Building a gcc / glibc cross-toolchain for use in embedded systems development used to be a scary prospect, requiring iron will, days if not weeks of effort, lots of Unix and Gnu lore, and sometimes willingness to take dodgy shortcuts. This is a problem not only for individual users, but also for the gcc project as a whole, since the gcc team relies on users to test upcoming releases of gcc, and the… difficulty of building the toolchain for embedded targets restricted the number of people able to help with the testing. At Ixia, Dan Kegel had been maintaining a toolchain by starting with a commercial free embedded linux toolchain, and overlaying it with newer versions compiled from scratch as needed to fix problems. This became harder to maintain as time went on. In this article, Kegel discusses how he solved this problem.
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