Qt for Embedded Linux

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In addition to the more common usage of Qt on the desktop, Qt is also great for developing apps to run on embedded linux devices. The term "embedded linux" here basically just refers to a device running Linux without an X11 server. Instead of painting via X11, Qt when built for embedded Linux draw directly onto the framebuffer (or somewhere else as directed - more on this later).

This tutorial is intended to give you some tips for getting up and running so that you too can be productive with Qt for Embedded Linux.


Qt for Embedded Linux Pre-requisites

Before we can build and use Qt for Embedded Linux we need some tools to help us along our way. This article helps you on the way to getting a cross-compiling tool chain set up. Although not directly relevant to using Qt it is an essential part of being able to build and deploy Qt and your application onto your device.

If your device already provides you with an SDK that contains a working cross-compiling tool chain then you can skip this article. However, it will still give you some insight into how to create such a tool chain should you ever find yourself in need of one.

Building Qt for Embedded Linux

With a working cross-compiling toolchain in place we are now ready to build Qt itself. We will need 2 builds of Qt for Embedded Linux. The first will allow us to develop and run embedded applications on your development machine (host build). The second will be cross-compiled to run natively on your device (target build).

Using Qt for Embedded Linux

Now that we have a working tool chain and Qt ready, it is time to use it to make our awesome embedded application! This article will show you how to write and test your app locally and then how to build it for your target device.

Deploying Qt for Embedded Linux