Thursday, 28 April 2016

Problem with clipboard on Ubuntu

Clipboard on Ubuntu is "broken". Well, maybe not. But copy-paste is broken in a lot of applications on Ubuntu. Let me give you an example,

  • Open LibreOffice.
  • Write something and copy it.
  • Paste it somewhere else. It works as expected.
  • Now close LibreOffice and try pasting. It won't work.
This is a well known bug - Copy-Paste doesn't work if the source is closed before the paste; affecting a lot of applications on Ubuntu. And they are not so keen on fixing it, atleast not any time soon.
The reason for this is that these applications do not comply with the clipboard specification from FreeDesktop
If a client needs to exit while owning the CLIPBOARD selection, it should request the clipboard manager to take over the ownership of the clipboard, using the SAVE_TARGETS mechanism. If there is no clipboard manager, or if the SAVE_TARGETS conversion fails, the application should simply exit.
Applications need to transfer ownership of the clipboard to clipboard manager before exiting for copied data to perisist after it exits. There is certainly nothing you can do about it, unless offcourse you are willing to modify the source code of each of these applications to make it comply to FreeDesktop specs.

Fix. Well.. workaround.

The reporter/ moderator of the bug report suggests that we should install diodon, klipper, glipper, parcellite or xfce4-clipman as a workaround for this issue.
Working of diodon

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