Written by Ian on 01/01/08
The amazing and excellent QEMU emulator (which I use to run windows on my MacBook and Linux machines on the rare occasions I'm forced to it) also emulates an ARM processor.
You actually get a choice of emulated devices: ARM926E or ARM1026E. Both are fairly new cores, and the emulation also supports Ethernet over the popular SMC 91c111 adapter. An LCD display, UARTS and so on are also built in.
You can install Linux 2.4 or 2.6 on this. Someone else has it running Debian Linux, and another clever group have documented a demo of QEMU-ARM running embedded Linux
Above all, this runs faster than a real ARM on a decent PC, and provides an amazingly simple platform for low-level ARM software development before (or without) getting your hands dirty building
or buying a real ARM system in hardware!