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Why doesn't "exit" close a window on Mac OS X?

$ exit

[Process completed]

Is there a way to close the window without using the mouse?

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migrated from Jun 29 '10 at 23:18

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5 Answers 5

A window displayed by is just the frontend for the process you choose to run inside of it - in your case, a Unix shell. When you exit the shell, the does not close the window by default, so you have the possibility to inspect the output from whatever command you ran, after it finishes.

You can change your preferences here

Terminal Preferences -> Settings -> Shell:

to either

  1. always close the window, whatever the exit status of the shell was
  2. close the window if the shell exited cleanly
  3. keep the window open (the default)

Besides that, you can (almost) always close windows in OSX with Cmd-W, so you don't need mouse even if it doesn't close automatically.

One more hint: I like hitting Ctrl-D instead of typing exit. Two keys vs. five.

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In Yosemite it's: preferences -> profiles -> shell -> "when the shell exits"... Shell is whichever shell you have selected in General-> On startup open... – cloudsurfin Sep 22 at 17:21

Command + Q -> closes the application/process.

Command + W -> closes window/instance

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Yes there is. For example you can use AppleScript to achieve it:

osascript -e 'tell application "Terminal" to close first window'

The first window is always the currently active window. That's the one you want to close.

Before closing the window, the Terminal may ask you, if you really want to close the window. This depends on your settings. You may have chosen to 'close the window only if the shell exited cleanly or no other processes are running apart from …'. (This may be the default setting.) In that case adding '& exit ' to the command closes the window immediatly and without asking.

osascript -e 'tell application "Terminal" to close first window' & exit

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I also suggest against the killall suggestion. As suggested modify the settings in your preferences to close window if shell exit was successful. If you're REALLY LAZY (like me), open up your bash profile and add an alias. I have mine set so all I have to do is type 'q'.

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If you want to terminate the application itself from the commandline:

killall Terminal
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that is considered harmful. Apart from the fact tha killall does different things on different Unix versions, it's not nice to kill an application instead of asking it to just quit. – Florenz Kley Nov 15 '12 at 13:55

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