How to Compile Qt from Source Code on Linux

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Jeff oversees the architectural and high-level design of software systems for clients. In this post, aimed at developers with novice-level Qt skills, we'll look at how you can build Qt yourself from obtain pre-built qt qtcreator binary files and use instantly without buildingcompiling code. Why would you want to build Qt from source? While the downloadable pre-compiled binaries are convenient and save time, you may want to build Qt obtain pre-built qt qtcreator binary files and use instantly without buildingcompiling a different configuration from that provided by The Qt Company.

You may, for example, want to enable or disable different options or modules to match obtain pre-built qt qtcreator binary files and use instantly without buildingcompiling requirements of your platform and application.

If you want to test an Alpha release of Qt, these are typically only provided as source code. You may also want to build Qt from a development version in the git repositorywhich only provides source code, or with a specific patch or other change that you require. Let's walk through the process for doing this on a Linux desktop system showing in detail the commands used to perform all the steps. We will be building Qt natively to run on the desktop rather than as a cross-compiled version for developing code for an embedded target system.

For this example will use bit Ubuntu desktop Linux version Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions and this is the most recent LTS long term support release. If you are using another Linux distribution, the build process will be similar but some of the specific commands will be different. We will build Qt version 5.

Other versions of Qt will follow a similar process. I find the easiest way to download Qt version is to browse to the download server and navigate to the appropriate directory. In our case we want to select http: You will see several files there that offer the release in different archive formats.

Some of the other formats like 7z are smaller because they use an archive format with better compression, but use less-commonly available archiving tools that you may not have installed on your system.

The file is megabytes in size. The Qt download site will attempt to use a download mirror server that is geographically close to you, so download speed should be quite good, usually limited only by the speed of your Internet connection. If you want to verify that the download was not corrupted, you can generate an MD5 checksum of the file after you download it:. The next step is to extract the files from the source archive.

If you downloaded the tar. Qt is dependent on a number of tools and libraries. Others are optional and Qt will make use of them if present and disable certain features if absent.

This will occur when Qt is configured. Figuring out all of the correct dependencies to build Qt is often obtain pre-built qt qtcreator binary files and use instantly without buildingcompiling hardest part of the build process. While the dependencies are typically all available as standard packages for your Linux distribution, it can take obtain pre-built qt qtcreator binary files and use instantly without buildingcompiling time to identify and install all of the packages that are needed, especially on a clean system where you have never built Qt before.

On Ubuntu Linux the command line tool to install packages is apt-get. On a different version of Ubuntu, some of the package names will likely differ. The next step is configuring Qt. This will identify the options of Qt that will be enabled and create the make files needed to build it.

It is initiated by running the configure shell script. While configure has many options which you can display by running configure -hwe will just use the defaults:. Here is an abbreviated version of the output I saw on my system:. At this point configure should indicate if any required dependencies are missing. A typical error message is:. You will also want to check that the Qt options you desire are enabled.

A critical one that I check for is the QPA back ends that are enabled. If you are missing dependencies, you will need to identify the Ubuntu packages which provide them, install the packages, and then run configure again. This can be an iterative process the first time you build Qt.

Most systems today have multiple CPU cores, so you will want to take advantage of using them. You can pass the -j option to make specifying how many jobs to run in parallel.

One rule of thumb is to use the number of cores less one, which tends to make good use of the available cores while still allowing the obtain pre-built qt qtcreator binary files and use instantly without buildingcompiling to be usable for interactive work.

So for a 4 core system we might use:. This will take some time, anywhere from under an hour on a fast machine to many hours on a low-end computer. By default we are building all Qt modules, including some large ones like QtWebEngine, as well as all the Qt examples and demos. I've found this can happen when building QtWebEngine, as it has some large files that require a significant amount of memory to compile. It is possible that the build can fail at this point due to some missing dependencies.

If so, you will need to identify the missing packages, install them, and then continue building. You may want to use another location. If so, you can specify it using the -prefix command line option to configure. We haven't yet built the documentation, which will be available from Qt Assistant.

We can build and install it as follows:. Your new Qt install is ready to use. At this point you may wish to do some more testing, such as confirming that you can run some QML code using the qmlscene program. If you use the Qt Creator IDE, you should configure it to add the new Qt version and try building some of your own code or one of the Qt examples to verify that it works.

I hope this tutorial has encouraged you to try building Qt on your Linux desktop. One way to help the Qt project is to build and test Alpha, Beta, and Release Candidate builds — something you can do even if you aren't a Qt developer as long as you know how to build Qt from source.

As I write this, Qt 5. Read more articles from the category Qt QML. Skip to main content. More articles from the author. Rationale Why would you want to build Qt from source? Basic Steps Here are the basic steps for building Qt on any platform: Download the source code archive. Extract the source code into a working directory. Install the required obtain pre-built qt qtcreator binary files and use instantly without buildingcompiling packages and other build dependencies for Qt.

Configure Qt for the desired options and ensure that all dependencies are met. Install and test the new version. Ubuntu Example For this example will use bit Ubuntu desktop Linux version Download the source code archive I find the easiest way to download Qt version is to browse to the download server and navigate to the appropriate directory.

