Makes Linux applications self-contained by copying in the Qt libraries and plugins that the application uses.
C++ QMake
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README.md

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This Linux Deployment Tool for Qt, linuxdeployqt, takes an application as input and makes it self-contained by copying in the Qt libraries and plugins that the application uses into a bundle. This can optionally be put into an AppImage.

Differences to macdeployqt

This tool is conceptually based on the Mac Deployment Tool, macdeployqt in the tools applications of the Qt Toolkit, but has been changed to a slightly different logic and other tools needed for Linux.

  • Instead of an .app bundle for macOS, this produces an AppDir for Linux
  • Instead of a .dmg disk image for macOS, this produces an AppImage for Linux which is quite similar to a dmg but executes the contained application rather than just opening a window on the desktop from where the application can be launched

Known issues

This may not be fully working yet. Use with care, run with maximum verbosity, submit issues and pull requests. Help is appreciated

Installation

  • If you believe in dogfeeding, download linuxdeployqt-x86_64.AppImage from the Releases page and chmod a+x it. Then you can skip the following steps because it is a self-contained bundle of linuxdeployqt (made with linuxdeployqt of course)

  • Get and build linuxdeployqt e.g., using Qt 5.7.0 (you could use this Qt Creator AppImage for this)

sudo apt-get -y install git g++ libgl1-mesa-dev
git clone https://github.com/probonopd/linuxdeployqt.git
# Then build in Qt Creator, or use
export PATH=/tmp/.mount_QtCreator-5.7.0-x86_64/5.7/gcc_64/bin/:$PATH
cd linuxdeployqt
qmake linuxdeployqt.pro
make
wget https://nixos.org/releases/patchelf/patchelf-0.9/patchelf-0.9.tar.bz2
tar xf patchelf-0.9.tar.bz2
( cd patchelf-0.9/ && ./configure  && make && sudo make install )
  • Optional if you want to generate AppImages: Download appimagetool and put it into your $PATH, e.g., into /usr/local/bin. Make sure it is renamed to appimagetool and is chmod a+x
wget https://github.com/probonopd/AppImageKit/releases/download/continuous/appimagetool-x86_64.AppImage -O appimagetool
chmod a+x appimagetool
sudo mv appimagetool /usr/local/bin/

Usage

Open in Qt Creator and build your application. Run it from the command line and inspect it with ldd to make sure the correct libraries from the correct locations are getting loaded, as linuxdeployqt will use ldd internally to determine from where to copy libraries into the bundle.

Important: linuxdeployqt deploys the Qt instance that qmake on the $PATH points to, so make sure that it is the correct one. Verify that qmake finds the correct Qt instance like this before running the linuxdeployqt tool:

qmake -v

QMake version 3.0
Using Qt version 5.7.0 in /tmp/.mount_QtCreator-5.7.0-x86_64/5.7/gcc_64/lib

If this does not show the correct path to your Qt instance that you want to be bundled, then adjust your $PATH to find the correct qmake.

Before running linuxdeployqt it may be wise to delete unneeded files that you do not wish to distribute from the build directory. These may be autogenerated during the build. You can delete them like so:

find $HOME/build-*-*_Qt_* \( -name "moc_*" -or -name "*.o" -or -name "qrc_*" -or -name "Makefile*" -or -name "*.a" \) -exec rm {} \;

Alternatively, you could use $DESTIDIR.

Usage: linuxdeployqt app-binary [options]

Options:
   -verbose=<0-3>      : 0 = no output, 1 = error/warning (default), 2 = normal, 3 = debug
   -no-plugins         : Skip plugin deployment
   -appimage           : Create an AppImage
   -no-strip           : Don't run 'strip' on the binaries
   -bundle-non-qt-libs : Also bundle non-core, non-Qt libraries
   -executable=<path>  : Let the given executable use the deployed libraries too
   -qmldir=<path>      : Scan for QML imports in the given path
   -always-overwrite   : Copy files even if the target file exists
   -libpath=<path>     : Add the given path to the library search path

linuxdeployqt takes an application as input and makes it
self-contained by copying in the Qt libraries and plugins that
the application uses.

Contributing

These are my first steps with Qt and with C++ for that matter, and it is stil very young, so I'd appreciate your testing, comments, and (ideally) code review. Please discuss in the forum or using GitHub issues and pull requests.

Projects using linuxdeployqt

These projects are already using Travis CI and linuxdeployqt to provide AppImages of their builds:

This project on GitLab uses linuxdeployqt:

These can be bundled successfully using linuxdeployqt: