Tuning GHC's Runtime System

GHC's Runtime System is not something that could be called elegant, consisting of 50,000 lines of C and C-- (a C-like language) code that does a lot of managerial things to execute compiled Haskell programs. The RTS is responsible for managing exceptions, implementing GHC's primitive functions (those suffixed with a magic hash), and scheduling light-weight threads. Memory management, profiling facilities, and STM are all implemented in RTS, and more.

How is this relevant to a Haskell programmer? Knowing the scope and limitations of the RTS is one thing. Also, the RTS isn't so much a black box; it can provide useful feedback about running programs, such as memory usage, garbage-collection statistics, profiling information, ...

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