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What is QBuild?


Qt Extended has historically used qmake (Qt's build tool) for building but for various reasons continued use of qmake is no longer desired.

The initial goal was to create a drop-in replacement for qmake. This would ensure a trouble-free transition while enabling us to fix the problems that we cannot currently resolve. However it was soon decided that complete compatibility with qmake would be a bad idea as some of the problems we have come from core design principles in qmake.

QBuild is at once more and less than qmake. The tool itself is very small and implements much less than qmake does. It does however have concepts that are not present in qmake.


QBuild is a "no policy" tool. It implements only enough logic to execute user-defined rules. Without extensions, it cannot do anything useful.

QBuild parses and executes a combination of qmake-script and QtScript to build up a rule heirachy. This rule heirachy is then executed. Unlike qmake, QBuild does not output Makefiles.

To make it useful out of the box, QBuild has a set of core extensions. These give it the ability to compile projects in much the same way that qmake. Extra functionality can be found in the Qt Extended build system. Alternatively an entirely new set of extensions could be created.

See also Overviews.

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Qt Extended - QBuild Maintainer Guide