Making Open Work
May 8–9, 2017: Training & Tutorials
May 10–11, 2017: Conference
Austin, TX

A beginner's guide to syscalls

Liz Rice (Aqua Security)
4:15pm4:55pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Location: Ballroom G
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 7 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of Linux concepts like files and processes

What you'll learn

  • Gain an understanding of syscalls and insight into what's going on at a system level when you run your code


What’s in the Golang syscall package? No, wait. . .back up a bit. What’s a syscall? And what do people mean when they talk about the kernel or glibc?

Syscalls provide the interface between your code and the operating system. Liz Rice started playing with Linux syscalls to understand more about how containers work, which made her wonder what’s happening under the hood when you make a system call and what else you can do with them. Liz offers an overview of syscalls, exploring the different layers of how everything fits together and what happens when you make a higher-level call in your code. Along the way, Liz does some live-coding to demonstrate some interesting features.

Join in to gain insight into what’s going on at a system level when you run your code. As a developer, you probably don’t need to know these details day to day, but it’s always good to know how things work.

Photo of Liz Rice

Liz Rice

Aqua Security

Liz Rice is the technology evangelist at container security specialists Aqua Security and coauthor of the O’Reilly report Kubernetes Security. She has a wealth of software development, team, and product management experience from her years spent working on network protocols and distributed systems and in digital technology sectors such as video on demand (VOD), music, and voice over internet protocol (VoIP). When not building startups and writing code, Liz loves riding bikes in places with better weather than her native London or racing in virtual reality on Zwift.