I've already installed the cross compiler from a ubuntu repository. The arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc reports version 4.7.3-ubuntu1. So you're saying it's better to get an older gcc like 4.6.3? If I go with my compiler it seems I'll have to test the kernel a bit.
Can't say, as I've only used 4.6.3, and it works just great. Others have complained of newer compilers, especially folks with ubuntu 13.04, which no longer has the 4.6 arm toolchain in the repositories (but it should still be possible to install them from an older one).
Question. Some guides suggest that we install the sunxi linux hwpack when setting up Cubieboard 1.0. But what is it for? I mean it has a built kernel, but is it still up to date? The only thing I've used from the hwpack is the bootloader, which caused my Cubieboard to increase the RAM size from 512MB to 1GB. The kernel inside seems to be missing a lot of kernel modules. This is part of the reason I decided to recompile it. I've seen that other images use their own kernels i.e. roman's debian headless or the cubian image. What's the difference here?
Last I checked, the hwpack kernel was reasonably up-to-date for the 3.0 branch. Of course, there's been talk of deprecating 3.0 for some time.
The biggest draw of the hwpacks for most is the automated install; for someone who's capable of building their own kernel, installing one is a matter of a two-line shell script, and building/installing u-boot is a matter of a make and another two-line shell script. I personally never even looked at a hwpack until I decided to make one for the CB2. But then I started putzing around with the A10 before there was such a thing as a hwpack
I supposed the hwpack could also be useful to someone who's getting started testing a newly purchased board or a balky SD card -- having something that's known-good allows you to factor out kernel build issues (e.g., gcc version) and such.