For a long time Code Sourcery was the go to place for toolchains targeting embedded devices:
and we still cite exactly when we are testing against one of their toolchains.
In recent years Linaro have made incredibly fresh compilers available for general consumption:
These tend to be geared towards modern devices, and unfortunately can exclude lower end targets (pre-armv7 devices) in their binary configurations. For example, they are configured to use thumb instructions out of the box, and despite the fact that you can alter the assembly generation away from these defaults, toolchain objects which contain these (illegal!) instructions are linked into the eventual binary. It such cases, it would behoove one to rolls ones own toolchain, as documented rather gloriously by the Linaro team here
I will continue to grow the documentation as I comes to turns with the hairy aspects of this process. Ubuntu users might fare better by following their instructions to the T
Building the toolchain
If you are already running Ubuntu 10.04! You are golden, and the Linaro build instructions should simply work. If you are running anything else (I run Arch) then I would recommend using debootstrap to bring up a virgin 10.04:
debootstrap —variant=buildd —arch i386 lucid /opt/os/lucid http://mirror.steadfast.net/ubuntu
which you can happily expose to the build instructions above.
Once all the dependencies are present, it is only a matter of calling:
make -f contrib/linaro/build.mk
where the associated recipe: