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Installing Qt on Mac OS X

Note: Qt for Mac OS X has some requirements that are given in more detail in the Qt for Mac OS X Requirements document.

Note for the binary package: If you have the binary package, simply double-click on the Qt.mpkg and follow the instructions to install Qt. You can later run the uninstall-qt.py script to uninstall the binary package. The script is located in /Developer/Tools and must be run as root.

The following instructions describe how to install Qt from the source package.

  1. If you have the commercial edition of Qt, install your license file as $HOME/.qt-license.

    For the open source version you do not need a license file.

  2. Unpack the archive if you have not done so already. For example, if you have the qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.6.3.tar.gz package, type the following commands at a command line prompt:
     cd /tmp
     gunzip qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.6.3.tar.gz        # uncompress the archive
     tar xvf qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.6.3.tar          # unpack it

    This creates the directory /tmp/qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.6.3 containing the files from the archive.

  3. Building

    To configure the Qt library for your machine type, run the ./configure script in the package directory.

    By default, Qt is configured for installation in the /usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.6.3 directory, but this can be changed by using the -prefix option.

     cd /tmp/qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.6.3

    Type ./configure -help to get a list of all available options.

    Note that you will need to specify -universal if you want to build universal binaries, and also supply a path to the -sdk option if your development machine has a PowerPC CPU. By default, Qt is built as a framework, but you can built it as a set of dynamic libraries (dylibs) by specifying the -no-framework option.

    Qt can also be configured to be built with debugging symbols. This process is described in detail in the Debugging Techniques document.

    To create the library and compile all the demos, examples, tools, and tutorials, type:


    If -prefix is outside the build directory, you need to install the library, demos, examples, tools, and tutorials in the appropriate place. To do this, type:

     sudo make -j1 install

    as root, if neccessary (note that this requires that you have administrator access to your machine).

    There is a potential race condition when running make install with multiple jobs. It is best to only run one make job (-j1) for the install.

    Note: If you later need to reconfigure and rebuild Qt from the same location, ensure that all traces of the previous configuration are removed by entering the build directory and typing make confclean before running configure again.

  4. Environment variables

    In order to use Qt, some environment variables need to be extended.

     PATH               - to locate qmake, moc and other Qt tools

    This is done like this:

    In .profile (if your shell is bash), add the following lines:

     export PATH

    In .login (in case your shell is csh or tcsh), add the following line:

     setenv PATH /usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.6.3/bin:$PATH

    If you use a different shell, please modify your environment variables accordingly.

  5. That's all. Qt is now installed.

    If you are new to Qt, we suggest that you take a look at the demos and examples to see Qt in action. Run the Qt Examples and Demos either by typing qtdemo on the command line or through the desktop's Start menu.

    You might also want to try the following links:

We hope you will enjoy using Qt. Good luck!

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Qt 4.6.3