I have noticeg that after some hours or so, Google Chrome starts giving a crashing extensions message, and at that time everything starts acting weird.

If I try to open an application it says "Can't open X Application". Even the screenshot shortcut CMD+SHIFT+4 does not work.

Furthermore, terminal won’t even start at this point:

[forkpty: Resource temporarily unavailable] 
[Could not create a new process and open a pseudo-tty.]

How can I troubleshoot this?

  • That seems too little to start with ? Is your laptop having kernel panics? Which Applications don't open ? Is activity monitor showing something ? – ankii Nov 4 '19 at 12:43

I would pick one app and troubleshoot it.

  1. Remove chrome extensions (make a list so you can reinstall them later)
  2. Remove Chrome
  3. Reinstall Chrome
  4. If it still crashes - remove it and make a new admin account (clean environment)
  5. Reinstall Chrome when the main user is logged out and only the new user is logged in.
  6. Pursue support with that one vendor to isolate further if the app is supported on your version of Catalina.

Apply any Apple patches that are released while you are isolating things above.

  • I disabled Extensions so it did not complain about it but the issue is somewhere else. On Terminal I get the message [forkpty: Resource temporarily unavailable] [Could not create a new process and open a pseudo-tty.]. – Volatil3 Nov 6 '19 at 8:11
  • @Volatil3 Ouch - so that means you’ve got some runaway processes. Any chance you can safe boot (hold shift) and remove Chrome Entirely then restart to see if terminal is happier? – bmike Nov 11 '19 at 2:27
  • That might not work because it does not crash immediately. It seems it keeps occupying memory until it reaches to a threshold and starts crashing – Volatil3 Nov 11 '19 at 4:56
  • 1
    If you run for a day without chrome and don’t start crashing, you will know if it’s chrome or something else – bmike Nov 11 '19 at 12:18
  • 2
    OK, I ran FF for most of the day but not Chrome. Apparently Chrome is the culprit. Even if it is that this was not the issue with Mojave. – Volatil3 Nov 12 '19 at 19:26

I had the same problem and now I think it's completely gone.
It turned out, after updating to Catalina, that old cron jobs start a single process everytime they should run.
I had a (forgotten) job running every minute and after a while I found hundreds of cron processes in Activity monitor, so I killed all of them and finally retake control on my computer.
Eventually the solution was to comment/delete the lines in the crontab of the user root and magically everything started to work again as expecting.

Reference https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250789736

  • Thanks for including the reference link! That is very helpful – Jolley71717 Jan 20 at 21:03

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