I'm having some very strange behavior in my shell that I don't even begin to understand. I apologize for being somewhat lost, but I can't seem to turn up many obvious answers in a web search.

I'm using iTerm2 and the fish shell, and after upgrading to Catalina, invoking the ps command seems to cause an unspecified bash process to proliferate which has an overwritten name and cannot be killed in the conventional way.

After invoking ps several times I get the following output:

  PID TTY           TIME CMD
18710 ttys000    0:00.03 /Applications/iTerm.app/Contents/MacOS/iTerm2 --server login -fp username
18712 ttys000    0:00.74 -fish
18732 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18796 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18821 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18846 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18867 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18892 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18917 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18942 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18967 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
18992 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
19017 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
19042 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
19067 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)
19092 ttys000    0:00.00 (bash)

I'm assuming this has something to do with the move from bash to zsh as the native shell in Catalina, but I'm otherwise completely baffled. I don't know if anyone has a solution, but even a hint on how to diagnose it would be helpful.

  • Is it possible you are running scripts that call for the bash environment? By the way, you're running 3 shells? ZSH, Fish, and Bash?
    – Allan
    Jul 16, 2020 at 19:16
  • Am I running 3 shells? Possibly. I changed the default shell using chsh to fish, but my configuration is an uninformed mess of "I followed some instructions". How is this clear from the ps log?
    – WildGunman
    Jul 16, 2020 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


Okay, I think I found out the source of the problem. After removing the fasd plugin for the fish shell (https://github.com/oh-my-fish/plugin-fasd) the issue seems to have gone away. Reinstalling it brings the problem back, so it must have been that. Absolutely no idea why it was doing this though.

  • 1
    Nice catch. Glad your fishing expedition was successful and you didn’t have to cast about too much.
    – bmike
    Apr 12, 2021 at 22:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .