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syscalls() - Unix, Linux System Call

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none - list of all system calls


Linux 2.4 system calls.


The system call is the fundamental interface between an application and the Linux kernel. As of Linux 2.4.17, there are 1100 system calls listed in /usr/src/linux/include/asm-*/unistd.h. This man page lists those that are common to most platforms.

_llseek(2), _newselect(2), _sysctl(2), accept(2), access(2), acct(2), adjtimex(2), afs_syscall, alarm(2), bdflush(2), bind(2), break, brk(2), cacheflush(2), capget(2), capset(2), chdir(2), chmod(2), chown(2), chown32, chroot(2), clone(2), close(2), connect(2), creat(2), create_module(2), delete_module(2), dup(2), dup2(2), execve(2), exit(2), fchdir(2), fchmod(2), fchown(2), fchown32, fcntl(2), fcntl64, fdatasync(2), flock(2), fork(2), fstat(2), fstat64, fstatfs(2), fsync(2), ftime, ftruncate(2), ftruncate64, get _kernel _syms(2), get cwd(2), get dents(2), get dents64, get egid(2), get egid32, get euid(2), get euid32, get gid(2), get gid32, get groups(2), get groups32, get itimer(2), get pagesize(2), get peername(2), get pmsg, get pgid(2), get pgrp(2), get pid(2), get ppid(2), get priority(2), get resgid(2), get resgid32, get resuid(2), get resuid32, get rlimit(2), get rusage(2), get sid(2), get sockname(2), get sockopt(2), get tid, get timeofday(2), get uid(2), get uid32, gtty, idle, init_module(2), ioctl(2), io perm(2), iopl(2), ipc(2), kill(2), lchown(2), lchown32, link(2), listen(2), lock, lseek(2), lstat(2), lstat64, madvise(2), mincore(2), mkdir(2), mknod(2), mlock(2), mlockall(2), mmap(2), modify_ldt(2), mount(2), mprotect(2), mpx, mremap(2), msync(2), munlock(2), munlockall(2), munmap(2), nanosleep(2), nfsservctl(2), nice(2), oldfstat, oldlstat, oldolduname, oldstat, oldumount, olduname, open(2), pause(2), personality(2), phys, pipe(2), pivot_root(2), poll(2), prctl(2), pread(2), prof, profil, ptrace(2), putpmsg, pwrite(2), query_module(2), quotactl(2), read(2), readahead, readdir(2), readlink(2), readv(2), reboot(2), recv(2), recvfrom(2), recvmsg(2), rename(2), rmdir(2), rt_sigaction, rt_sigpending, rt_sigprocmask, rt_sigqueueinfo, rt_sigreturn, rt_sigsuspend, rt_sigtimedwait, sched_ get_ priority_max(2), sched_ get_ priority_min(2), sched_ get param(2), sched_ get scheduler(2), sched_ rr_ get_ interval(2), sched_ set param(2), sched_ set scheduler(2), sched_ yield(2), security, select(2), sendfile(2), send(2), sendmsg(2), sendto(2), set domainname(2), set fsgid(2), set fsgid32, set fsuid(2), set fsuid32, set gid(2), set gid32, set groups(2), set groups32, set hostname(2), set itimer(2), set pgid(2), set priority(2), set regid(2), set regid32, set resgid(2), set resgid32, set resuid(2), set resuid32, set reuid(2), set reuid32, set rlimit(2), set sid(2), set sockopt(2), set timeofday(2), set uid(2), set uid32, setup(2), sgetmask(2), shutdown(2), sigaction(2), sigaltstack(2), signal(2), sigpending(2), sigprocmask(2), sigreturn(2), sigsuspend(2), socket(2), socketcall(2), socketpair(2), ssetmask(2), stat(2), stat64, statfs(2), stime(2), stty, swapoff(2), swapon(2), symlink(2), sync(2), sysfs(2), sysinfo(2), syslog(2), time(2), times(2), truncate(2), truncate64, ulimit, umask(2), umount(2), uname(2), unlink(2), uselib(2), ustat(2), utime(2), vfork(2), vhangup(2), vm86(2), vm86old, wait4(2), waitpid(2), write(2), writev(2).

Of the above, 9 are obsolete, namely getrlimit, oldfstat, oldlstat, oldolduname, oldstat, olduname, readdir, select and vm86old (see also obsolete(2)), and 15 are unimplemented in the standard kernel, namely afs_syscall, break, ftime, getpmsg, gtty, idle, lock, mpx, phys, prof, profil, putpmsg, security, stty and ulimit (see also unimplemented(2)). However, ftime(3), profil(3) and ulimit(3) exist as library routines. The slot for phys is in use since 2.1.116 for umount; phys will never be implemented. The getpmsg and putpmsg calls are for kernels patched to support streams, and may never be in the standard kernel. The security call is for future use.

Roughly speaking, the code belonging to the system call with number __NR_xxx defined in /usr/include/asm/unistd.h can be found in the kernel source in the routine sys_xxx(). (The dispatch table for i386 can be found in /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/kernel/entry.S.) There are many exceptions, however, mostly because older system calls were superseded by newer ones, and this has been treated somewhat unsystematically. On platforms with proprietary OS emulation, such as parisc, sparc, sparc64 and alpha, there are many additional system calls; mips64 also contains a full set of 32-bit system calls. Below the details for Linux 2.4.17.

The defines __NR_oldstat and __NR_stat refer to the routines sys_stat() and sys_newstat(), and similarly for fstat and lstat. Similarly, the defines __NR_oldolduname, __NR_olduname and __NR_uname refer to the routines sys_olduname(), sys_uname() and sys_newuname(). Thus, __NR_stat and __NR_uname have always referred to the latest version of the system call, and the older ones are for backward compatibility.

It is different with select and mmap. These use five or more parameters, and caused problems the way parameter passing on the i386 used to be set up. Thus, while other architectures have sys_select() and sys_mmap() corresponding to __NR_select and __NR_mmap, on i386 one finds old_select() and old_mmap() (routines that use a pointer to a parameter block) instead. These days passing five parameters is not a problem any more, and there is a __NR__newselect (used by libc 6) that corresponds directly to sys_select() and similarly __NR_mmap2.

Two other system call numbers, __NR__llseek and __NR__sysctl have an additional underscore absent in sys_llseek() and sys_sysctl().

Then there is __NR_readdir corresponding to old_readdir(), which will read at most one directory entry at a time, and is superseded by sys_getdents().

On many platforms, including i386, socket calls are all multiplexed through socketcall() and System V IPC calls through ipc().

On newer platforms that only have 64-bit file access and 32-bit uids (e.g. alpha, ia64, s390x) there are no *64 or *32 calls. Where the *64 and *32 calls exist, the other versions are obsolete.

The chown and lchown system calls were swapped in 2.1.81. The *64 and *32 calls were added for kernel 2.4, as were the new versions of getrlimit and mmap, and the new calls pivot_root, mincore, madvise, security, gettid and readahead.

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