Conrad Parker


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Latest version: 1.2.0


XSel is a command-line program for getting and setting the contents of the X selection. Normally this is only accessible by manually highlighting information and pasting it with the middle mouse button.

XSel is more than just cat for the X selection.

Advanced features

XSel also lets you access some of the more esoteric features of the X selection:

Naturally all these options have single character equivalents, and xsel --help provides usage information. For complete details, see the xsel man page.




XSel conforms to the X Window System Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual Version 2.0 (ICCCM2), including correct handling of TARGETS, MULTIPLE, TIMESTAMP, and DELETE targets, INCR properties and large data transfers.

My thoughts on ICCCM (Warning: explicit language).

Articles and discussion


Copyright (C) 2001 Conrad Parker <>

Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and sell this software and its documentation for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. No representations are made about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.


Please direct any queries, bug reports etc. about XSel to the author, Conrad Parker .

Copyright © 1995-2010 Conrad Parker <>. Last modified Sun Nov 21 2010