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Do they? for example, I was thinking of the simple system call chown. Does it call other system calls like read and write? How can we find out?

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Sort of.

Kernel (e.g. Linux) has own internal system call interface, so one system call can usually call other system call, without need to setup the entire system call procedure.

How to find out? You have the kernel sources, you have probably grep, so you could find out.

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    or truss/strace the first command/call... – Jeff Schaller Dec 20 '16 at 13:21
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    @JeffSchaller: How's strace going to show you subsequent internal calls? AFAIK, strace only shows system calls from userspace to kernel. If you can also trace internal calls, I'd like to know how. – dirkt Dec 20 '16 at 14:28
  • @JeffSchaller: Exactly. I use strace for my tracing purposes. and as said, it doesn't give me the internal calls – MoeKav Dec 20 '16 at 15:06
  • perf can show you stack traces that include the internal kernel calls – Alnitak Dec 20 '16 at 16:08
  • good point, @dirkt - I was stuck in userspace :) – Jeff Schaller Dec 20 '16 at 16:26

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