Please help, absolute Mac newb! When i open terminal it comes up with 'Terminal-Login-80x24' at the top and it is requesting a login from me- no idea what this login should be?

This is new though, when i first opened it (i was following torrent directions to install a program), it was opening as Bash and i could enter commands. Whenever i try to enter commands now, it just says 'login incorrect'. If i leave it long enough though, i get a message saying login has timed out after 300 seconds and then Terminal goes to bash and i can enter commands (though still not entirely convinced they are working..).

I have changed preferences to: startup> shells open with> command> /bin/bash as advised on another forum but this hasn't worked. I just want to reset to original settings basically! I hope i haven't changed anything crucial with my download?

also, I'm trying to get to grips with Terminal and some of its uses, hence me messing around with it... something else i read was to to how flush cache by using dscacheutil -flushcache... any idea why this doesn't work? Or is it working but just not telling me it has?? I'm on Mac OS X 10.6.7.

Any help appreciated, please give advice etc in the simplest terms or i won't have a clue what your on about! Thanks


Quit Terminal, remove ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Terminal and try again.

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  • Works perfectly! To keep my Synergy preferences I renamed the file instead so I could copy them over (hard to do, because it's a binary file). Also note that the file has a .plist extension sometimes. – Jason D Jun 19 '18 at 16:14

Look at /Users/<yourusername>/.profile and /Users/<yourusername>/.bashrc and see if there's anything unusual in them.

(Note that opening hidden dot-files can be tricky with GUI apps like TextEdit. Use --. (command-shift-period) to show them in the File > Open... dialog.)

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  • Checking .profile and .bashrc is good advice, but my upvote is for the cmd-shift-period tip. Never knew that before. – Chad von Nau Aug 27 '13 at 19:59

My com.apple.Terminal.plist file was almost 18,000 bytes and after I deleted it, Terminals opened very quickly. Thanks for the help!!

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