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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary (also found in English - English (Wordnet), )
system call
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operating system, programming The mechanism used by an
application program to request service from the operatingsystem. System calls often use a special machine code
instruction which causes the processor to change mode (e.g. to
"supervisor mode" or "protected mode"). This allows the OS
to perform restricted actions such as accessing hardware
devices or the memory management unit.