A toolchain is a complete collection of compiler and binutils programs and can be run either as a cross-compiler, or native on the target (if performance allows).
MIPS Technologies UK (formerly Algorithmics) maintain their own source tree for the toolchain components. SDE combines all necessary GNU tools, is infrequently resynchronized with mainstream GNU releases (which inevitably have bugs for minor architectures such as MIPS) and focuses on providing the most reliable, best-performing compiler for the largest range of MIPS CPUs. You can now get it in RPM format:
- Native big-endian
- native little-endian
- Linux/386 cross for big-endian target
- Linux/386 cross for little-endian target
MTUK would like to hear how well it worked, so contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maciej W. Rozycki
A stable set of toolchain components provided by Maciej can be downloaded from ftp://ftp3.ds.pg.gda.pl/pub/macro/ or the mirror at ftp://ftp.rfc822.org/pub/mirror/ftp3.ds.pg.gda.pl/people/macro/. This is based on gcc 2.95.3 (patched) and up-to-date binutils.
Dan Kegel has a page at http://kegel.com/crosstool/ with a nice script to automatize the build procedure. Crosstool can only generate toolchains that use the GNU C Library, support for the smaller C Library http://www.uclibc.org uClibc might be added in the future.
Toolchain and Buildroot
The http://www.uclibc.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/toolchain/ Toolchain tool allows to generate a toolchain for a variety of architectures, including MIPS and MIPSel.
The http://www.uclibc.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/buildroot/ Buildroot tool allows to generate both a toolchain and a root filesystem for a variety of architectures, including MIPS and MIPSel. Using a configuration tool (similar to the one used for the Linux Kernel), you can select compiler version, binutils version, and all softwares that should be included in the root filesystem. Then the Makefiles will automatically download, configure, compile, install and generate the toolchain and the root filesystem image.
All commercial Linux/MIPS distributions come with appropriate toolchain deliverables.