. Another advantage is that it works with a “normal” Vim, so no gVim needed.
I have these key bindings in my
nmap <Leader>xc :call X11Copy()<CR> vmap <Leader>xc "xy:call X11CopyRegister('x')<CR> nmap <Leader>xp :call X11PasteClipboard()<CR> nmap <Leader>xP :call X11PastePrimary()<CR>
When text is selected in visual mode, I can hit
,xc to copy it to
X11’s CLIPBOARD. Pressing
,xc without a selection copies the entire
,xp is for pasting.
The functions then look like this:
fun! X11Copy() silent %w !setsid xclip -selection clipboard endfun fun! X11CopyRegister(reg) let l:ignore = system('setsid xclip -selection clipboard', getreg(a:reg)) endfun fun! X11PasteClipboard() r !xclip -selection clipboard -o endfun fun! X11PastePrimary() r !xclip -o endfun
setsid creates a new session, but more importantly a new process
group, so my xclip won’t get killed by a
SIGHUP when the terminal
is closed unexpectedly.
It took me a while to figure out the correct way for “copy text from
visual mode”. It’s a bit tricky, because I want to copy exactly what has
been selected. The workaround consists of first copying to register
and then writing the contents of that register to xclip. (Naïve
approaches quickly lead you to
:'<,'>, which operates on lines.)
,xp are personal preference. I like that it is very
distinct from the usual register key bindings. Makes you aware that,
yes, now you’re dealing with an X11 selection.