[lug] Hi there! / Query for low-level system call documentation

Carl Hamlin carl at eceria.com
Fri Aug 31 16:54:28 MDT 2007

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Hiya, everyone. I just joined the list yesterday and hope to make it to
next Thursday's meeting to say hello to all of you.

My name is Carl Hamlin. I'm a long-time ASM guy, but most of my stuff
has been embedded code on proprietary platforms. I'm trying to get
involved in writing for the linux operating system as manifested on the
desktop, but I'm finding that low-level documentation of the linux
syscall API is tough to come by, especially when we start talking about
the socketcall subfunctions.

Coming from an embedded software background, I'm skittish about using
the libc wrappers instead of system calls; building external
dependencies just doesn't seem right, even if it *does* make my
microcode more portable. Yech. I just don't like it.

The function table itself *used* to be exported by the kernel during
compile time, but this is one of many features which have recently gone
away. Even if it hadn't however, it's a piece of documentation written
with C programmers in mind, which helps, but the requisite
deconstruction is kind of a pain in the hind end.

I've done a *lot* of searching on the web, and found some nice bits of
info on this topic, but nothing that really addresses the problem as a
whole. As it stands, I'm able to piece together functionality by
logically deconstructing C and C++ examples of syscall implementations
and making educated guesses about stack manipulation and register usage,
but this is a painful process, and I can't imagine that this hasn't been
done before by someone with an inclination to publish.

I figured it might be worth it to put the word out that I'm looking for
encompassing low-level docs on the linux system calls, and see what came
of it.

Looking forward to meeting you lot in person soon...

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