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Paweł Salawa edited this page Jul 19, 2018 · 7 revisions

In case of problems

You can always ask for help at forum.

Automatic compilation (recommended)

  • You will need all the dependencies as described at what you need, below.
  • Then you need to download source code, as described at downloading source code
  • Your source code after unpacking should look like described at source code layout
  • cd /home/user/projects/sqlitestudio/scripts/linux
    • If you want to use your custom Qt version (not the default one used by straing 'qmake' command), then pass the full path to your custom qmake as an argument to script, like: /opt/Qt/5.x.x/bin/qmake
    • This script may ask you few questions (like how many CPU cores would you like to use for compilation), so answer them.
    • After questions are answered, compilation will start and will take couple of minutes, maybe more, depending on computer performance.
  • When compilation is finished you will want to create a ready to use, runnable disribution. Run
    • Again, if you want to use custom Qt installation, pass path to its qmake as an argument to this script.
    • This will take a while and in the end will print:
Portable distribution created at: /home/user/projects/sqlitestudio/output/portable/SQLiteStudio

That's it. You can copy /home/user/projects/sqlitestudio/output/portable/SQLiteStudio directory to wherever you like and then delete whole /home/user/projects/sqlitestudio. You don't need it anymore.

Manual compilation - short description

  • Get a Qt library
  • Download SQLiteStudio sources and plugins, see downloading source code.
  • Setup source directories like described here: source code layout
  • Create and go to directory where you want the output files to be created and call: qmake path/to/SQLiteStudio3/project/directory
  • Then call: make
  • Repeat 2 previous steps for Plugins directory.
  • Binaries can be found in ../output. Enjoy ;)

Manual compilation - more detailed description

What you need

If you're running Linux like Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, or similar, be aware that all dependencies will require a *-dev package, obviously, so C/C++ headers are available for compilation.

  • gcc - 4.8 or later (SQLiteStudio project uses C++11 standard) - all Linux distributions provide it.
  • Qt 5.3 or later (required Qt modules: core, gui, widgets, script, network, xml, svg, uitools, printsupport) - it's usually installed in most of popular Linux distributions, just make sure to have at least version 5.3 (qmake --version)
  • SQLite3 - it's usually available in the Linux distribution. Just make sure to have quiet recent version
  • SQLite 2 - this is an optional dependency, required to (of course) support SQLite 2 databases. Here is a source code (if your distro doesn't provide SQLite 2 packages).
  • readline - for Command Line Interface only. This is available in most Linuxes. Compilation of CLI can be disabled. Click here for more details.
  • tcl - dependency for ScriptingTcl plugin (optional - you can disable compiling ScriptingTcl by editing the file). You get it in most distributions by default, or you can install the ActiveTcl distribution.

Downloading source code

Downloading source code tar.gz package (recommended)

The source code can be downloaded from the official download page:

Downloading from GitHub

Alternatively you can download a current development source code from GitHub..

  • Main source code (the application) and standard plugins:

git clone sqlitestudio

Remember, that this is unstable code, being developed per daily basis.

Preparing source code

Source code layout

bash-4.2$ pwd
bash-4.2$ tree -L 2
|-- Plugins
|   |--
|   |-- DbSqlite2
|   `-- SqlExport
`-- SQLiteStudio3
    |-- Tests
    |-- coreSQLiteStudio
    |-- dirs.pri
    |-- guiSQLiteStudio
    |-- plugins.pri
    |-- sqlitestudio
    |-- sqlitestudiocli
    `-- utils.pri

8 directories, 5 files

During compilation the "output" directory will be created, just next to SQLiteStudio3 and Plugins. It will contain compilation objects in "build" subdirectory and the final executables in "SQLiteStudio" subdirectory.


You need to prepare "build directory" for output files:

cd /home/user/projects/sqlitestudio
mkdir output
cd output
mkdir build
cd build

Project is based on Qt framework, so each project (main, plugins) will basically require 2 steps (don't execute them like this yet, keep reading, we will execute them later, but with some arguments):


Note, that if you have multiple Qt versions installed on your system, you will need to make sure which qmake your running. Test it:

qmake --version

If it's not the one you want to build with, then you need to type full path to the qmake you want, for example:


External libraries, depencencies

Some plugins might depend on some external libraries. If dependency headers and libraries are in unusual directories, you will have to provide those directories in a standard manner for qmake, for example:

qmake "INCLUDEPATH += /my/custom/path/include" "LIBS += -L/my/custom/path/lib"

Don't execute it yet. This is just an example of additional parameters for qmake that you might need later on.

Main project

We will apply what we learned from above:

$ pwd
$ qmake ../../SQLiteStudio3
$ make

That's it! Compilation will start. Compilation process will produce 2 kinds of output files - temporary build files (makefiles, c++ object files, etc) in /home/user/projects/sqlitestudio/output/build and output executables and libraries in /home/user/projects/sqlitestudio/output/SQLiteStudio.