If you want to download the file directly from the Linux command line, you can use: If you want to verify that the download was not corrupted, you can generate an MD5 checksum of the file after you download it: Extract the source code into a working directory The next step is to extract the files from the source archive.

Install the required development packages and other build dependencies for Qt Qt is dependent on a number of tools and libraries. Configure Qt for the desired options and ensure that all dependencies are met The next step is configuring Qt.

While configure has many options which you can display by running configure -hwe will just use the defaults: Here is an abbreviated version of the output I saw on my system: Which edition of Qt do you want to use? Type 'c' if you want to use the Commercial Edition. Type 'o' if you want to use the Open Source Edition. Do you accept the terms of either license? Done running configuration tests. Configure summary Build type: Once everything is built, you must run 'make install'.

A typical error message is: So for a 4 core system we might use: Once the build is successful you are ready to move on to the installation step. Install and test the new version Install Qt by running: As a quick sanity test we can try launching Qt Designer and confirm that it comes up: We can build and install it as follows: Conclusions I hope this tutorial has encouraged you to try building Qt on your Linux desktop.

Want to learn more? What's New in Qt 5. QRandomGenerator Computer software sometimes has a requirement for generating random numbers. Applications include games, simulations, cryptocurrency, and security Integrated Development Environments Deliver Productivity Gains While you can develop software using just a text editor and the command line and many people doyou'll often see productivity gains by using a

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Jeff oversees the architectural and high-level design of software systems for clients. Feedback from our recent Qt for Beginners webinar series indicated a need for some basic tutorials for beginners.

For this example I'll assume you are running Windows We will install the Open Source version of Qt 5. Installation should be similar if you use a different version of Windows or a different version of Qt. We will use the free MinGW compiler as it makes the setup easy, coming as part of the Qt install. You will need at least 5 GB of free disk space and an Internet connection in order to download the installer and Qt components.

The website will ask you a few questions to determine whether you want the Open Source or commercial versions of Qt. Say Yes to "Are you prepared to make your application source code publicly available? Then click on "Get started" and then "Download Now". For a quicker way to download Qt and to get different versions other than the latest, you can instead go to http: The download is reasonably small 18 MB and will try to use a local server near you.

Once downloaded, run the installer program. You will probably need to accept the Windows dialog that requests permission to run the installer. The installer will come up. If you have a Qt online account, enter the information here. If you want to create one, go ahead. Otherwise just select Skip to proceed. It will now download information about the available components from a remote server.

Pick the installation folder the default is normally fine unless you need more disk space on another drive. A path with spaces in it or that is very long may cause problems later, so avoid doing that.

Let's do a minimal install. If you want more components you can select them. I expanded Qt 5. The only other item I selected was under Tools, where Qt Creator 4. Next read and accept the license agreement. Then pick the Start menu shortcuts you want. The default is typically fine. Installation is now ready, so select Next. At this point it will download all the selected components. This will take a while depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

After downloads are completed it will start installing. Qt Creator will launch and show the Welcome screen. Qt Creator should auto-detect the Qt install and compiler and create a "kit" for desktop development. We can now test the installation by creating a simple project.

Let's start with one for widgets: Pick Application and Qt Widgets Application: Pick the kit only one option is available then Next. You can specify some more information. Pick the defaults unless you want to use something else. Pick no project management. You will now see the created skeleton application. You can look at the source code if desired: Click the hammer icon at lower left to build it.

You can click on Compiler Output if you want to see it. The project should successfully build. You can now click on the green triangle icon to run it. After doing so, it should launch and you will see a window named MainWindow come up. You might also want to try a QML application. Build and run it as before. If the above steps worked you are all set up to develop with Qt on the desktop. You can now create your own applications from scratch or start with one of the many examples or tutorials available within Qt Creator.

Under the Start menu you will see a Qt section with entries for Qt Creator, as well as Assistant, Designer and Linguist in case you want to run these tools on their own. There is also an entry for a command prompt for Qt, which will have qmake and other tools in the path so you can work from the command line if desired. If you want to go back and add or remove more Qt components, run "Uninstall Qt" which is the maintenance tool we used earlier.

I hope that you now appreciate that setting up Qt for desktop development is easy and you can be up and running very quickly. This example covered one of the most common setups. In the future I plan to continue this series for beginners, covering how to set up on a development environment on a Linux desktop and how to compile Qt from source. Read more articles from the category Qt QML. Skip to main content. More articles from the author. Assumptions and Prerequisites For this example I'll assume you are running Windows Installation Steps Fire up your web browser and go to http: Select to Add or remove components or Update components.

Summary I hope that you now appreciate that setting up Qt for desktop development is easy and you can be up and running very quickly. Want to learn more? What's New in Qt 5. QRandomGenerator Computer software sometimes has a requirement for generating random numbers. Applications include games, simulations, cryptocurrency, and security Integrated Development Environments Deliver Productivity Gains While you can develop software using just a text editor and the command line and many people do , you'll often see productivity gains by using a