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I am trying to figure out why I can stop a firefox (for example) process with STAT Sl, but not one with R+? I've got the following:

# ps aux | grep firefox
root     14671  0.0  0.1  63824  1196 ?        S    13:29   0:00 /bin/sh /usr/lib64/firefox-3.0.18/ /usr/lib64/firefox-3.0.18/firefox
root     14699  1.8  6.1 524076 63512 ?        Sl   13:29   0:10 /usr/lib64/firefox-3.0.18/firefox
root     14731  0.0  0.0  61144   708 pts/1    R+   13:39   0:00 grep firefox

I can only close the firefox browser by

kill -9 14699

, but not using one of the others?

I hope someone will explain me why is that happening?

Thank you very much in advance. Geri

share|improve this question
You may want to give the error messages to receive more feedback. Or do you mean the firefox window does only close with the one line? Here is what I see: Only 14699 is the firefox browser. 14671 is a startup script, that I do not know. Maybe the browser itself keeps running even if the script is stopped. 14731 is the process you use to extract you use to extract only results containing 'firefox' from ps. It is already stopped when you try to kill it. Also you should not start firefox as root and maybe you should try a normal kill before using kill -9. – Tim Oct 15 '13 at 13:22
Thanks a lot for the information. It does make sense for the first one to be just the start up script and not the actual browser process. As for the 14731, when I try to kill it it returns bash: kill: (14731) - No such process. so I was wondering if that is actuall y my browser process or something else ... – user263683 Oct 15 '13 at 13:30
This is exactly what I meant. You start ps aux and grep firefox. The latter one is process 14731. You can enter the next command if this process finished. So process 14731 has already ended and does not exist at the time when you want to kill it. This is unrelated with the process state you ask for in your question. – Tim Oct 15 '13 at 13:39
initially I thought that the STATs actually are the reason why I cannot kill a process. Now I know more :) Thank you very much for the help. !! – user263683 Oct 15 '13 at 13:56

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