#clipboard #cross-platform #paste #copy #system #content #wayland


cli-clipboard is a cross-platform library for getting and setting the contents of the OS-level clipboard

5 releases (3 breaking)

0.4.0 Dec 13, 2022
0.3.0 Oct 12, 2022
0.2.1 Feb 28, 2022
0.2.0 Jul 31, 2020
0.1.0 Jul 20, 2020

#57 in Operating systems

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28,548 downloads per month
Used in 37 crates (32 directly)


347 lines

CLI Clipboard


cli-clipboard is a fork of rust-clipboard that adds wayland support for terminal and window-less applications via wl-clipboard-rs. For terminal applications it supports copy and paste for both wayland and X11 linux environments, macOS and windows.

On Linux it will first attempt to setup a Wayland clipboard provider. If that fails it will then fallback to the X11 clipboard provider.

Note: On Linux, you'll need to have xorg-dev and libxcb-composite0-dev to compile. On Debian and Ubuntu you can install them with

sudo apt install xorg-dev libxcb-composite0-dev


Using ClipboardContext to create a clipboard provider:

use cli_clipboard::{ClipboardContext, ClipboardProvider};

let mut ctx = ClipboardContext::new().unwrap();
let the_string = "Hello, world!";
assert_eq!(ctx.get_contents().unwrap(), the_string);
// clearing the clipboard causes get_contents to return Err on macos and windows
if cfg!(any(windows, target_os = "macos")) {
    if ctx.get_contents().is_ok() {
        panic!("Should be Err");
} else {
    assert_eq!(ctx.get_contents(), "");

Using the helper functions:

use cli_clipboard;

let the_string = "Hello, world!";
assert_eq!(cli_clipboard::get_contents().unwrap(), the_string);



The ClipboardProvider trait has the following functions:

fn new() -> anyhow::Result<Self>;
fn get_contents(&mut self) -> anyhow::Result<String>;
fn set_contents(&mut self, String) -> anyhow::Result<()>;
fn clear(&mut self) -> anhow::Result<()>;


  • ClipboardContext is a type alias for one of {WindowsClipboardContext, OSXClipboardContext, LinuxClipboardContext}, all of which implement ClipboardProvider. Which concrete type is chosen for ClipboardContext depends on the OS (via conditional compilation).
  • WaylandClipboardContext and X11ClipboardContext are also available but generally the correct one will be chosen by LinuxClipboardContext.

Convenience Functions

get_contents and set_contents are convenience functions that create a context for you and call the respective function on it.


  1. copypasta - rust-clipboard fork adding wayland support for windowed applications
  2. The original rust-clipboard


cli-clipboard is dual-licensed under MIT and Apache2.


~117K SLoC