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I have a ubuntu linux ec2 instance running on AWS. Upon entering the command ps -ef to view all currently running processed, I see

root      2346   944  0 06:08 ?        00:00:00 CRON
ubuntu    2347  2346  0 06:08 ?        00:00:00 /bin/sh -c /usr/bin/php /var/www/html/chat/update.php
ubuntu    2348  2347  0 06:08 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/php /var/www/html/chat/update.php

My crontab looks like the following

*/2 * * * * /usr/bin/php /var/www/html/chat/update.php

From my experiences using cron jobs, upon viewing all currently running processes, I've never see the first two processes run before. What are the first two processes doing exactly and how can I get rid of them?

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That's not running twice, you're just seeing the sh and the php processes, which are separate. Try ps -ef f to see the process tree, explaining how they are related.

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