I sometimes have multiple xterm windows open and run vim in both of them. Is there any way to copy text from one window to the other using registers if I don't have '+clipboard' enabled?

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Open a new xterm, run vim -u NONE -N (vim with unsourced .vimrc to make sure that no plugin interferes)
  2. Yank a word with yiw, yank another word with "ayiw
  3. Run :reg to check how the registers "0 and "a look like.
  4. Open a new xterm and start vim again with vim -u NONE -N. I am now unable to paste either of the two words yanked before. Running :reg show that indeed the registers "0 and "a look different than the ones in my first xterm window.

I understand that would I have vim with '+clipboard' enabled, I could use the "+ register. But what can I do if I don't want have this option and don't want to open my two buffers in the same vim instance, but instead in two different xterms?

  • Or use something like this: github.com/ardagnir/united-front
    – VanLaser
    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:08
  • This sounds weird: you want the effect of X-integration without actual X-integration. Can't you simply install a proper Vim?
    – romainl
    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:20
  • No: you need both +clipboard and +xterm_clipboard, and only the contents of the clipboard is shared, via the system clipboard. Other registers are not shared. Aug 23, 2015 at 11:33
  • @romainl: Not the X-integration was the key point of my question, but rather register sharing across different vim sessions as I want to work with multiple registers not only with "+. Register sharing across vim sessions works with Christian Brabandt's answer or VanLasers comment.
    – cbaumhardt
    Aug 23, 2015 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


Registers are not shared between different Vim sessions. If you want that, then you have to store and load the data from a file. I think, the Yankring plugin does something like this.

Also it should be possible to write your viminfo using :wv file after you put something into your desired register and load it from the other vim session using :rv. See also the faq

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