System call

A high-level overview of the Linux kernel's system call interface, which handles communication between its various components and the userspace

In computing, a system call (commonly abbreviated to syscall) is the programmatic way in which a computer program requests a service from the kernel of the operating system on which it is executed. This may include hardware-related services (for example, accessing a hard disk drive or accessing the device's camera), creation and execution of new processes, and communication with integral kernel services such as process scheduling. System calls provide an essential interface between a process and the operating system.

In most systems, system calls can only be made from userspace processes, while in some systems, OS/360 and successors for example, privileged system code also issues system calls.[1]

  1. ^ IBM (March 1967). "Writing SVC Routines". IBM System/360 Operating System System Programmer's Guide (PDF). Third Edition. pp. 32–36. C28-6550-2.

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