I just upgraded to catalina a few days ago. I'm still using bash which has been installed with homebrew.

The ps aux | grep bash command is showing a new bash process is forked every minute. After a few hours I'll have hundreds of bash processes running in the background. Each of these is accompanied by a cron process.

The cron job in crontab -e is:

* * * * * /Users/me/bin/sync_task

This task runs a bash script for syncing my taskwarrior projects:

/usr/local/bin/task synchronize
unset TASKRC
/usr/local/bin/task synchronize

Does anyone know why the bash and cron processes might not be exiting?

  • Looks like an old cron job set to run every minute was the culprit.
    – StevieD
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 23:01
  • 1
    Possibly related, there appears to be a bug handling stderr output from cron jobs on Catalina; see: “cron” processes piling up. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 1:06
  • Also, remember cron has been deprecated for launchd.
    – Allan
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


This anser solved this problem for me (redirecting stdout/stderr to /dev/null).

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