If you would like to build a portable distribution, see this.
The [portable distribution](portable_distribution "wikilink") is a default build mode for Windows and MacOS X. For Linux/Unix the default mode is [unix-like application distribution](unix-like_application_distribution "wikilink"). Click on those links to learn more about them.

To force portable distribution under Linux/Unix you have to add one more option when executing qmake:

$ qmake "CONFIG += portable" .....

This applies for both the application and plugins compilation.

Portable dependencies distribution: SQLiteStudio has couple of dependencies which will have to be shipped together with the portable distribution in order for the application to work. All those dependencies have to be copied into the output directory, where the SQLiteStudio application was created. See List of portable dependencies which you have to copy.

Note, that the path `../../SQLiteStudio3` can be different for you if you decided to use different directories hierarchy. Important thing is to make this path point to the directory where `` file is.

Files in the secondary directory are the subject of interest. You have a working application binary there.

Official plugins

$ pwd
$ mkdir Plugins
$ cd Plugins

and then we go:

$ qmake ../../../Plugins
$ make

That's all. Plugin binary will be placed in /home/user/projects/sqlitestudio/output/SQLiteStudio/plugins

Excluding some of plugins

If you don't want to compile some plugin (for example DbSqlite2, because you don't have its required dependency), then just edit file and remove it from the list.

External (unofficial) plugins

For each plugin you will need to add one build directory more, so it has it's own:

$ pwd
$ mkdir MyPlugin
$ cd MyPlugin

and then we go:

$ qmake ../../../MyPlugin
$ make

You have to repeat the same steps for each plugin directory.

Optional steps

This steps does the final package building or installing:

Linux portable package and tar.gz

To build Portable distribution package go to scripts/linux directory and run If you'd like to use custom Qt installation, please pass full path to its qmake as an argument to the script.

Linux OS managed installation

In case of Unix-like application distribution you will want to install everything in the installation path, by calling in the build and also in build/Plugins directory:

$ make install

Optional compilation settings

Additional paths for headers and libraries

You might want to provide paths for headers and libraries that the project depends on (for SQLite library for example). Here's how you do it:

  • For headers:

    qmake ../../SQLiteStudio3 "INCLUDEPATH += /path/to/includes/dir"
  • For libraries:

    qmake ../../SQLiteStudio3 "LIBS += /path/to/libraries/dir"

Compile-time directories definition

You can pass additional flags either to qmake if you want to define some compile-time values of the application. Here are flags and what do they mean:

PLUGINS_DIR=/path/to/plugins Additional directory to look up for plugins.
ICONS_DIR=/path/to/icons Additional directory to look up for icons.
FORMS_DIR=/path/to/forms Additional directory to look up for *.ui files (forms used by plugins).

Example of how to do it:

qmake "DEFINES += PLUGINS_DIR=/usr/lib/sqlitestudio" "DEFINES += ICONS_DIR=/usr/share/sqlitestudio/icons" \
      "DEFINES += FORMS_DIR=/usr/share/sqlitestudio/forms"

Multi-core CPU

If you have multi-core CPU, you can speed up compilation by passing "-j " option to make, where is number of cores you want to use, for example:

make -j 4

Automatic updates

Since version 3.0.6 automatic updates are compiled always when the portable distribution is being compiled (and only then). Otherwise automatic updates are disabled.

Before 3.0.6:

Prior to version 3.0.6 automatic updates were enabled by default and could be disabled by flag NO_AUTO_UPDATES passed to qmake:


Custom installation directories

When compiling Unix-like application distribution (default under Linux) you may want to specify where the libraries are installed and where binaries are installed. You can do it by passing additional options to qmake:

qmake LIBDIR=/opt/lib BINDIR=/opt/bin

By changing LIBDIR you are also changing a default path for PLUGINS_DIR defined at Compile-time directories definition, so the plugins dir will be a sqlitestudio subdirectory in LIBDIR, unless you overwrite PLUGINS_DIR by your custom path.

Linking with system-provided libraries

It's possible to link DbSqliteCipher and DbSqliteWx plugins with appropriate SQLCipher and wxSQLite3 libraries provided by system. This is a common practive under unix systems to re-use shared libraries.


To link dynamically with system-provided SQLCipher use qmake like this, when executing it for

/path/to/qmake "SQLCIPHER_LIB=-lsqlcipher" path/to/

This will exclude sqlcipher.c from compilation and will link against system library.


To link dynamically with system-provided wxsqlite3 use qmake like this, when executing it for

/path/to/qmake "WXSQLITE_LIB=-lwxcode_gtk2u_wxsqlite3-3.0" path/to/

This will exclude wxsqlite3.c (and other generic wxsqlite code) from compilation and will link against system library.


I get errors from compilator/linker

Answer: Things to check out:

  1. Make sure you have required version of Qt (see dependencies at the begining of this document).
  2. Make sure that you used qmake from the correct Qt installation.
  3. If the error is about sqlite symbol, see if you have sqlite header and library available to the compiler and if the sqlite is in required version (see dependencies at the begining of this document).
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