Building Qt 6.2 for Raspberry Pi on Raspberry Pi OS
Guide on how to build Qt 6.2 LTS (Release) for use on a Raspberry Pi running Raspberry Pi OS.
Updated as of Qt release 6.2.4
Guide on how to build Qt 6.2 LTS components for use on a Raspberry Pi running Raspberry Pi OS. The configuration and build differs quite a lot from how Qt 5 was built as the build system is now using cmake and ninja, instead of the older qmake and make combo.
Note: This guide can be considered beta quality at this time. There are some issues with building with the Broadcom libraries as eglfs_brcm support is disabled in the Qt 6 build system.
Note 2: This guide was written for Raspberry Pi OS Buster version. It works with Bullseye but has not been fully tested yet.
The procedure is exactly the same for both 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Raspberry Pi OS, just adjust any architecture specific paths accordingly.
This tutorial is written for the split components version of Qt 6.2 instead of the all components one. This makes it much faster to get up and running with only the components you actually need. Building Qt 6 for and on the Raspberry Pi is still pretty straightforward, there are some Pi specific configurations that needs to be made, but in short it consist of the following steps:
- Configure Pi graphics system to use Mesa/Vulkan driver
- Installing all required build and runtime dependencies for Qt base
- Installing any optional build and runtime dependencies Qt base
- Downloading sources of Qt 6.2 base
- Checking the Qt 6.2 base source package integrity
- Extract the source
- Configuring the Qt 6.2 base build
- Compiling Qt 6.2 base
- Installing the Qt 6.2 base
- Continue to installing any submodules
And for any Qt submodules it is basically a matter of:
- Install required build and runtime dependencies
- Install optional build and runtime dependencies
- Download submodule source archive
- Check integrity of submodule source archive
- Extract submodule source archive
- Configure submodule for building
- Build submodule
- Install submodule
- Select another submoule and goto step 1
Prepare build tools
As we need to be able to build software, make sure all the essential build tools are installed with:
apt install build-essential
Installing cmake from source
Note: Building a custom cmake is not required on Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye. It contains a new enough version.
The build system has changed in Qt 6 and instead of qmake and make, that was used with Qt 5, it now uses cmake and ninja. We will need need to install cmake from source, as the one provided in the Raspberry Pi OS, pre Bullseye, package repository (surprise!) is too old. Building cmake is quite easy, it needs to first bootstrap itself and then we can build and install it. We will install our own cmake in a custom location so that it won't conflict with the distribution provided one. Just remember to call it using the full path so the correct version gets used.
Luckily the version available of the ninja build tool is good enough for our needs.
Install cmake from package on Bullseye
If you are on Bullseye then you don't need to build cmake as the distrubution comes with a new enough version. Just install with apt.
apt install cmake
Build and install cmake from sources
The build process of cmake is straightforward, download, untar, build and install. We are using the cmake 3.22 release branch as that has been tested to fully build Qt 6 successfully.
wget https://github.com/Kitware/CMake/releases/download/v3.22.2/cmake-3.22.2.tar.gz tar xf cmake-3.22.2.tar.gz mkdir cbuild && cd cbuild ../cmake-3.22.2/bootstrap --prefix=/opt/cmake --parallel=4 && make -j4 && make install
Now we have a new enough cmake installed that we can use for building Qt 6.2!
Install required build dependencies
You will need to install plenty of packages to be able to build Qt 6.2. Some of the Qt 6.2 features are optional and can be either left our or included, depending on your particular needs. For example support for various databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL/MariaDB) and if you don't need a specific feature you can skip building the support. Or the other way around, if you need a specific feature you might need to install more development packages.
First, start by updating your apt package cache so everything is fresh:
Then continue with required package installation below.
|ninja-build||Minimal build system, similar to make|
|libfontconfig1-dev||Font configuration library|
|libfreetype6-dev||Font engine library|
|libinput-dev||Input device handling|
|libxkbcommon-dev||XKB compiler library|
|libsqlite3-dev||sqlite3 database driver|
|libpng-dev||PNG Image support|
|libjpeg-dev||JPEG Image support|
|libglib2.0-dev||glib mainloop support|
Install all the required development packages with:
apt install ninja-build libfontconfig1-dev libdbus-1-dev libfreetype6-dev libicu-dev libinput-dev libxkbcommon-dev libsqlite3-dev libssl-dev libpng-dev libjpeg-dev libglib2.0-dev
Graphics driver options
It is possible to use either the proprietary EGL blobs from Broadcom or the Mesa open source drivers.
