Do I Need To Put The Toolchain On My PATH?

Whilst compiling Cyanogenmod I got this error:

ccache: FATAL: Could not find compiler "arm-eabi-gcc" in PATH.

Based on the manifest

the compiler is platform/prebuilts/gcc/linux-x86/arm/arm-eabi-4.8

If I add that full path to my PATH variable I can compile the ROM successfully.
However, that seems wrong to me.

The compiler is already part of the source tree.
Shouldn't something in one of the make files or build scripts be setting this rather than me setting it manually?

Note: I am not using a custom toolchain, it is the standard one from aosp.

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