In software, a toolchain is the set of computer programs (tools) that are used to create a product (typically another computer program or system of programs). The tools may be used in a chain, so that the output of each tool becomes the input for the next, but the term is used widely to refer to any set of linked development tools.
A simple software development toolchain consists of a text editor for editing source code, a compiler and a linker to transform the source code into an executable program, and libraries to provide interfaces to the operating system. A complex product such as a video game needs tools for preparing sound effects, music, textures, 3-dimensional models, and animations, and further tools for combining these resources into the finished product.
Reference: Toolchain article from Wikipedia
The GNU toolchain is a blanket term for a collection of programming tools produced by the GNU Project. These tools form a toolchain (suite of tools used in a serial manner) used for developing applications and operating systems.
The GNU toolchain plays a vital role in development of Linux kernel, BSD, and software for embedded systems. Parts of the GNU toolchain are also directly used with or ported to other platforms such as Solaris, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows (via Cygwin and MinGW/MSYS) and Sony PlayStation 3.
Projects included in the GNU toolchain are:
Reference: GNU toolchain article from Wikipedia.
Maintained by John Loomis, last updated 27 August 2008