Build embedded Linux system on ARM based board


we are about to move our development to ARM + Linux. The board will be
ARM9 based, and, most likely NOT be a standard one.

i think we firstly need to build a cross-compile development
environment on our host computers ( that are already running slackware
or redhat linux ), then next step will be build and put an embeded
linux OS, as well as some basic utilities, down to the target board.

my question is, what's the popular ( widely accepted ) collection of
software tools which are suit the job? i've already heard ELDK and
U-Boot, but i am not sure whether it will work for a non-standard

thank you in advance.