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How to Copy and Paste to/from the Global Register with Tmux on Mac OS X


Using the system clipboard with tmux on OS X is broken. I really like tmux but having copy and paste is kind of important for me. Here is my attempt to get it back with a simple bash script until I find something better. The approach is to take a named pipe and feed it the contents of "tmux showb". A bash script will manage the pipe and because this script is initialized from a normal session it will write to the system clipboard just fine.

In my .bash_profile...

alias tcp="tmux showb > $pipe4tmux"
if [[ ! -p $pipe4tmux ]]; then
~/pipe4tmux.sh &

And in pipe4tmux.sh...

echo "Starting named pipe $pipe4tmux"
trap "rm -f $pipe4tmux" EXIT

if [[ ! -p $pipe4tmux ]]; then
    mkfifo $pipe4tmux

while true
    pbcopy < $pipe4tmux

echo "Quitting pipe4tmux $pip4tmux"
Tagged w/ #bash #configuration #development environment #named pipe #pipes #tmuxbash #environment #linux