Linux middle-click paste is problematic and needs to be automatically disabled

The core of the issue

  • Obsidian uses the middle-click for various functionality like opening links in new tabs/windows.
  • But this is conflicting with the default Linux OS behavior in which the middle-click pastes the clipboard.
  • Unfortunately, there is no sure way to turn this pasting feature off on the OS level. Maybe on some specific distributions, using a specific set of non-typical terminal tools, for limited types of applications, X desktop vs. Wayland, etc, it is possible. But not consistently, not easily and without any guarantee that it will work. I am using one of the most popular Linux distros available and I couldn’t find a way to disable it for Obsidian, let alone the whole OS. It’s a really big mess.
  • Basically, the only solution is for the specific application developer to disable this pasting functionality for his software. And this is exactly what I ask you to do. Not having a toggle in the settings is not a problem.

Examples of problems

Example 1

  1. Have some text in the copy&paste buffer.
  2. Be in note1 writing.
  3. Want to open note2 in a new window.
  4. Middle-click on the name note2 in the file explorer.
    4.a) note2 opens in a new window
    4.b) BUG. note1 now has a pasted text

Example 2

  1. Have “text” in the copy&paste buffer.
  2. Be in edit mode of note1 and want to open an internal link to note2 in a new window
  3. Middle-click on [[note2]] link
    3.a) note2 opens in new window
    3.b) while the [[note2]] in note1 becomes [[nottexte2]] (or similar, depending on where the cursor was at the moment of the middle-click
    3.c) so I have to remember to undo this change. If I don’t, it will influence my Zettelkasten workflow more than you would think (won’t go into details)

In order to circumvent the problems, I have to remember to:

  1. switch to preview mode
  2. middle-click the link from there
  3. go back to the old document and switch back to the edit mode


  • Operating system: Linux Mint 20.3 Cinnamon
  • Debug info:
    Obsidian version: v0.13.33
    Installer version: v0.13.31
    Operating system: #40~20.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Mon Mar 7 09:18:32 UTC 2022 5.13.0-35-generic

Additional information

Related topic:


I understand. I think you can disable this behavior from your window manager’s option system-wise. We will consider adding a switch to by disable X11 selection clipboard in the future.
Moved to Feature Request.

Alas, the option does not exist and there is no info on whether it will ever be implemented. :frowning:

Here is a little taste of how ridiculously difficult or even impossible disabling the feature is.