Qt for macOS - Building from Source
Qt requires a macOS platform SDK and corresponding toolchain to be installed on the system. You can get this by installing the Xcode command line tools:
Or by downloading and installing Xcode.
Qt for macOS is tested and compatible with several versions of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) and Clang (as available from Xcode). For a list of tested configurations, refer to the Reference Configuration section of the supported platforms page.
If you use Qt with a commercial license, the Qt tools look for a local license file. If you are using a binary installer or the commercial Qt Creator, your licenses are automatically fetched and stored in your local user profile (
$HOME/Library/Application Support/Qt/qtlicenses.ini file).
If you do not use any binary installer or Qt Creator, you can download the respective license file from your Qt Account Web portal and save it to your user profile as
$HOME/.qt-license. If you prefer a different location or file name, you need to set the
QT_LICENSE_FILE environment variable to the respective file path.
Unpack the archive if you have not done so already. For example, if you have the
qt-everywhere-opensource-src-%VERSION%.tar.gz package, type the following commands at a command line prompt:
cd /tmp gunzip qt-everywhere-opensource-src-%VERSION%.tar.gz # uncompress the archive tar xvf qt-everywhere-opensource-src-%VERSION%.tar # unpack it
This creates the directory
/tmp/qt-everywhere-opensource-src-%VERSION% containing the files from the archive.
To configure the Qt library for your machine type, run the
./configure script in the package directory.
By default, Qt is configured for installation in the
/usr/local/Qt-%VERSION% directory, but this can be changed by using the
cd /tmp/qt-everywhere-opensource-src-%VERSION% ./configure
By default, Qt is built as a framework, but you can built it as a set of dynamic libraries (dylibs) by specifying the
Qt can also be configured to be built with debugging symbols. This process is described in detail in the Debugging Techniques document.
The Configure Options page contains more information about the configure options.
To create the library and compile all the examples and tools, type:
-prefix is outside the build directory, you need to install the library, examples, and tools in the appropriate place. To do this, type:
sudo make -j1 install
This command requires that you have administrator access on your machine.
Note: There is a potential race condition when running make install with multiple jobs. It is best to only run one make job (-j1) for the install.
In order to use Qt, some environment variables need to be extended.
PATH - to locate qmake, moc and other Qt tools
This is done like this:
.profile (if your shell is bash), add the following lines:
PATH=/usr/local/Qt-%VERSION%/bin:$PATH export PATH
.login (in case your shell is csh or tcsh), add the following line:
setenv PATH /usr/local/Qt-%VERSION%/bin:$PATH
If you use a different shell, please modify your environment variables accordingly.
That's all. Qt is now installed.
If you have installed the Qt for X11 package from Fink, it will set the
QMAKESPEC environment variable to
darwin-g++. This will cause problems when you build the Qt for macOS package. To fix this, simply unset your
QMAKESPEC or set it to
macx-g++ before you run
configure. To get a fresh Qt distribution, run
make confclean on the command-line.
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