Tiger and broken Terminals and xterms

Damn you Apple. Mr Jobs: Please “innovate” some QA, please? Before someone accuses me of Apple bashing?

Okay, so, some of us, actually use terminals. Those ascii thing that don’t come with a web browser or a gui or a personal assistent to hold your [deleted] while you try and wee.

Unfortunately, Tiger users who need to use a Terminal, better pay attention. If you force quit a terminal window, the TTY device is left behind owned by you (and not reverted back to the system). The next time the system tries to claim that TTY, it will fail. For Terminal.app, this means the dreaded [Process completed] error message sporadically showing up. For anyone trying to spawn an xterm, the xterm will just quickly die.

Quickest way to duplicate this on a fresh 10.4.0 (or patched 10.4.2) is to open Terminal, open a handful of windows, then Apple-W to close them all without exiting gracefully. Now, try reopening them again..

Discussions about this can be found here, and here.

The root cause and true fix are not exactly known; however, nobody has reported this before tiger, and there seem to be a ton of “me too’s”.


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