Clipboard access is part of the target/clipboard menu path. There is a global clipboard, and a local one unique to each connected client.

When a client adds something to its local clipboard, it is automatically copied or “promoted” to the global clipboard. It is also possible to manually promote something from the clipboard history to be added to the global clipboard via target/clipboard/promote.

Depending on the archetype a client registered as, the clipboard feature can be enabled or disabled entirely so if the clipboard menu is not available, it means that the feature has been blocked for the specific client or the client has not announced support for clipboard management.


When performing a paste operation, a filter can be applied. This filter is a ‘per window’ tracked property, so setting it in one window will not have an effect on the pastemode of others. The available set is found at target/clipboard/mode and performs basic transformations like stripping trailing/repeated whitespace.

Underneath the surface, it is simply some substitution pattern (you can add your own inside durden/clipboard.lua) that is applied before a paste operation is forwarded to a client.

URL Catcher

URLs that appear on the clipboard gets special treatment, and are automatically added to a separate list that is used as the menu selection for opening a target, but can also be found at target/clipboard/urls.

External Manager

There is a tool in the main arcan source tree, src/tools/aclip that implements an external clipboard manager. By default, this will be rejected as the client will get monitor access and/or injection access into the global clipboard.

To enable this support, go to global/system/external clipboard and set to full or active or passive. This will allow one active external client that identify its primary segment as as clipboard to read (passive), write (active) or both (full) the global clipboard state.


The clipboard gets stored in a Lua file that is loaded on startup and flushed on shutdown/reset. See the durden/clipboard_data.lua file.

Future Changes

  • Support for Audio/Video/Binary paste
  • Integration with drag-and-drop style features
  • Better promotion controls
  • Color code clipboard history navigation