There are many question regarding this on SE and various solutions have been provided on how to access system clipboard on various platforms. I ssh to various machines and on some platforms, my clipboard and vim stop playing well (specially over shh).

Is there a plugin to which makes vim access the system clipboard on almost all Linux, MacOSX, and puTTy (with ssh -X) ?

  • ssh -Y might work for you
    – Mass
    Jan 7, 2018 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


I've not heard of such a plugin (doesn't mean it doesn't exist). But I can lay out an alternative approach...

Instead of dealing with multiple systems and their disparate clipboard configurations use your local vim (+netrw) to edit remote files. Since you mention accessing remote systems with ssh then vim can use scp, for one. Let's say you want to update a text file in a remote home directory...

:Nread scp://[email protected]/~/file.txt

Or even...

:e scp://[email protected]/~/file.txt

Works from the command line, too. ($ vim scp://etc).

Now you can cut and paste to your heart's content using just the local clipboard.

Other protocols are available including these (:h netrw-read for complete list):

:Nread "ftp://[user@]machine[[:#]port]/path"    uses ftp w/ <.netrc>
:Nread "http://[user@]machine/path"             uses http
:Nread "rsync://[user@]machine[:port]/path"     uses rsync
:Nread "scp://[user@]machine[[:#]port]/path"    uses scp

More remote editing tips

If your workflow is more along the lines of impromptu use of vim while you're doing work on the command line of a remote machine then check out out bcvi. Install this standalone script on a remote machine and then when you do vi file.txt on the remote (e.g. during an ssh session) your local [g]vim will open the remote file automatically using the same underlying mechanism as described above.

Some outside the box thinking for you.

  • bcvi looks very promising. Thanks for mentioning it.
    – Dilawar
    Jan 7, 2018 at 5:53

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