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31 January 2006

What is Cross Compiling?

Cross-Compiling is the procedure for building a program for a platform different from the one on which the cross Compiler runs. "Platform" does not only mean the hardware architecture but also software platforms, e.g. the process for building the GNU/Hurd operating system from sources on a running Linux for the same hardware architecture is also a cross compiling. Cross-compilation is typically more involved and prone to errors than with native compilation. Due to this, cross-compiling is normally only utilized if the target is not yet self-hosting (i.e. able to compile programs on its own), unstable, or the build system is simply much faster. For many embedded systems, cross-compilation is simply the only possible way to build programs, as the target hardware does not have the resources or capabilities. Resources: Scratchbox, Introduction to Cross-development for Embedded Linux Wikipedia, Cross-compilation GCC, Specifying Target Machine and Compiler Version Tags: , ,