Copying to Clipboard with Windows Subsystem for Linux

This tip is 100% thanks to Ben Hillis, a developer working on the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Yesterday I needed to copy a file under WSL to the my system clipboard. If you Google for how to do this, you'll see a CLI called clip that works under Unbuntu, however, that doesn't work under WSL. If I had to guess I'd say because there's isn't a GUI involved with WSL but to be honest, I'd be guessing.

When I asked on Twitter, Ben had a simple solution - use clip.exe. I keep forgetting that WSL provides complete access to Windows executables. I knew this - heck - it's how my tip on loading VSCode Insiders from WSL worked. But I didn't even think to check if Windows had a utility to copy to the clipboard.

In case you're curious, this is how you would copy a file under WSL to your Windows clipboard:

cat report.txt | clip.exe

And I'm sure there's numerous other ways too. Anyway, I'm mainly just blogging this so I don't forget.

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