Instead of just using compiler + editor, you can use complete image create "development tool chains" which integrate compiler, build system, packaging tools etc. in one tool chain.
Ubuntu is currently listed as the default distribution on the Raspberry Pi website, but they have now stated they will not be supporting the ARMv6 architecture, so Ubuntu is likely to be dropped.
Eben says (regarding default distribution): "Either Ubuntu or Fedora; the main point in Fedora’s favour is their ongoing support for ARMv6 architectures."
As of October 15 2011: the Raspberry Pi alpha board boots Fedora F13 (armv5tel) to a character-mode login prompt in about 23 seconds, taking 14-17MB of memory. XFCE and LXDE graphical environments are both available (but more work on the X drivers is needed). F15-ARM will be tested as its release date approaches in November. A 1-minute video is available at http://www.raspberrypi.org/?p=254
ShiftPlusOne has documented the work needed to get a QEmu environment up and running: http://raspi.springnote.com/
A more detailed tutorial by emercer, based on the above: http://cronicasredux.blogspot.com/2011/09/installing-and-running-debian-armel-on.html
Gentoo Linux is a computer operating system built on top of the Linux kernel and based on the Portage package management system. It is distributed as free and open source software. Unlike a conventional software distribution, the user compiles the source code locally according to their chosen configuration. There are normally no precompiled binaries for software although for convenience some software packages (such as Mozilla Firefox and LibreOffice) are also available as precompiled binaries for various architectures where compiling would otherwise be very time consuming.
KidsRuby is what it sounds like – a Ruby for kids – and it’s running beautifully on the Raspberry Pi. This is exactly the sort of application we want to see on the device, and we’re really pleased to see it up and running. It looks like there will be some optimisation for speed before we launch, but what’s there already is very useable.
R.Pi blog entry: http://www.raspberrypi.org/2011/09/kidsruby-on-raspberry-pi-another-video-demo/ More info & Video: http://confreaks.net/videos/637-gogaruco2011-kidsruby-think-of-the-children?player=html5
Meego & XBMC
The MeeGo project provides a Linux-based, open source software platform for the next generation of computing devices. The MeeGo software platform is designed to give developers the broadest range of device segments to target for their applications, including netbooks, handheld computing and communications devices, in-vehicle infotainment devices, smart TVs, tablets and more – all using a uniform set of APIs based on Qt. XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media. Meego TV 1.2 uses XBMC as a reference GUI (that is, a starting point for creating a custom GUI).
http://www.debian.org/ports/arm/ Boot time depends on width & speed of SD-card. Alpha board boot into Debian prompt (no GUI) was timed taking about 34 seconds.
RISC OS is a fast and lightweight computer operating system designed in Cambridge, England by Acorn. First released in 1987, its origins can be traced back to the original team that developed the ARM microprocessor. RISC OS includes BBC BASIC which was primarily conceived to teach programming skills as part of the BBC computer literacy project.
GeeXboX is a free and Open Source Media-Center purposed Linux distribution for embedded devices and desktop computers. GeeXboX is not an application, it’s a full-featured OS, that one can boot as a LiveCD, from a USB key, an SD/MMC card or install on its regular HDD. The GeeXboX distribution is lightweight and designed for one single goal: embed all major multimedia applications as to turn your computer into an HTPC.
Scratchbox is a cross-compilation toolkit designed to make embedded Linux application development easier. It also provides a full set of tools to integrate and cross-compile an entire Linux distribution. To find out what it can do, take a look at some of the documentation.
There is now an Oracle Virtualbox VM image with a scratchbox2 install inside.
More details and discuss: http://www.raspberrypi.org/forum/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=454
OpenEmbedded is a build framework and cross-compile environment for embedded Linux.