Broadcom drivers can be used on all older Pi variants, but not on any Pi 4 variants (Pi4, 400, Compute Module 4). For those you need to use Mesa.
|Graphics driver||Required package(s)||Information|
For vintage Pi, Zero, Pi 2, Pi 3, CM 1, CM3
Note: Incomplete, This has not been properly tested yet
Note: Support for is currently disabled in the Qt build system, so this can not be used at this time.
Required for all pre-Pi 4 boards if not using open source GL drivers.
Mandatory on Raspberry Pi 4
Mandatory on 64-bit
|libgles2-mesa-dev libgbm-dev libdrm-dev||
Only on Raspberry Pi 4
|libvulkan-dev vulkan-tools vulkan-utils||
Note: Requires building of Mesa Vulkan driver. Guide TBA later.
Optional base feature dependencies
Some features are not strictly required but might still be nice to have, for example support for the webp image format is optional, but these days it is already widely used so might be good to include.
See the table below for a list of some optional features and the required development packages you need to install.
|Optional feature||Packages to install||Configure option|
|Support for various databases (PostgreSQL, MariaDB/MySQL, etc)||
Printing support using CUPS
libx11-dev libxcb1-dev libxext-dev libxi-dev libxcomposite-dev libxcursor-dev libxtst-dev libxrandr-dev libx11-xcb-dev libxext-dev libxfixes-dev libxi-dev libxrender-dev libxcb1-dev libxcb-glx0-dev libxcb-keysyms1-dev libxcb-image0-dev libxcb-shm0-dev libxcb-icccm4-dev libxcb-sync-dev libxcb-xfixes0-dev libxcb-shape0-dev libxcb-randr0-dev libxcb-render-util0-dev libxcb-util0-dev libxcb-xinerama0-dev libxcb-xkb-dev libxkbcommon-dev libxkbcommon-x11-dev libxcb-xinput-dev
|Note: System version causes issues. Needs to be removed.|
Install any package from the above table with apt install.
This might sound strange at first, but just in case, make sure that you DON'T have libzstd development package installed. Qt 6 will use the system provided one if installed and it will lead to problems as the rcc tool will fail with a Bus Error inside of the distribution provided libzstd. So to get around this issue, remove libztsd-dev if it is installed:
apt remove libzstd-dev
Building Qt 6.2 base
Qt Base provides the core parts of Qt and needs to be built and installed before anything else.
Download Qt 6.2 base sources
Configure, build and install Qt 6.2 base
Extract the sources:
tar xf qtbase-everywhere-src-6.2.4.tar.xz
Create a build directory:
mkdir qtbasebuild && cd qtbasebuild
Optional: Create a cmake toolchain file
You might need to make a cmake toolchain file in case you are building for some other type of system, for example you are going to run Qt on the armv6 based Pis but build on something faster (arvmv7 or armv8). This is not needed if the Qt build will be run on the current device type only.
To create a cmake toolchain file, tc.cmake, fire up your favorite editor. Create the file somewhere that does not get deleted, for example in the install prefix you use, as it will be referenced by the Qt build files when installed. The contents for the file is, depending on target architecture (Note: only armv7 has been tested):
|Architecture||Toolchain file contents|
set(CMAKE_CROSSCOMPILING FALSE) set(CMAKE_SYSTEM_NAME Linux) set(CMAKE_SYSTEM_PROCESSOR armv6) set(TARGET armv6-linux-eabi)
set(CMAKE_CROSSCOMPILING FALSE) set(CMAKE_SYSTEM_NAME Linux) set(CMAKE_SYSTEM_PROCESSOR armv7) set(TARGET armv7-linux-eabi)
set(CMAKE_CROSSCOMPILING FALSE) set(CMAKE_SYSTEM_NAME Linux) set(CMAKE_SYSTEM_PROCESSOR armv8) set(TARGET armv8-linux-eabi)
Qt can be customized in many ways when building, this table shows some options that you can use when configuring the build.
