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> - what non-obvious, non-user-controlled system calls - if any - will be
> triggered by pure Lua programs using only the standard libraries?

The Lua core is moving away from libc towards a freestanding application
instead of a hosted application, which remains the realm of the the
standard libraries.

The obvious system calls made by the standard libraries are related to io,
but note that loadlib probably does more than that when loading dynamic
libraries (e.g., stat, getcwd, mmap, mprotect). Run strace to check.

> - if so, which language construct(s) would invoke these?

No language constructs should issue system calls, except for memory allocation
and process termination (for unprotected errors).