Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

A while back I recall attempting to install an updated version of Ruby on my Mac. I had an interest in the language and thought I would give it a go. I followed detailed instructions that lead me through installing macports so I could have access to bash commands. Well, now every time I open up my terminal to use it, it defaults to cat. If I Control + D out, I go into bash, again, and I end up in ruby, once more and I end up in top where it dead-ends. I tried changing my terminals default path to usr/bin/login but after I log in it defaults again to cat no matter what I do. If I force close the processes through the GUI they just reopen. I am at quite the loss here and any help would be appreciated.

share|improve this question
When you get the system under control again, I recommend (the near-standard) RVM to install Ruby on your system. – slothbear Sep 20 '11 at 18:50

I'd try opening a terminal as another user. Assuming that works, check the .profile file (its .bashrc for most other *nixes) for the original user, and remove any mention of cat there

share|improve this answer

You can use Terminal > Shell > New Command to run a shell without reading the profile or rc files. In the dialog that appears, enter the following command:

bash --noprofile

Then you can use an editor to examine your shell customizations to address the problem.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.