|QT_FEATURE_opengles2=ON||Use OpenGL ES 2.0|
|QT_FEATURE_opengles3=ON||Use OpenGL ES 3.0|
|QT_FEATURE_kms=ON||Use Kernel Mode Setting|
|QT_FEATURE_vulkan=ON||Use Vulkan driver|
|QT_QPA_DEFAULT_PLATFORM=eglfs||Set default platform plugin to eglfs|
|BUILD_WITH_PCH=OFF||Disable precompiled headers|
Configure the Qt 6.2 build
Then run the configuration (adjusting prefix if needed, add/remove any configuration options as needed, remove CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE parameter if not used):
/opt/cmake/bin/cmake -G Ninja \ -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/opt/Qt/6.2.4-armv7l \ -DQT_FEATURE_opengles2=ON \ -DQT_FEATURE_opengles3=ON \ -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=tc.cmake \ -DQT_AVOID_CMAKE_ARCHIVING_API=ON ../qtbase-everywhere-src-6.2.4
Check the configuration summary output that everything required was succesfully detected, and if so, you can start the build.
Build Qt 6.2 base
Next up is actually building the sources, that we will do with the following command, adjust the example parallel build (4) as you see fit.
/opt/cmake/bin/cmake --build . --parallel 4
Install Qt 6.2 base
When the build has successfully finnished, the next step is to install the result to the system. To do that run:
/opt/cmake/bin/cmake --install .
Building Qt Documentation
QDoc is required for building and installing documentation for use in various GUI tools. QDoc is part of the qttools submodule and obviously requires Qt itself to build. Documentation can be built afterwards from the build tree so if you do need documentation then don't remove any build results just yet.
Documentation is built with:
/opt/cmake/bin/cmake --build . --parallel 4 --target docs
And installed with:
/opt/cmake/bin/cmake --build . --target install_docs
Building Qt submodules
Qt submodules contains various extra features not included in the base package, for example QtQuick, support for Wayland, CAN-BUS and so forth. For most parts, building the submodules is quite straightforward:
- download the source for the submodule you require
- extract the archive
tar xf submodule-version.tar.xz
- configure sources
- build the sources
/opt/cmake/bin/cmake --build . --parallel 4
- install the result
/opt/cmake/bin/cmake --install .
The only thing you need to keep in mind is to build them in the correct order to satisfy various dependencies. The following (incomplete at this time) table describes the required dependency submodules and any development packages that are needed and also the build time on various systems.
|Module||Required submodules||Development packages required||Description||
|qtbase||Qt core, start with this||~50m||184m|
|qtimageformats||libmng-dev libjasper-dev||Support for loading various extra image formats|
|qtsvg||Support for SVG vector graphics|
|qtshadertools||Tools for the cross-platform Qt shader pipeline||~12m|
QDoc requires clang to be installed (See section about documentation above):
Various Qt tools:
|qtserialbus||Serial bus (CAN bus, ModBus) support||~2m|
|qtserialport||qtserialbus||Serial port support||< 1m|
|qtlocation||qtserialport||Positioning (GPS) and location (Map) services||< 3m|
|qtdeclarative||qtshadertools||Qt Quick / QML||~85m||~6m|
Note: Part of qtdeclarative submodule since beta 3
For gstreamer backend:
For pulseaudio support:
For plain ALSA:
Multimedia (audio/video) support
|qtsensors||qtmultimedia||Support for various device sensors|
|qtnetworkauth||Network authentication protocol support (OAuth)||< 1m|
|qtconnectivity||bluez libbluetooth-dev||Bluetooth and NFC connectivity support|
|qtvirtualkeyboard||qtsvg||Provides on-screen keyboard||~4m|
|qtwebengine||qtdeclarative||flex bison gperf libre2-dev libnss3-dev nodejs libdrm-dev libxdamage-dev libsnappy-dev||WebEngine.
Has build issues with old gcc versions.
|qt5compat||Unsupported Qt 5 compatibility code.||~2m|
You can quickly configure, build and install the Qt submodules with (why not do it in simple for loop!):
/opt/Qt/6.2.4-armv7l/bin/qt-configure-module . && /opt/cmake/bin/cmake --build . --parallel 4 && /opt/cmake/bin/cmake --install .