#clipboard #archlinux #arch #gnome #sway #xorg #desktop #linux #desktop-environment

app clipboard-sync

Synchronizes the clipboard across multiple X11 and wayland instances running on the same machine

2 unstable releases

0.2.0 Aug 3, 2023
0.1.0 Nov 15, 2022

#424 in Unix APIs

Download history 2/week @ 2023-11-05 3/week @ 2023-11-12 4/week @ 2023-11-19 10/week @ 2023-11-26 4/week @ 2023-12-03 3/week @ 2023-12-10 3/week @ 2023-12-17 5/week @ 2023-12-24 2/week @ 2023-12-31 1/week @ 2024-01-07 1/week @ 2024-01-14 8/week @ 2024-01-28 1/week @ 2024-02-04 15/week @ 2024-02-11 48/week @ 2024-02-18

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Clipboard Sync

Synchronizes the clipboard across multiple X11 and wayland instances running on the same machine.

Example use cases:

  • Improve Wayland compatibility: You have already enabled support for wayland in your system, but your computer does not synchronize the clipboard between X11 and wayland windows. clipboard-sync can solve this problem. more details
  • VNC: You run a VNC server and would like all host and client logins from the same user to share the same clipboard.
  • Multiple displays: You run two or more desktop environments or window managers in separate ttys, switching between desktops using ctrl-alt-F*.
  • Nested Wayland: You run a wayland compositor within a window. examples:
    • you primarily use kde, but run sway in a window to consolidate all your messenger apps into a single tiled/tabbed window.
    • you use gnome and develop extensions for gnome, so you run a nested gnome environment for testing.


Install clipboard-sync with your system's package manager. If your system is not supported, please vote on the appropriate issue, or create one if it does not exist.

Arch Linux

clipboard-sync is available in the Arch User Repository.

Ubuntu & Debian

Install from the official repository:

sudo wget -P /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ https://raw.githubusercontent.com/dnut/deb/master/dnut.list
sudo apt update && sudo apt install clipboard-sync

Advanced Installation

If your system is not supported, you have two other options:

  • Generic Linux
    • automatically and cleanly installs or uninstalls the entire package.
    • requires extra steps to acquire the source code.
  • Cargo
    • only installs the executable, which needs to be run manually.
    • requires extra steps to manually edit and install a systemd service if desired.
    • If you use cargo-update, it can make updates to the executable easier.

Generic Linux

Build from Source, then install either system-wide or for only the current user:

sudo make install  # system
make user-install  # user

It can be easily uninstalled:

sudo make uninstall  # system
make user-uninstall  # user


clipboard-sync is published to crates.io, so it can be installed as a normal binary crate.

  1. Install rust: https://www.rust-lang.org/tools/install
  2. Install clipboard-sync
cargo install clipboard-sync
  1. If you want it to run in the background, you can use tmux, or you can manually download the systemd service file and copy it to a systemd folder. You can download it to the correct path using this command, after which you may need to manually edit the file to point the correct binary location:
wget -P "$HOME/.config/systemd/" https://raw.githubusercontent.com/dnut/clipboard-sync/master/clipboard-sync.service

It can be easily uninstalled:

cargo uninstall clipboard-sync
rm -r "$HOME/.config/systemd/clipboard-sync.service"

Ubuntu & Debian (advanced)

In addition to installing from the official repository, you can also build and install the deb package from source. Follow the instructions to Build from Source, then create a deb file and install it with:

make deb && sudo apt install ./dist/deb/clipboard-sync_*.deb

Build from Source

  1. Ensure you have the build dependencies: rust make gcc libc libxcb
  • install rust using rustup: https://www.rust-lang.org/tools/install
  • For the rest:
    • arch linux: sudo pacman -Syu make gcc libxcb
    • debian/ubuntu: sudo apt install make gcc libxcb1-dev libxcb-render0-dev libxcb-shape0-dev libxcb-xfixes0-dev
  1. Download the source from the releases page and unzip it. Alternatively, select one of these commands to download the source:
wget -O- https://github.com/dnut/clipboard-sync/archive/refs/tags/0.2.0.tar.gz | tar xvz
curl -L https://github.com/dnut/clipboard-sync/archive/refs/tags/0.2.0.tar.gz | tar xvz
git clone https://github.com/dnut/clipboard-sync.git --branch stable
  1. Compile the program
cd clipboard-sync*

The executable is here:



The typical set-and-forget approach is to enable to service:

systemctl --user enable --now clipboard-sync

If you don't want it to run constantly, only on-demand, don't use systemd. Directly call the binary as needed:


You can also daemonize clipboard-sync using tmux instead of systemd. ~/.bashrc aliases may be handy for these commands.

tmux new-session -ds clipboard-sync clipboard-sync  # start in background
tmux attach -t clipboard-sync                       # view status
ctrl-b, d                                           # while viewing status, send back to background
ctrl-c                                              # while viewing status, terminate the process


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