tcsh is broken

Tom Hackett

I've found just recently that tcsh does not seem to work for me anymore. I've been using the Terminal with tcsh for a while and just today I opened the Terminal and found that instead of a prompt it just said [ Process Completed ] as thought it had automatically exited from the shell.

I have not touched the system config files for tcsh and am renamed my config files to be sure that I hadn't written a self quitting .tcshrc file or something like that.

I have found that I can use the Terminal by switching /bin/tcsh to /bin/zsh under the shell preferences options in the program.

csh doesn't work either.

a copy of the tcsh executable from my Darwin 1.0 distribution doesn't work.

A weird thing, emacs doesn't work either. Could there be a problem with not being able to find some init file or something? Trying to launch emacs from zsh give the following message :
zsh: exec format error: emacs
The same type of message that it gives if I try to launch csh or tcsh from zsh.

Trying to get a command from OS X via the login window with the user name >console brings me to a normal black screen but as soon as I enter my password the system kicks me back to the login window.

I don't know what to do. I do know that I definately don't want to reinstall OS X. If anyone has any ideas, or suggestions of what to do, I'm all hears. I've never had anything like this happen before.

Tom -

This is actually a fairly common OS X PB bug. You can probably find numerous listings for it if you search for "Process Completed" in the forums here, at MacNN, or at MacFixIt.

The short answer fix is either get used to using another shell, or reinstall OS X. Reinstall isn't as bad as it could be; I didn't lose any of the apps I'd installed. It seems to be a smart installer.

The osxhints site I administer has a link and brief conversation on the bug as well:


Thanks rob.

I found out how some people had fixed it by reinstalling and that the program binary data had been deleted but zero length files remained.

I've since reinstalled the BSD components and copied some of the program binaries off the OS X CD to replace the damaged ones.

You're right about it being a smart installer but I think I did need to remove the BSD.pkg Receipt from /Library/Receipts/ before it would actually reinstall.

The important steps to remember are being able to change your shell in the Preferences of to /bin/zsh and then copying tcsh from the CD. The cd has a similar file structure as Mac OS X, and tcsh is in /bin on the cd just like it is on the hard drive. This isn't the case for all programs but it is for tcsh.

I'm sure that Apple should have this fixed by the final release.