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Terminal does not start; how to fix it?

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http://askubuntu.com – When I try to start the Terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal), it does not start. I get a "Starting Terminal" entry in the taskbar. After a few seconds, it goes away. No terminal appears. (Other applications launch correctly.) I'm running Ubuntu 11.04, and connecting via Remote Desktop. (On the client, I'm using Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection for Mac; on the server, sesman.) I've checked the following log files, but no messages appear: debug, messages, sesman.log, syslog, and user.log. ps ax | grep -i term does not list the terminal -- not even when the taskbar shows "S (HowTos)