Linaro GCC is an open source and free software project, a modified version of the FSF (Free Software Foundation) GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) compiler, optimized for performance using new features, patches, etc. It is developed by Linaro and distributed via Launchpad.
Differences between GCC and Linaro GCC
Linaro GCC features parts of the CodeSourcery patchset and it's stabilized for consumption by Linux operating systems. The software includes backports of the bugfixes and improvements that Linaro and other similar companies have done upstream. It is primarily created to improve the usefulness of GCC on ARM.
Releases are made monthly
Linaro is committed to make monthly releases of its GCC branch, which consist of a source archive that must be configured and compiled prior to installation. A PPA repository for the Ubuntu platform has been setup for this project by Linaro.
A drop-in replacement for FSF GCC
Linaro GCC is a drop-in replacement for FSF GCC, which means that, once installed, it will automatically replace any existing GCC installation, becoming the default compiler on the respective distribution of Linux. If you want a cross compiler, install the gcc-arm-linux-gnueabi package.
GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) is an open source software project which delivers a powerful compiler that includes front-ends for numerous programming languages, including Objective-C, C++, C, Java, Fortran, Go, and Ada.
With GCC you can configure, compile and install GNU/Linux applications in Linux or BSD operating systems using only the source archive of the respective program. However, users don’t need to interact with the compiler, as this is done automatically by the configure and make scripts.
Additional Linaro projects
In addition to this custom GCC branch, Linaro also develops patched version of the GDB (GNU Project Debugger) software debugger, LLVM (Low Level Virtual Machine) compiler, as well as the QEMU emulator.