Ever since I upgraded to Mavericks, the Terminal prompt became a bit slower at coming back. It's not a huge deal, but there's now a slight noticeable delay before the prompt comes back (maybe like a quarter of a second) which gets annoying over time.

How would I debug this issue? Basically, is there a way to see what exactly it's doing in that time? What are common causes of such a slow down?

  • 1
    Are you using bash, zsh? you can try cleaning out the .asl logs sudo rm /private/var/log/asl/*.asl
    – l'L'l
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 0:50
  • @l'L'l: I'm using bash. Just did that, but it doesn't seem like it changed the speed much.
    – houbysoft
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 0:59
  • the next thing you could try is /bin/zsh -i -x which should tell you what is running prior to the prompt showing. Also, make sure you quit and re-launch terminal after clearing the logs :)
    – l'L'l
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 1:03
  • @l'L'l: yeah I did restart the terminal. Also isn't that for zsh? I'm using bash
    – houbysoft
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 1:08
  • you're using zsh in that instance as a debugger (of sorts).
    – l'L'l
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 1:19

1 Answer 1


I was encountering a 5-second lag (!) between Terminal window creation and receiving a bash prompt. (This was on a fresh install of Mavericks on which I had copied user profiles from another machine.) I removed all the *.asl files in /private/var/log/asl/ as mentioned here, and it completely solved my lag issue. Thanks.


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