I did a clean Debian Jessie installation and was trying to set the fish as default shell, I've utilized the command usermod -s /usr/bin/fish username (from here), restarted the session and now I got an error:

There was an error creating the child process for this terminal
Failed to execute child process "/usr/bin/fish" (Input/output error)

And the terminal is unaccessible. How can I undo that command?

  • You'll probably need to login as another user, or find a way to launch a terminal using a different command, e.g. xterm -e /bin/bash or such, and then run usermod to fix the shell for the account you broke. In the future, do this change only with some other terminal already open and running...
    – thrig
    Dec 31, 2015 at 0:05
  • The alternate launch command worked. Thanks. About the "other terminal already open and running", it just took effect before I did the logout in the gnome session.
    – ptkato
    Dec 31, 2015 at 0:20


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