I've lost my bash command line prompt in Mac OSX (10.11), and I don't know where to start looking to fix it.

The issue started when I changed the "Shell opens with..." preference from "Default" to "Command (complete path)", specifying /usr/local/bin/bash. When I restarted Terminal.app after making that change, the window appeared but I had no command line prompt:

No prompt

Any commands entered are ignored.

After that, I reset the "Shell opens with..." preference to "Default," and restarted Terminal.app again, but the problem persists.

Where do I go from here to get my terminal back?


After multiple system restarts, this problem resolved itself.


Here's a screenshot of my Terminal settings as of right now:

Terminal settings

  • open your ~/.bashrc in a text editor and see where it might be getting stuck. Does Terminal launch a login shell or no? Apr 15, 2018 at 21:06
  • While you're editing ~/.bashrc, add set -x at the top to see what it's doing. No guarantees that the problem is in that file but if it is you'll see where you're getting stuck. Apr 15, 2018 at 21:07
  • @glennjackman thanks for the idea. however, 1. I did not alter my .bash_profile at all, and it's been working fine 2. I tried adding echo hi as the first line of the .bash_profile, and nothing is output. does that give you any other clues?
    – Jonah
    Apr 15, 2018 at 21:31
  • Check the settings for Terminal: if it is not set to use a login shell, it won't look at .bash_profile. I was suggesting .bashrc. Apr 15, 2018 at 21:38
  • @glennjackman See my update for a screenshot of my current terminal settings. Mac's don't use .bashrc
    – Jonah
    Apr 15, 2018 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


After multiple system restarts, this problem resolved itself.

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