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Qt is a cross-platform application and widget toolkit that uses standard C++ but makes extensive use of a special code generator (called the Meta Object Compiler, or moc) together with several macros to enrich the language. Some of its more important features include:

  • Running on the major desktop platforms and some of the mobile platforms.
  • Extensive internationalization support.
  • A complete library that provides SQL database access, XML parsing, thread management, network support, and a unified cross-platform application programming interface (API) for file handling.

The Qt framework is emerging as a major development platform and is the basis of the KDE software community, among other important open source and proprietary applications such as VLC, VirtualBox, Opera, Mathematica, Skype, Maya and many others.


Two versions of Qt are currently available in the official repositories. They can be installed with the following packages:

  • Qt 5.x is available in the qt5-base package, with documentation in the qt5-doc package.
  • Qt 4.x is available in the qt4 package, with documentation in the qt4-docAUR package.
  • Qt 3.x is now available from the AUR in the qt3AUR package, with documentation in the qt3-docAUR package.
Warning: Qt packages do not provide the usual bins (e.g. qmake) in /usr/bin anymore. Instead -qt5, -qt4 and -qt3 symlinks are provided (e.g. qmake-qt5, qmake-qt4, qmake-qt3). This may cause compilation failures in Qt3/4 applications. To install usual bins, see next section about qtchooser.

Default Qt Toolkit

By installing qtchooser you can restore the usual bins (e.g. qmake) in /usr/bin and setup the Qt toolkit to use. By default Qt5 is used.

Using Environment variables

For example, to set Qt4 export QT_SELECT=4 in ~/.{bash,zsh}_profile.

Using configuration files

For example, to set Qt4 symlink /etc/xdg/qtchooser/4.conf to ~/.config/qtchooser/default.conf.



Qt application will try to mimic the behavior of the desktop environment they are running on, unless they run into some problems or hard-coded settings. For those who still want to change the look and feel of Qt application, the Qt Configuration (qtconfig-qt4 or qt3config) tool is available. QtConfig offers a very simple configuration for the appearance of Qt applications that gives the user easy access to the current Qt Style, colors, fonts and other more advanced options. QtConfig was removed in Qt5. If you want to force Qt5 to use a specific style, set the QT_STYLE_OVERRIDE environment variable to your preferred style (e.g. gtk).

Although not part of Qt, the KDE System Settings offer many more customization options that are also picked up by Qt applications.


Several styles are already included with Qt, such as a GTK+ style, a Windows style, a CDE style, etc., but others can be installed from the official repositories or the AUR (most are written for the KDE desktop):

  • Oxygen — A desktop theme that comes with the KDE desktop.
http://www.oxygen-icons.org/ || kdebase-runtime
  • QtCurve — A very configurable and popular desktop theme with support for GTK+ and Qt applications.
http://kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=40492 || qtcurve
  • Skulpture — A GUI style addon for KDE and Qt programs that features a classical three dimensional artwork with shadows and smooth gradients to enhance the visual experience.
http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/?content=59031 || skulptureAUR
  • Polymer — A port of the KDE Plastik Style to Qt3.
http://kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=21748 || polymerAUR
  • Bespin — A very configurable KDE theme.
http://cloudcity.sourceforge.net/frame.php || bespin-svnAUR


Qt fonts can be configured from QtConfig under Fonts > Default Font.

Note: If you are using GTK+ desktop (GNOME or Xfce) and specifying Appearance > GUI Style is "Desktop Settings (default)" or "GTK+", this setting on Qt apps will be ignored (GTK's setting will be used). Choose other GUI style such as "Cleanlooks" to take effect.


There is no way of setting the icon theme from QtConfig, but since Qt follows the Freedesktop.org Icon Specification, any theme set for X is picked up by Qt.

Manual configuration

Qt keeps all its configuration information in ~/.config/Trolltech.conf. The file is rather difficult to navigate because it contains a lot of information not related to appearance, but for any changes you can just add to the end of the file and overwrite any previous values (make sure to add your modification under the [Qt] header).

For example, to change the theme to QtCurve, add:


Qt Style Sheets

An interesting way of customizing the look and feel of a Qt application is using Style Sheets, which are just simple CSS files. Using Style Sheets, one can modify the appearance of every widget in the application.

