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man pages section 4: File Formats

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Updated: July 2017



sel_config - selection rules for copy, cut, paste, drag and drop operations




The sel_config file specifies how a system that is configured with Trusted Extensions behaves when a user transfers data between windows that have different labels. Transfer operations include cut-and-paste, copy-and-paste, and drag-and-drop. There are two types of entries in this file: automatic confirmation and automatic reply.

Automatic Confirmation

This type of entry specifies whether a confirmation window, the selection confirmer, displays. Each entry has the form:

relationship: confirmation

relationship identifies the result of comparing the selected data's source and destination windows' labels. There are three allowed values:


The source window's label is less than the destination window's label.


The source window's label is higher than the destination window's label.


The source and destination windows' labels are disjoint. Neither label dominates the other.

confirmation specifies whether to perform automatic confirmation. Allowed values are:


Use manual confirmation, that is, display the selection confirmer window. This is the default.


Use automatic confirmation, that is, do not display the selection confirmer window.

Automatic Cancellation

Some applications perform hidden paste operations to save data in the clipboard. These paste operations can target destinations that the user is not authorized to confirm. Therefore, the selection confirmer could appear to the user for data that the user can only press Cancel to dismiss. Automatic cancellation dismisses these intermediate selection confirmers.

There must be one entry of this form:

autocancel: value

If value is y (for yes), then the intermediate selection confirmers do not display to the user. If the value is n (for no), intermediate selection confirmers appear, and the user must confirm each window for the initial transaction to complete. The default is y.

Automatic Reply

A single user operation can involve several flows of information between the source and destination windows. The automatic reply set of entries provides a means to reduce the number of confirmations that are required of the user.

There must be one entry of this form:

autoreply: value

If value is y (for yes), then the remaining entries of the set are used as attributes for the selection data (rather than the actual contents) to complete the operation without confirmation. If value is n (for no), then the remaining entries are ignored.

Defaults can be specified for any type field that appears in the Confirmer window. Below are some sample entries for defaults.

replytype: TARGETS
replytype: Pixel Sets
replytype: LENGTH
replytype: Type Of Monitor

The TARGETS entry, when used, returns the list of target atoms that are supported by the source window. The Pixel Sets and Type Of Monitor entries are used for animation during a drag-and-drop operation. The LENGTH entry specifies the number of bytes in the selection.


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability

See Also


Rules When Changing the Level of Security for Data in Trusted Extensions Configuration and Administration


The functionality described on this manual page is available only if the system is configured with Trusted Extensions.