Writing to /dev/clipboard from multiple processes in Bash gives inconsistent behaviour

Adam Dinwoodie adam@dinwoodie.org
Fri Feb 13 16:04:00 GMT 2015

On Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 10:15:30AM -0500, cyg Simple wrote:
> > From: Adam Dinwoodie
> > 
> > In which case, I wonder if it's worth adding something to the FAQ/BLODA
> about
> > this?  I guess not, at least until someone independently encounters this
> > behaviour so it warrants the "F" as well as the "AQ".
> > 
> I find it strange that someone would be using /dev/clipboard for a temporary
> buffer of data for a batch process anyway.  Too many opportunities for that
> data to be corrupted by other actions of the user.  So in other words, just
> don't do that; it isn't portable and it is prone to error.  The proper use
> would be for a user to store content in /dev/clipboard that the user would
> then use immediately to paste elsewhere.  It should never be used for
> programmatic operation where the operation is dependent on the result later;
> it wasn't designed for that.

I'm not sure what gave you the impression anyone was trying to use the
clipboard as a buffer for a batch process.  I can't see anyone using
batch at all, for that matter.  (Or do you mean "shell" instead of
"batch"?  The two are different things.)

My original use case (as mentioned in my original email) was a `find`
command that `-exec`'d multiple times to produce output.  That went to
the clipboard, for me to paste into a Windows application.

The shell code I posted was a simple test case to show the problem, not
actually what I'm trying to achieve.  Posting simplified example code
that demonstrates a problem is a common way to get help because it means
others only need to understand the simple example, not the full problem:

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