I have installing Midnight commander from FreeBSD 12.0-current with:

pkg install mc

When calling mc as as root, it runs as supposed; however when running as a normal user, it aborts with the error:

common.c: unimplemented subshell type 1
read (subshell_pty...): No error: 0 (0)

What to do?

2 Answers 2


According to this thread, there is a bug/problem with mc, depending also on how it is compiled.

The option is to recompile it with SUBSHELL off; or to run it as:

mc -u

So, the easiest option is to create an alias to mc as mc -u. As in:

alias mc='mc -u'

From man mc:

-u, --nosubshell Disable use of the concurrent shell (only makes sense if Midnight Commander has been built with concurrent shell support).


This error appears also, if you change default root shell to /bin/sh. There is information in package that subshell works almost everywhere excluding /bin/sh. Change default shell to /bin/csh and should be ok:

pw user mod root -s /bin/csh
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