BigSur, Bash, & zsh

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Wed May 26 08:32:24 UTC 2021

On May 25, 2021, at 18:52, Stanton Sanderson wrote:

> This may be obvious to all but me… However, for any other 80+ year olds wondering what to do if:
> 1. Updated from Mojave to Big Sur
> 2. Ignored Terminal's helpful info about the new default shell, since Bash is what we use (right?)
> 3. Followed the very clear instructions about migrating MacPorts to the new operating system
>   And Then
> 4. Changed the shell to zsh as Terminal seemed to demand,
>   Resulting in the requirement that port commands required bash, as in "bash port outdated”...
> The remedy is to simply reinstall the BigSur version of MacPorts (only the app, not the port files)
> All is well again. sudo port self update and the other commands work.
> As I understand it, reinstalling MacPorts set the correct $PATH.

The default shell in Mac OS X 10.0 - 10.2 was tcsh.

The default shell in Mac OS X 10.3 - macOS 10.14 was bash.

The default shell in macOS 10.15 and later is zsh.

MacPorts is compatible with all of those shells, to the extent that MacPorts does not care what shell you use, and the MacPorts installer package will correctly configure (i.e. set the PATH environment variable for) whichever of those shells you happen to have set in you SHELL environment variable at the time that you run the MacPorts installer.

If you change what shell you use after running the MacPorts installer, you'll have to set up PATH manually in the startup files of whatever shell you've switched to, or rerun the MacPorts installer as you did.

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