13 Best Free and Open Source Clipboard Managers

Technology tools do have their limits. No one will become a master chef simply because they use chef-endorsed saucepans, the finest ingredients, or have access to sought-after recipes. For example, a diary application can make it easier for individuals to keep track of their daily activities and thoughts, but will the application really bring order into a chaotic world? Time tracker apps help users keep track of how much time is spent on various activities during the day, but still the user has to remember to start them.

Don’t get us wrong. There’s a real burning passion inside us for small productivity tools. Lean tools that focus on a single productivity enhancing activity can make an enormous difference to the way time is spent. Bloated, complex productivity tools tend to only slow you down, and complex solutions require too much maintenance.

The applications featured in this article fall into the first category; small lean applications that focus on speed and efficiency, cutting down time spent on hunting for snippets of text.

Linux has a number of proficient clipboard managers. This type of application lets you copy and manage items to your clipboard. Copying, searching, managing and sharing clips is common functionality offered by this type of application. Keeping tabs on reusable text snippets can make a real difference for people who need to swap parcels of text. Some tools go further supporting and storing pictures and HTML, and even synchronizing clippings between computers.

We have evaluated each application. Here’s our verdict. Only free and open source software is included.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source clipboard tools

Let’s explore the 13 clipboard managers at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot, together with links to relevant resources.

Clipboard Managers
CopyQAwesome clipboard manager with advanced features, written in C++ and Qt
GPasteClipboard management system
clipmenuSimple clipboard manager using dmenu (or rofi) and xsel
ClipItA fork of Parcellite which adds many bugfixes and features
ClipboardBilled as “the power tool that saves you time and effort”
DiodonLightweight clipboard manager written in Vala
ClipsterSimple clipboard manager which aims to be lightweight
ParcelliteLightweight GTK+ Clipboard Manager
wl-clipboardWayland clipboard utilities
KlipperClipboard manager for the KDE interface
KeepboardCross-platform clipboard manager, written in Java
ClipmanClipboard manager for Xfce
GlipperClipboard utility for the GNOME panel
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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3 years ago

Keepboard is another one for Linux, but it’s written in Java so it can run on Windows and Mac also.

3 years ago
Reply to  dragan

Keepboard is open source software too, published under the GPL.

4 months ago

Clipcat is another clipboard manager for Linux.
It is easy to integrate with window manager such as i3, leftwm, qtile, spectrwm.
It invokes rofi or dmenu for selecting clipboard entry.