Get the Source

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See also: Building Qt 5 from Git

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You can develop great Qt code using nothing more than Qt Creator and the final release of SDKs. Polished. Stable. Commercial grade.

On the other hand, if you want to be among the first developers to work with the latest Qt features, you can work with Qt's source code. Features don't get much fresher than that.

If you're ready to drink from the source, this article describes how to set up your local development environment, how to use Git to get Qt's source code, and how to build the libraries on your machine.

If you just want to browse source code online, use this link:

Setting up your machine

Qt can be built and developed on many different platforms. The operating systems for development are Mac OS X, Windows and Linux, with different requirements on compilers and third-party libraries. Developing Qt requires building it from source, therefore the standard requirements apply:

  • Qt for Embedded Linux Requirements Qt 4
  • Qt for Mac OS X Requirements: Qt 4 Qt 5
  • Qt for Windows CE Requirements: Qt 4 Qt 5
  • Qt for Windows Requirements: Qt 4 Qt 5
  • Qt for X11 Requirements Qt 4 Qt 5

In addition you need to have Perl installed. This is standard on most Linux distributions and Mac OS X. Windows users can download ActivePerl for free. If you also want to build Qt/WebKit from sources, you will need to install Python as well. Windows users can download ActivePython for free.

Qt's source code is developed using Git, an open source, distributed version control system. You need to have Git >= 1.7.x installed.

For more information please see the separate Git Installation wiki page.

Cloning Qt

If you want to contribute to the Qt Project, you should read how to set up Git for Gerrit use instead.

After setting up your machine by installing the required tools and libraries for building Qt download the source code by cloning the Qt Git repository, using the following commands:

Qt 4.x

git clone git://
cd qt

Qt 5

This section is outdated, more up to date instructions are at: Building Qt 5 from Git

Getting the Qt 5 sources is a bit more complicated than Qt 4.x, due to the various Qt libraries being split into several repositories. Building Qt 5 from Git has the details on how to get the Qt 5 sources.

Behind a Company Firewall

If the clone process fails with "unable to connect to socket" it's likely that you are behind a firewall that blocks the Git protocol.

First try replacing the clone URL with its HTTP equivalent,

If that does not help, an alternate solution is to clone form Gitorious using the SSH protocol proxied though a HTTP proxy.


First install Corkscrew on your machine.

Next, edit your SSH config and add:

Host *
    Port 443
    ProxyCommand corkscrew yourproxyhost yourproxyport %h %p


If you are using msysgit (full environment), ensure that the <msysgit>/mingw/bin is in your path, so you have access to the connect.exe application. If not, you can download it from <FIXME>, and place it somewhere in your path. Connect.exe is a standalone Windows console application, no MSys/Cygwin binaries required.

Next, edit your SSH config and add:

Host *
    Port 443
    ProxyCommand connect -H yourproxyhost:yourproxyport %h %p

Replacing yourproxyhost and yourproxyport with the hostname and port of your company's HTTP proxy.

You should now be able to clone and push using the URL

Building Qt

Build Qt the same way you would for an official Qt release. The standard build/installation instructions apply:

Supported platforms

Make sure that you have Perl installed and that it is working. If configure complains about not being able to find headers, it means that syncqt (a program run by configure) could not find your Perl installation.

Generate the Documentation

Since the repository is just the source code rather than a complete package, the HTML documentation pages are not included. If you use a repository for a previously released Qt version, you can go to the online documentation or download a package.

For documentation that is not yet available online or through a package you have to generate the documentation yourself. To do that, run

make docs

after running configure and building the libraries.

What's Next?

To learn how to make changes to Qt and upload them for submission upstream see the Qt Contribution Guidelines. If you would like to simply stay up-to-date with your sources and silently follow the development of Qt, simply run git pull in your source code directory to pull in the latest changes.