system call

Computing Dictionary

system call definition

operating system, programming
The mechanism used by an application program to request service from the operating system. 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.
(1995-03-01)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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