Problem: Terminal (OS X) window exits immediately on opening. & Solution.

Lou Pecora louis.pecora at
Tue Mar 17 12:56:09 CET 2009

Python wrote:
> On 16 mrt 2009, at 22:15, Lou Pecora wrote:
>> Because the shell process in the Terminal window would exit right after
>> it started even when I was just trying to open a new window (not even
>> running a script), i.e. command-N in Terminal.  So I could not run
>> anything from the Terminal.
>> More info:  There is an Executestring in the Terminal preferences that
>> is executed (I would guess as a shell command or script) when the shell
>> starts up (which happens whenever a new window is opened).  If that is
>> bad in any way, the shell exists with an error message.  There is no way
>> to run any shell in the Terminal at that point.  The only option appears
>> to be to clean up the preferences.  I don't know why the preferences got
>> a bad command while I was running Python scripts.  Maybe nothing to do
>> with Python, maybe it does.  Not sure.
>> -- 
>> -- Lou Pecora
>> -- 
> oh i think it understand i now... it has nothing to do with python, 
> has it?
Well, I can't figure out which app/system is to "blame."
> just with some garbage left by a python script that should have been
> deleted at startup of OSX
The garbage was left in the Terminal's preferences (the Property List). 
That's pretty specific.  Why?  I don't know.  It just shouldn't have 
been there, I think.  It had nothing to do with the startup of OS X.
> 501 is the default user ID in OSX
> maybe it's a bash thing?
That's interesting.  Could be.  At least I found the solution and since 
it seemed to involve Python, I thought the OS X people on the list might 
be interested.  Thanks for the info.


Lou Pecora

Code 6362
Naval Research Lab
Washington, DC  20375, USA
Ph:  +202-767-6002
email:  louis.pecora at

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