To run an application with a different style just execute:

$ qt_application --stylesheet style.qss

For more information on Qt Style Sheets see the official documentation or other tutorials. As an example Style Sheet see this Dolphin modification.

GTK+ and Qt

If you have GTK+ and Qt applications, their looks might not exactly blend in very well. If you wish to make your GTK+ styles match your Qt styles please read Uniform Look for QT and GTK Applications.


Supported platforms

Qt supports most platforms that are available today, even some of the more obscure ones, with more ports appearing every once in a while. For a more complete list see the Qt Wikipedia article.


Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: missing references to Qt5 tools (Discuss in Talk:Qt#)

The following are official Qt tools:

  • Qt Creator — A cross-platform IDE tailored for Qt that supports all of its features.
http://qt-project.org/doc/qtcreator/ || qtcreator
  • Qt Linguist — A set of tools that speed the translation and internationalization of Qt applications.
http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/linguist-manual.html || qt4
  • Qt Assistant — A configurable and redistributable documentation reader for Qt qch files.
http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/assistant-manual.html || qt4
  • Qt Designer — A powerful cross-platform GUI layout and forms builder for Qt widgets.
http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/designer-manual.html || qt4
  • Qt Quick Designer — A visual editor for QML files which supports WYSIWYG. It allows you to rapidly design and build Qt Quick applications and components from scratch.
http://qt-project.org/doc/qtcreator-2.8/creator-using-qt-quick-designer.html || qtcreator
  • QML Viewer — A tool for loading QML documents that makes it easy to quickly develop and debug QML applications.
http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/qmlviewer.html || qt4
  • qmake — A tool that helps simplify the build process for development project across different platforms, similar to cmake, but with fewer options and tailored for Qt applications.
https://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/qmake-manual.html || qt4
  • uic — A tool that reads *.ui XML files and generates the corresponding C++ files.
http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/uic.html || qt4
  • rcc — A tool that is used to embed resources (such as pictures) into a Qt application during the build process. It works by generating a C++ source file containing data specified in a Qt resource (.qrc) file.
http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/rcc.html || qt4
  • moc — A tool that handles Qt's C++ extensions (the signals and slots mechanism, the run-time type information, and the dynamic property system, etc.).
http://doc.qt.digia.com/4.7-snapshot/moc.html || qt4


Qt has bindings for all of the more popular languages, for a full list see this list.

The following examples display a small 'Hello world!' message in a window.


  • Package: qt4
  • Website: http://qt-project.org/
  • Build with: g++ $(pkg-config --cflags --libs QtCore QtGui) -lstdc++ -o hello hello.cpp
  • Run with: ./hello
#include <QApplication>
#include <QLabel>

int main(int argc, char **argv)
    QApplication app(argc, argv);
    QLabel hello("Hello world!");
    return app.exec();


import QtQuick 1.0

Rectangle {
    id: page
    width: 400; height: 100
    color: "lightgray"

    Text {
        id: helloText
        text: "Hello world!"
        anchors.horizontalCenter: page.horizontalCenter
        anchors.verticalCenter: page.verticalCenter
        font.pointSize: 24; font.bold: true


import sys
from PyQt4 import QtGui

app = QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)
label = QtGui.QLabel("Hello world!")

import sys
from PySide.QtCore import *
from PySide.QtGui import *
app = QApplication(sys.argv)
label = QLabel("Hello world!")



using System;
using Qyoto;

public class Hello {
    public static int Main(String[] args) {
        new QApplication(args);
        new QLabel("Hello world!").Show();

        return QApplication.Exec();


require 'Qt4'
app = Qt::Application.new(ARGV)
hello = Qt::Label.new('Hello World!')



import com.trolltech.qt.gui.*;

public class Hello
    public static void main(String args[])
        QLabel hello = new QLabel("Hello World!");



use QtGui4;

my $a = Qt::Application(\@ARGV);
my $hello = Qt::Label("Hello World!", undef);

exit $a->exec;


label = qt.new_widget("QLabel")

label:setText("Hello World!")
Note: QtLua is not designed to develop an application in pure Lua but rather to extend a Qt C++ application using Lua as scripting language.