After switching to 24.5.11 from some ancient version, Emacs started to spam my primary selection: Whenever I mark a region, or even move the point using e.g. arrow keys when the mark is active, a new entry appears in my Parcellite history. This makes it unusable.

  • I want Emacs changing the primary selection when I mark some text using the mouse.
  • I don't care about what happens when using keyboard (pressing M-w is easy).
  • But there must be only a single such entry in the history.

Maybe it's not Emacs' thing at all and it's Parcellite capturing every selection? No idea, but it used to work on Ubuntu 10.04 (now I'm on 16.04).

1 x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.18.9) of 2016-04-17 on lgw01-04, modified by Debian

1 Answer 1


This should do the trick :- (setq select-active-regions 'only)

This will make sure that emacs will only save the temporarily active regions to the primary selection, i.e those made with the mouse or shift keys.

  • This mayn't be exactly what I want, but it makes Emacs usable again. Thanks a lot.
    – maaartinus
    Aug 20, 2016 at 16:43

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