Subshell problems in Midnight Commander?

On one of my Slackware based vmachines the subshell in Midnight Commander was not working as expected. Pressing Ctrl + O worked only “partially”.

Of course I was using the right shell (/bin/bash) and Midnight Commander was compiled with subshell support (an official Slackware package).

# mc --version
GNU Midnight Commander 4.8.4
Built with GLib 2.32.4
Using the S-Lang library with terminfo database
With builtin Editor
With subshell support as default
With support for background operations
With mouse support on xterm and Linux console
With support for X11 events
With internationalization support
With multiple codepages support
Virtual File Systems: cpiofs, tarfs, sfs, extfs, ftpfs, fish, smbfs
Data types: char: 8; int: 32; long: 32; void *: 32; size_t: 32; off_t: 64;

Because it was a very minimalistic installation i thought maybe a package is missing, so I’ve tried installing a few additional terminal related packages, but nothing has changed.

The solution

The solution was very simple. While preparing this vmachine I’ve disabled udevd. Reenabling udevd solved the subshell problem in Midnight Commander.

So, in my case, on Slackware, after running:

sh /etc/rc.d/rc.udev start

no more subshell problems in Midnight Commander :-)

Make it permanent:

chmod +x /etc/rc.d/rc.udev

I’ve lost ~90 minutes on this and found no articles referring to udevd, so maybe it’s a good idea to share.

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