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:

xcode-select --install

Or by downloading and installing Xcode.

Compiler Versions

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 Supported Platforms page.

QDoc Dependencies

Since version 5.11, QDoc uses Clang to parse C++ code. If you wish to build QDoc manually, refer to Installing Clang for QDoc for specific build requirements.

Steps for Building

The following instructions describe how to build Qt from the source package. You can download the Qt sources from the Downloads page. For more information, visit the Getting Started with Qt page.

Step 1: Unpack the Archive

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.

Step 2: Build the Qt Library

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 -prefix option.

The Configure Options page contains more information about the configure options.

cd /tmp/qt-everywhere-opensource-src-%VERSION%

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.

The Configure Options page contains more information about the configure options.

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


If -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.

Step 3: Set the 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/Qt-%VERSION%/bin:$PATH

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

Qt is now installed.

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