I was tired of some student reporting "My KDE doesn't start". Sometime no kdesktop (no backgroud), some time no kicker , or only backgroud!

I've looked all around to understand why it was hapening to some users only, on only two of the four server available. NFs was used so I was suspecting some eternal fu**ing lock problem, as I've experimented some months ago. Even killing with SIGKILL didn't make them die, I had to attach these process to see them killed.

user 25545 0.0 0.0 24004 2888 ? S 13:32 0:00 dcopserver kdeinit --nosid
user 25563 0.0 0.3 32160 16060 ? S 13:32 0:00 kicker kdeinit

Looking futher, they were waiting on a select :

strace -p 25545
Process 25545 attached - interrupt to quit
select(16, 3 6 7 15, , , NULL <unfinished ...>

I had a look at running process and famd has got my attention:

Part of man-page: FAM, the File Alteration Monitor, is a subsystem that applications can use to be notified when specific files or directories are changed. It is intended as a replacement for mechanisms such as poll and select.

Exactly the sustem call which is blocking. I've stopped famd and all went fine: all process are gone alone!