Cross Toolchains in the archive

Debian has long had useful cross-building support, but has never had general cross-compilers for release architectures in the archive. They have always been built by users, or by outside entities like the long-standing cross-compiler collection.

It would be a lot more convenient for users if cross-toolchains were available within the archive like any other package.

We already have good support in dpkg, apt and sbuild for cross-building and installation of cross build-dependencies. And there is support for autotools and cmake cross-setup in dpkg-cross. It just needs the cross-toolchain packages themselves and some support bits and pieces (like a crosbuild-essential package) to make cross-building very slick in Debian. Much of this work has already been demonstrated in Ubuntu and it would be good to get it properly upstream.

The Cross Toolchain team on Alioth was re-invigorated at Debconf13 to get this work done.


The thing that has kept cross-compilers out for many years is that the build has cross-architecture dependencies (needs libc:$DEB_HOST_ARCH and libgcc:$DEB_HOST_HOST). Now that Multi-arch is done this problem can be cleanly solved. It is possible to build cross-compilers without multiarch support, as has been demonstrated in Ubuntu but using it provides cleaner support and simpler packaging.



How to build multi-arch cross-toolchains


Wookey Doko Paul Wise

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