I'm a software developer, and as such I frequently use Terminal.app. I've been using it for years. At some point in the last week or two, I started encountering this problem somewhat frequently; I've never seen it prior.
I use zsh as my default shell. I'll be typing out a complex command. I hit return, the command executes, and I see that it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I hit the up arrow, then arrow left to the part I want to change, and I use delete/backspace to clear out the part I want to change, but nothing happens. I also cannot type any characters.
Today, I found out that when this happens, zsh has changed to vi mode. I can hit i to switch to insert mode, x to delete a character, etc. Further, I can restore something resembling normalcy by typing
set -o emacs. Prior to this discovery, I had just been abandoning the Terminal window in question and starting anew. Frustrating!
I am not sure what I might be doing to kick zsh into vi mode. I am definitely not typing
set -o vi! It has to be either a bug or a very simple hotkey combination that I could be hitting by accident.
This only seems to happen to the local zsh on my Mac. If I'm ssh'd into a remote Linux machine, using bash or zsh on the remote machine (I've changed my default shell on some but not all of our servers), it doesn't seem to happen.
Furthermore, I've discovered that when I open a new Terminal window, it doesn't appear to be in vi or emacs mode. It behaves in a vaguely emacs-y way, but control+A doesn't jump to the beginning of the line, and the small handful of other emacs-specific keystrokes I'm familiar with also don't work. If I run
set -o emacs, then those things start working.
If I run
set -o | egrep "on$" (which lists the currently enabled zsh options) in a fresh terminal, neither emacs nor vi appears in the results.
I looked through my update/install history in the App Store, and I think this might have started when I installed Xcode. (I mostly develop Java stuff, and didn't have it installed previously, although I did have the developer tools installed.) It does not appear to correlate with the installation of any system-level software updates.
I did some googling and found no evidence of anyone else encountering this problem.
If it matters, I'm using:
- Late 2013 27" iMac.
- 32GB, 1TB SSD, 3.5-3.9GHz i7.
- MacOS High Sierra 10.13.4
- zsh 5.3 (x86_64-apple-darwin17.0)
- Xcode 9.3.1 (installed, but I'm not using it when any of this happened)
So, my questions:
- does anybody know what I might be doing to cause the silent switch to vi mode?
- is there a setting I can change so that this stops happening?
- is there some logging or other diagnostic output I can enable to make it more obvious when this happens?
- what is this non-emacs, non-vi input mode I'm seeing in a fresh Terminal window / zsh process called?