A sequence of cmdline operations is able to leave a ghost Firefox process around that hangs OSX.




Startup and Profile System
3 years ago
2 years ago


(Reporter: Jukka Jylänki, Unassigned)


33 Branch
Mac OS X

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)



(1 attachment)



3 years ago
Created attachment 8581787 [details]
Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 5.27.41 PM.png

In Yosemite 10.10.2, killing a Firefox process may leave it in some kind of limbo state where it shows up in the dock, and in the process switch (cmd-tab) view, but the process does not actually exist any more. In this state, it is not possible to activate the process anymore, or kill it, and additionally, it is not possible to reboot or shut down the computer, but one must do a hard shut down by long-pressing the power button. See the attached image for an illustration of what the system looks like when steps 1-5 are repeated multiple times (with different Firefox release channels stable/beta/devedition/nightly).


1. Install the Firefox browser to default location.
2. After installation, open up a new Terminal and type "/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox"
3. Keeping the opened Firefox window open, open up a second Terminal window and type the same line again: "/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox"
4. This time, the dialog "Close Firefox - A copy of Firefox is already open. Only one copy of Firefox can be open at a time."
5. Do not click on the OK button on the dialog, or close the existing browser window, but open a third Terminal, and type "pkill firefox".


After step 5, both Firefox processes should be killed, and the Firefox icons should be cleaned up from the dock and the process switch view, and rebooting or shutting down the system should function normally, and not be obstructed by this step of operations.


Both the browser window and the error dialog will close, however, in the dock and the process switch (cmd-tab) view, there is a Firefox icon that remains to clutter up space. It is not possible to task switch or activate this Firefox icon, and typing "ps -A" does not find a process associated with this Firefox icon. Trying to restart the computer with system menu "Restart.." or "Shut Down.." will not function, but the operating system will hang during shut down indefinitely.


Mac Pro Late 2013
3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
32 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB
OSX Yosemite 10.10.2 (14C1510)

Notes: This is definitely a OS X system issue since killing a process should never be able to leak any information regarding the process, but reporting here in case there is something that could be done here in Firefox side to assist that the issue does not occur. This issue has also been reported to bugreport.apple.com.

Comment 1

3 years ago
This issue is affecting Emscripten unit test server runs, see https://github.com/kripken/emscripten/issues/3285 .


2 years ago
Component: General → Startup and Profile System
Product: Firefox → Toolkit
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.