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Create, Build, and Run Qt Projects

Project description

WQt is a Qt project management tool which allows the user to create, update, build, and run Qt projects from command line. It uses CMake to build the project, hence making it compatible with almost any text editor and IDE.


Install from pip:

pip install wqt

Clone the repo and install using setup tools

git clone
cd wqt
python install


In order for this tool to work, the user needs to make sure the preequisites discussed below are met.

  • Install Qt for your machine
  • Add Qt’s bin folder to the path
    • This will depend on the compiler you installed through Qt installer
    • Ex: /usr/doge/applications/Qt/5.10.0/clang_64/bin
  • Install CMake for your machine
  • Install Make and basic C/C++ tools

Project Structure

WQt tries to define a project structure for the user. This is done to organize the Qt code and to make it is easier to build and compile. Any custom structure may break the functionality of the tool and hence should be avoided.

wqt create <qt type>

The command above is used to create a project structure. This will initialize the project will add template files to get the user started. Qt can have multiple type of applications, hence three of these applications are supported: widgets, quick and console. The create command will take an argument of which Qt application to create and one of the above can be specified. This will then create a project structure for that particular application. The basic project structure is as follow:


Configurations and Updates

Every project needs to have some way of configuring properties and this is why there is a properties.ini file in every WQt project. This file is very important because it contains critical information need to make the build, and run possible. This configuration file is different based on which machine the project is created on. Config files’ templates are:


cxx: 11
qt: 5.10.0
cmake: 2.8.0

qt: Core Quick

Looking at these configuration files, you can see that the fields are defined without user needed to change them. This is done because we wanted to have a system where the user creates the project and then it runs immediately. The project -> name field is automatically filled with the name of the project folder. Mac OS needs a bit more information to create a .app file and hence extra fields are provided in the configuration file. Note: These fields can be modified and the project will adjust accordingly.

In order for the new configurations to take affect, update command is used

wqt update

This command updates the CMakeLists.txt file and makes necessary changes to the project based on the config.json properties. This command is a must run for the new configurations to be accepted. Note: it is useful to run his command after cloning a WQt project repo to have it customized according to your machine.

Building the project

WQt provides a way to build the project with just one command. All the build files are stored in the wqt/build folder. This folder is included in the .gitignore by default. After building the project, a bin folder is created to store the executable and all the resources it needs. This file is also a part of .gitignore by default. In the order to build the project, build command is used.

wqt build

Executable details

Executable generated by wqt is platform dependent. This is done to create .app application for Mac OS and normal executable for other platforms. The config.json file has extra fields to specify the configurations for creating the executable for Mac OS. These fields are not need on platforms like Windows and Linux. Update the fields related to metadata in config.json to make sure the file contains the metadata you want not the default one. Also the icon file is also specified in the config.json file. That name is then searched inside the res/icons folder to find a file. So make sure your .icns is placed in the res/icons folder to override the default icon.

Important information

As you all are reading this, you should know that all these commands only work when you are in the project directory. If you are not in the project directory, --path <PATH> optional command can be added to specify the project path.

Run and Preview

Qt is mostly used for creating graphical applications, so it won’t be fun if you couldn’t run and preview the application. WQt comes with two such commands which can help you preview and run your project code. The first such command is run

wqt run

This command will build the project and opens the executable file on your machine. This feature is supported on windows, mac OS and linux. This does not work on windows subsystem or any other linux emulator running on windows.

The other such command is preview-qml. As the name suggest it helps you preview the qml files in your project. For this command to work your project application type has to be quick. In order to find the qml files in your project, the tool looks into the res/qml folder and shows you a list of those files. You can then run

wqt list-qml
wqt preview-qml <qml file name>

As a side note the tool accepts both the full name with extention and without extension.

Other useful commands and features


If an executable is built, this opens that executable. This does not build the project.

wqt open


This command is useful if you want to see which Qt libraries are included in the project. These are the core Qt libraries and not custom libraries.

wqt list-libs


This command is useful if you want to add a core Qt library to the project. The tool will add this library to the config.json file and will update the project for the changes to take an affect. Next time when the project builds, that library is used in the build. There are no checks performed to see if this library being added is indeed core Qt library.

wqt add-lib <library name>


This command is useful if you want to remove a core Qt library from the project. The tool will remove this library from the config.json file and will update the project for the changes to take an affect. Next time when the project builds, that library is not used in the build.

wqt add-lib <library name>


This command is is useful to see which Qt application types are compatible with WQt. It will show the list of those application types.

wqt list-types


  • Version 1.1.1
    • Replaced config.json with properties.ini
    • Added open command
    • Project also updates when build is executed
    • Handles more error cases
    • Separate properties and cmake for each OS and qt type
    • Resource are handled exactly like Qt Creator does

Project details

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