Qt for macOS - Building from Source
Building Qt requires a macOS platform SDK and corresponding toolchain to be installed on the system. You can get this by installing the Xcode, as described in Qt for macOS#Build Environment.
You should always use the exact same Xcode and SDK version as listed in the Qt for macOS#Supported Versions, to ensure that Qt has been tested in the configuration you're building.
In addition to Xcode, you will need to make sure you have the following dependencies in your path
- CMake (>=3.16, >= 3.18.4 for Ninja Multi-Config, >= 3.21.1 for static Qt builds or building for Apple platforms)
- Python html5lib
- Bison, Flex
- Node.js version 8 or later (version 12 recommended)
Unpack the archive if you have not done so already. For example, if you have the
qt-everywhere-src-6.6.2.tar.xz package, type the following commands at a command line prompt:
cd /tmp tar xf ~/Downloads/qt-everywhere-src-6.6.2.tar.xz
This creates the directory
/tmp/qt-everywhere-src-6.6.2 containing the files from the archive.
To configure the Qt library for your machine type, create a build directory and change to it. Run the
./configure script in this directory.
mkdir -p ~/dev/qt-build cd ~/dev/qt-build /tmp/qt-everywhere-src-6.6.2/configure
Note: configure always uses the Ninja generator and build tool if a
ninja executable is available. Ninja is cross-platform, feature-rich, performant, and recommended on all platforms. The use of other generators might work but is not officially supported.
By default, Qt is configured for installation in the
/usr/local/6.6.2 directory, but this can be changed by using the
By default, Qt is built as a framework, but you can built it as a set of dynamic libraries (dylibs) by specifying the
As described in Qt for macOS#Architectures, Qt will build for the architecture of your development machine by default. To configure a universal build of Qt with support for both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs, add the following argument:
./configure -- -DCMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES="x86_64;arm64"
Note: A universal build always needs to include the architecture of your development machine, as the process relies on tools that are built and run on your machine as part of the overall build.
Be careful to specify the Intel architecture ("x86_64") first, otherwise Qt may not enable all the x86 functionality.
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:
cmake --build . --parallel
-prefix is outside the build directory, you need to install the library, examples, and tools in the appropriate place. To do this, type:
cmake --install .
This command requires that you have administrator access on your machine.
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), or
.zshenv (for zsh) 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.
Qt is now installed.
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