Configure a Static Qt5 from Source on Ubuntu 18.04 with X11 Support

Compiling & Configuring Qt from Source

Configure, Build, Install & Setup Qt 5.15.2 Source on Ubuntu 18.04 with X11 Support

This tutorial will teach you how to compile from source via CLI (command-line interface) and enable customization for building Qt5 apps on different operating systems andor hardware architectures like RPI400.

When compiling Qt5 yourself, you are empowered with a configuration that is constant throughout the Linux Universe. This process is also very similar with compiling Qt apps on your (AArch64) ARM64 devices like RPi 400, Rock64 & PineBook64.

Note: This tutorial doesn’t include json Qtwebengine

What is Qt?

“Qt is a cross-platform application development framework for desktop, embedded and mobile.” [Qt Wiki]

What is a Static Qt?

In general, a static Qt option includes libraries locally. This aids in having an application run on different versions of Linux distros. When the application is compiled, we check the app with ldd yourapp to list what the binary is dependent on to run. Essentially, the Qt libraries are included in the binary. has a great explanation on advantages and disadvantages of building a static Qt. [At last, let’s build Qt statically]

Let’s Begin!

Remove & purge all Qt packages

sudo apt -y remove qt5* libqt5* qtcreator && sudo autoremove

Download Qt 5.15.2 Source to qt5-sources folder

mkdir qt5-sources && cd qt5-sources && mkdir build-shadow


Verify MD5 hash

md5sum qt-everywhere-src-5.15.2.tar.xz
e1447db4f06c841d8947f0a6ce83a7b5  qt-everywhere-src-5.15.2.tar.xz

Un-tar Qt5 archive

tar xf qt-everywhere-src-5.15.2.tar.xz

Move into build-shadow directory to configure your Qt 5.15.2

cd build-shadow

Install Qt5 Minimal Dependencies

sudo apt update

sudo apt install build-essential libfontconfig1-dev libdbus-1-dev libfreetype6-dev libicu-dev libinput-dev libxkbcommon-dev libsqlite3-dev libssl-dev libpng-dev libjpeg-dev libglib2.0-dev

(Optional) Install VC4 Drivers for RPi 4 type devices (i.e. cortex-a53 & cortex-a72)

sudo apt install libgles2-mesa-dev libgbm-dev libdrm-dev

(Optional) Install X11 Support Dependencies

sudo apt install libx11-dev libxcb1-dev  libxext-dev libxi-dev libxcomposite-dev libxcursor-dev libxtst-dev libxrandr-dev libfontconfig1-dev libfreetype6-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

Configure Qt 5.15.2

../qt-everywhere-src-5.15.2/configure -static -release -openssl-linked -opensource -confirm-license -qt-zlib -qt-libpng -bundled-xcb-xinput \
-skip qtlocation -skip qtmacextras -skip qtpurchasing -skip qtscript -skip qtsensors -skip qtserialbus -skip qtserialport -skip qtspeech -skip qtdatavis3d -skip qtdoc -skip qtcharts -skip qtdeclarative -skip qt3d -skip qtwebengine -skip qtandroidextras -skip qtwebview -skip qtgamepad -skip qtquickcontrols -skip qtquickcontrols2 -skip qtremoteobjects -skip qtwebview -skip qtwebchannel -skip qtwebglplugin \
-nomake examples -nomake tests  -feature-fontconfig -no-feature-getentropy -v

*If you would like to see a full list of options, we can do ../qt-everywhere-src-5.15.2/configure -h

Make the configuration (-j 4 is number of cpus you want to use)

make -j 4

Install Qt5 into: (default) /usr/local/

sudo make install

Note: Check and make sure ./configure has required deps; if you installed the deps, but still receiving errors, remove config.cache and ./configure again.

Tip: If you want to view your configuration summary, you may do so via nano config.summary from build-shadow directory

Update profile to know where Qt5.15.2 bins are

nano ~/.bashrc

Add this at the bottom of your .bashrc file.

# set PATH for Qt 5.15.2
export PATH="/usr/local/Qt-5.15.2/bin:$PATH"

Reload your ~/.bashrc file & create new shell window.

source ~/.bashrc

Verify Qt 5.15.2 has been installed

qmake --version
QMake version 3.1
Using Qt version 5.15.2 in /usr/local/Qt-5.15.2/lib

Build your happy Qt5 app


Financial Support & Donations

I mainly debug code, drive, yak shave and deep dive into research for Linux base operating systems.

I am a Free Software Associate (FSF), privacy advocate and Cosmopolitan that enjoys philosophie, meta-physics, hacking and debugging computer hardware/software.