Setup project-wide defaults to a standard arrangement.

The command is defined in the Core component of the Qt6 package, which can be loaded like so:

find_package(Qt6 REQUIRED COMPONENTS Core)

This command was introduced in Qt 6.3.



If versionless commands are disabled, use qt6_standard_project_setup() instead. It supports the same set of arguments as this command.


This command simplifies the task of setting up a typical Qt application. It would usually be called immediately after the first find_package(Qt6) call, normally in the top level CMakeLists.txt file and before any targets have been defined. It does the following things:

  • The standard CMake variables CMAKE_AUTOMOC and CMAKE_AUTOUIC are set to true if they are not already defined. This enables all Qt-related autogen features by default for subsequently created targets in the current directory scope and below.
  • CMake's GNUInstallDirs module is automatically included. This defines appropriate defaults for variables like CMAKE_INSTALL_BINDIR, CMAKE_INSTALL_LIBDIR, and so on.
  • When targeting Windows, if the CMAKE_RUNTIME_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY variable is not already set, it will be set to ${CMAKE_CURRENT_BINARY_DIR}.
  • When target platforms other than Apple or Windows, CMAKE_INSTALL_RPATH will be augmented as described below.

On platforms that support RPATH (other than Apple platforms), two values are appended to the CMAKE_INSTALL_RPATH variable by this command. $ORIGIN is appended so that libraries will find other libraries they depend on in the same directory as themselves. $ORIGIN/<reldir> is also appended, where <reldir> is the relative path from CMAKE_INSTALL_BINDIR to CMAKE_INSTALL_LIBDIR. This allows executables installed to CMAKE_INSTALL_BINDIR to find any libraries they may depend on installed to CMAKE_INSTALL_LIBDIR. Any duplicates in CMAKE_INSTALL_RPATH are removed. In practice, these two values ensure that executables and libraries will find their link-time dependencies, assuming projects install them to the default locations the install(TARGETS) command uses when no destination is explicitly provided.

The qt_standard_project_setup() command can effectively be disabled by setting the QT_NO_STANDARD_PROJECT_SETUP variable to true.


cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.16...3.22)

find_package(Qt6 REQUIRED COMPONENTS Core)

qt_add_executable(MyApp main.cpp)

set_target_properties(MyApp PROPERTIES

# App bundles on macOS have an .app suffix
    set(executable_path "$<TARGET_FILE_NAME:MyApp>.app")
    set(executable_path "\${QT_DEPLOY_BIN_DIR}/$<TARGET_FILE_NAME:MyApp>")

# Helper app, not necessarily built as part of this project.
qt_add_executable(HelperApp helper.cpp)
set(helper_app_path "\${QT_DEPLOY_BIN_DIR}/$<TARGET_FILE_NAME:HelperApp>")

# The following script must only be executed at install time
set(deploy_script "${CMAKE_CURRENT_BINARY_DIR}/deploy_MyApp.cmake")

file(GENERATE OUTPUT ${deploy_script} CONTENT "
# Including the file pointed to by QT_DEPLOY_SUPPORT ensures the generated
# deployment script has access to qt_deploy_runtime_dependencies()
    EXECUTABLE \"${executable_path}\"
    ADDITIONAL_EXECUTABLES \"${helper_app_path}\"

# Omitting RUNTIME DESTINATION will install a non-bundle target to CMAKE_INSTALL_BINDIR,
# which coincides with the default value of QT_DEPLOY_BIN_DIR used above, './bin'.
# Installing macOS bundles always requires an explicit BUNDLE DESTINATION option.
install(TARGETS MyApp HelperApp    # Install to CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX/bin/MyApp.exe
                                   #                           and ./binHelperApp.exe
        BUNDLE  DESTINATION .      # Install to CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX/MyApp.app/Contents/MacOS/MyApp
install(SCRIPT ${deploy_script})    # Add its runtime dependencies

See also qt_generate_deploy_app_script().

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