10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2009 9:12 PM by Tony T1
ziggyonice Level 1 (0 points)
Opened up Terminal.app and the window is *completely blank*. There is nothing in it whatsoever. Bash never started. The title bar simply says "Terminal — login — 80x24". I can type whatever I want in the Terminal window like it's a text document and nothing happens. If I restart the computer, this seems to fix the problem, but it seems to only be a temporary fix as the issue happens again soon after.

Any ideas?

Demo screenshot

15" MacBook Pro [First Generation] - 2.16 GHz Core Duo | 2GB RAM | 120GB HD, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Bioinformatics Level 1 (55 points)
    Try typing control-C or control-D.
  • etresoft Level 7 (27,781 points)
    Create a new account and see if it behaves the same way. If not, reboot the machine to get your account working again, then copy over the bash init files from the other account.
  • SMJ-audio Level 1 (0 points)
    Same problem here, has happened 3 times in the last two weeks. Running 10.6.1.
  • gravityslave Level 1 (0 points)
    Same problem here...

    Image: !http://www.enabl3dtech.com/terminal.png!
  • Jun T. Level 4 (2,185 points)
    The window title in the screen shots suggests that the problematic process is "login".
    While the blank Terminal window is open, please check (by using Activity Monitor.app) whether "login" has not yet finished or your shell (such as bash) has already been started.

    If you think the problem is in "login", then you can bypass it by:

    Go to Preferences > Startup,
    enable "command (complete path)",
    and enter /bin/bash (or your favorite shell) into the text box.

    Does this make any difference?
    By the way, are you using Active Directory or such?
  • gravityslave Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok - checked activity monitor, no shell has been started (only showing terminal process)

    Bypass did not work.

    No Active Directory.

    Terminal was working fine 2 days ago, then this problem started. Seems several others have the same issue, but no remedy has been found.

    Thanks for the ideas.
  • Jun T. Level 4 (2,185 points)
    I found that, even if "Command (complete path):" is selected (instead of "Default login shell (/usr/bin/login)") the shell is not started directly by Terminal but started via login (as "login -pfq username /path/to/the/shell").

    Start Activity Monitor.app, and select "All Processes" from the pop-up menu at the top of the window. Then click onece or twice on the "PID" (title of the left most column of the process list) so that the process list is sorted in the decreasing order of pid (largest pid at the top of the list).

    Also start Console.app, and select "All Messages" (or system.log) in in the left pane of the window.

    Now start Terminal.app (or open a new window in Terminal). In my case, Activity Monitor shows "login", "zsh" (=my shell) and "taskgated" are started in this order, and taskgated terminates in a 10 seconds or so. Console.app shows the message like

    DATE TIME login[62364]: USER_PROCESS: 62364 ttys000

    Do you get this kind of log message? Any other messages (errors) in Console.app?

    If you think "login" is hanging, then, in Activity Monitor, select the process "login" in the process list, push the "Inspect" button at the top of the window, and push the "Sample" button; you may need to enter the admin password. Then you will see some info about what the "login" is doing now. Does this give any hit about what is going wrong?

    Are you using any special settings or third party software which might interfere with the authentication process?
  • gravityslave Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the insight,

    I found the solution with the combination of activity monitor and console. Upon opening terminal, several login processes started up. It seems it was stuck in password validation, and after clicking through, and entering the admin pass, all was fixed.


    Thanks again.
  • Tony T1 Level 6 (8,975 points)
    Same problem here, what do you mean by "clicking through"?
  • Tony T1 Level 6 (8,975 points)
    Deleting com.apple.Terminal.plist fixed my problem