Bringing some linux functionality to windows – Multiple Clipboards, Middle Mouse paste & a proper console

Sep 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Windows

So as I am in day 2 of my new life as a Windows user I am already longing for some of the functionality that made my life in linux more efficient.  Hopefully other windows users who have never had the privilege(or the frustration) of spending years wrestling with linux can learn how to make their OS experience a little bit better.  Let’s start with one of the most basic pieces of linux functionality:

Multiple clipboards

In linux when you select text with your mouse it is automatically copied to a clipboard.  Not the MAIN clipboard mind you but a secondary clipboard.  One that is mainly accessed with the middle mouse button.  So if you want to quickly copy and paste something you just select and middle click, no ctrl-c, ctrl-v nonsense.  However as an added bonus you now have 2 clipboards so lets say you had 100 phone numbers on 100 different webpages that you wanted to copy into a master list, you can do it in half the time as you can do one, go to the next page, copy a second oen adn then paste them both into your list.  Of course why stop at only 2 clipboards so for this section I’m going to go over how to implement the select copy & middle mouse paste functionality and then how to install multiple clipboards so you can ctrl-c to #1, #2 #3 all the way up to whatever the limit is.

Auto Clip X seems to be the only working and viable out of the box solution for this.  There’s an AutoHotKey script that does something similar( however it seems to be a duct-tape solution where your middle button functionality is disable while the middle-paste functionality is on.


Now this still doesn’t get us multiple clipboards and it still doesn’t really give us the same functionality as linux but we’ll have to make do with getting almost there because I haven’t found a solution for windows that equals linux.  And so in this sense the multiple clipboard functions more like the Copystock desklet rather than the middle mouse paste/secondary clipboard where it saves a history of everything you’ve copied.    Having this is an unbelievable useful tool, essential I would say.. I cannot count how many times i’ve needed to go back to previously copied text before and I couldn’t imagine living without this ability.

Console 2:

This last one is also pretty damn essential if you do anything with the command prompt.  Now I won’t get into cgywin right now because non-linux users won’t have a clue what to do with that but if you want a proper console then you need to grab console2.  I can’t even say this is a pimped out console just beccause the default window console is such an embarassment worthy of a public execution that console 2 just becomes what the windows console should be.  Things like the ability to resize it horizontally, being able to just select, copy and paste instead of having to go into the title bar, select mark, and then copy and and and.. I mean honestly what the FUCK is wrong with microsoft that they have a console like this in their OS?  Anyways head over here to the console 2 sourceforge page and download that motherfucker and do the following in settings:

  • Console: Change your default startup dir and check save on exit.
  • Console: make sure your shell is set to ‘%SystemRoot%\syswow64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe’ .  If you are anything like me you’ll want to use powershell and not the regular command prompt as it give yuo access to linux like commands(ie: ls, cat, etc etc) and a lot more information.
  • In appearence I have my font set to custom color and have it on pure white
  • In Appearences/More I have show status and toolbar off
  • In Behavior I have copy on select selected so I don’t have to do a control C to copy something, it’s copied as soon as I let go of the mouse after copying something I mean if I’ve selecting it what the hell else do I plan on doing with it besides copying it?
  • Hotkeys: Put the hotkey for copy and paste to what they should be and if you are a linux user than copy is ctrl-shift c and paste is alt-r however we won’t be needing ctrl-c to end too many procs in windows I don’t think so I’ve changed copy to ctrl-c and paste to alt-r.  In the mouse hotkeys I’ve removed the need to hold shift to select and just have it on left mouse button
  • Tabs: I have my cursor set to horizontal line as that just looks badass, although I imagine that vertical line will also look pretty cool and again have the color to pure white.  In the background subtap I have my goto term background which I love so much that I’ve been so kind to include below for you to use.. I used to have the matrix falling text as my background but this is so much brighter and still has that green haxor feel to it.  Well until yuo look and see the cute little spiders crawling around.  Just click it to enlarge and save it somewhere.  I have it as a png so you can enable transparency and well it needs to be a png to work as a linux term.  Make sure that stretch is checked so you can see it all
  • Not sure if this is necessary but in Tabs you might want to also set the shell to ‘%SystemRoot%\syswow64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe’ and your startup dir to C:\

Now if you are using cgywin and you want it to go through console 2 because I mean why the hell wouldn’t you want it to, just go into the tabs settings and add a new tab.  Call it cgywin, and for the shell just put ‘C:\cygwin\bin\bash.exe –login -i’ in there.  Infact this might be a time when you set another background image for your different shell so you can instantly recognize when you’re in cgywin and when you’re in powershell, although it should be fairly obvious when you look at it regardless.

So there you have it, 3 little additions to your windows life that will make your day to day a lot more efficient and will enhance what you can do and how you do it in Windows.  Enjoy


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One Comment to “Bringing some linux functionality to windows – Multiple Clipboards, Middle Mouse paste & a proper console”

  1. nodens says:

    Did you try DragKing ? It seems to do just that.

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