Open Terminal Faster by Specifying a Shell

Apr 30, 2012 - 2 Comments

Open Terminal faster by specifying a login shell

Whenever a new Terminal window is launched, a variety of system logs are read to provide information on the last login. One way to speed up launching a new terminal window is to delete those .asl log files, but you can achieve a substantial speed boost by simply setting Terminal to open a shell rather than /usr/bin/login. This is achieved through the same means of changing the shell and is just a few quick steps within Terminal settings.

Launch Faster in Mac OS X by Specifying Shell to Use

This applies to all versions of OS X:

  1. Open Preferences from within the Terminal pulldown menu
  2. Click the “Startup” tab
  3. Look for “Shells open with:” and check the box next to “Command (complete path):”

The default shell is /bin/bash but you’re free to choose another.

Specify a shell within Terminal to speed up opening new Terminal windows

Once this setting has been adjusted, launch a new Terminal window and you should immediately notice the difference. This works because the many .asl log files are bypassed, but as a side effect you will lose the “Last login” MOTD message at login unless specified otherwise.

Thanks for the tip Darren & Yorkster


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Posted by: William Pearson in Command Line, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Federico says:

    Unfortunately doing as you suggests breaks OSX specification of extra paths by adding them in /etc/paths.d/

  2. adam says:

    This look not work with my alias command in .profile… ?

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