Big Sur Terminal fails to present a shell

Anyone encountering an issue with Big Sur and the terminal failing to present a shell some reasonably short time after boot?

Initially works no problems, after a while new Terminal windows open fine but the shell never loads and you're left looking at a cursor.

Solved Answer

Found the trigger, it's an iTerm2 thing.

Disable Enable session restoration under Preferences > Advanced > Session, after that you shouldn't have a problem.

Raised an issue with iTerm's developers. Not sure if there's something here on the OS side as well.

25 Replies

same issue here, even tried a reinstall from scratch and having issue once more
Same here. Also happens with iTerm2
Found the trigger, it's an iTerm2 thing.

Disable Enable session restoration under Preferences > Advanced > Session, after that you shouldn't have a problem.

Raised an issue with iTerm's developers. Not sure if there's something here on the OS side as well.
Rebooting appears to be the only way to get iTerm & Terminal to work again.

Raised an issue with iTerm's developers. Not sure if there's something here on the OS side as well.

Thank you for raising the issue (Issue #8965 on the iTerm2 Gitlab issue tracker for the curious) with the iTerm2 developers Bill! Feel free to also file a radar through the Feedback Assistant and link to the issue on the iTerm2 tracker in your request, this will get us some more info in case there is anything we need to do on our side.



Thank you for posting this, had and reported the same issue ;)
Note that whenever this occurs, you need to force shutdown the mac. Clicking the "Shutdown..." or "Restart..." menu items will hang the shutdown process on the desktop, after it quits all apps.
Exact same behavior as above @ajh above. Terminal becomes unresponsive, and cannot restart the system. I noticed once I got a popup to log in to an iCloud account.. might be related to a hanging sync service?
Thanks for posting -- will try that

I too saw it with iTerm2.

I was using zsh (from homebrew). Switched to zsh (macOS) and same issue. Was about to switch back to bash to see if it occurs there, but will try this fix first.

When it occurs there's no way out except a reboot . A 'ps' never completes, sudo etc fails - it's pretty fatal. Presumably some kind of resource or ipc issue?


Thanks Bill. Disabling Enable session restoration appears to work for me.
Thank you for posting. Same issue here. iTerm2 loads, but no shell prompt. Similarly, system will not shutdown - a forced shutdown is required, in my case.
Same problem
Thank you so much for this. I even re-installed macOS and was about to downgrade back to 10.15. Thank you so much
The accepted solution is not working for me sadly...
Same issue here... the terminal (iTerm2, Terminal.app, any terminal really) hangs on the "login" command.