Installing Qt and compiling capybara webkit

Brian Matthew Yee edited this page Sep 18, 2018 · 186 revisions

Instructions for Editing This Page

If you don't see your system here and you get capybara-webkit to compile using Qt 5, please edit this page to share your knowledge with future users.

Please do not edit this page to recommend Qt 4!

Qt 4 is several years old and contains a version of WebKit with many serious defects. Support for Qt 4 will be dropped in any future feature releases and is not supported by the capybara-webkit team. If you add instructions to this page, please make sure your instructions build using Qt 5.

Thanks for contributing!

Instructions for Installing

capybara-webkit depends on a WebKit implementation from Qt, a cross-platform development toolkit. You'll need to download the Qt libraries to build and install the gem. You should install at least version 5.0, as the 4.8 series is now fairly old and contains a number of bugs that have since been fixed.

If you get an error when building, along the lines of fatal error: QObject: No such file or directory, you might be attempting the build against an older version of Qt. Make sure that the qmake in your PATH links to the latest version of Qt you have installed. Unistall the previous version if exists.

which qmake # to see where it links
rm `which qmake` # IF it is linking to an old version 

Table of Contents

macOS High Sierra 10.13, macOS Sierra 10.12, El Capitan 10.11 and Yosemite 10.10

Prerequisite: XCode (Version 9.4) and its command line tools. If you need to downgrade XCode follow this link

Install with either homebrew or macports


Qt 5.5 is the last version of Qt that capybara-webkit will support. The Qt project has dropped the WebKit bindings from binary releases in 5.6.

Make sure that you have Xcode installed. Under Xcode preferences locations, make sure there is a version set.

Install Qt 5.5 with homebrew:

brew install qt@5.5

The Homebrew formula for qt@5.5 is keg only which means binaries like qmake will not be symlinked into your /usr/local/bin directory and therefore will not be available for capybara-webkit.

Then add to your shell configuration file:

 echo 'export PATH="$(brew --prefix qt@5.5)/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc

Or another solution, but not recommended because it will break on brew upgrade, is to force Homebrew to symlink those binaries into your /usr/local/bin directory:

brew link --force qt@5.5

Restart your terminal.

After running this command you should get the following output:

$ which qmake

If it doesn't work you can try to create link to the binary folder with ln -s command:

ln -s /usr/local/Cellar/qt@5.5/5.5.1_1/bin/qmake /usr/local/bin/qmake

If you don't want to modify your PATH variable for some reason, then you can also set the qmake path when running gem install capybara-webkit:

QMAKE="$(brew --prefix qt@5.5)/bin/qmake" gem install capybara-webkit

It can also be done when bundle updating:

QMAKE="$(brew --prefix qt@5.5)/bin/qmake" bundle update capybara-webkit


Install qt5 with macports:

sudo port install qt5 qt5-qtwebkit # It's not qt5-mac anymore.

(This seems to have installed qt5 qt5-qtwebkit @5.8.0_0 for me but it built without problem, so the above comment about Qt 5.5 being the last supported version does not appear to apply anymore. Maybe someone with better knowledge about Qt than me can clarify.)

The default location for qt5's qmake is /opt/local/libexec/qt5/bin/qmake. You can symlink it to a place in your PATH. Like:

sudo ln -s /opt/local/libexec/qt5/bin/qmake /usr/local/bin/qmake

If the qmake on path is different, you can indicate the correct one with QMAKE environment variable.

QMAKE=/opt/local/libexec/qt5/bin/qmake gem install capybara-webkit

It can also be done when bundle updating

QMAKE=/opt/local/libexec/qt5/bin/qmake bundle update capybara-webkit

OS X Mavericks 10.9 and Mountain Lion 10.8

Qt Official Distribution

Go to the QT website (general downloads site) and download the latest stable version of Qt.

Open the dmg files and install.

Note: if using the official packages and the Xcode compiler, ensure that the command line tools are installed as well. Otherwise compiling will result in precompiled header errors, and the QT_VERSION_CHECK macro will not be found.


Install Qt via homebrew. Grab latest Qt Formula (newer than this commit: Regular procedure is, first update the formulas, then try installing the built binary with:

brew update
brew install qt

If linking fails, ensure /usr/local/Frameworks exists and that you can write to it, and run brew link qt. If installation fails for some other reason, try building it from source (which can take more than an hour):

brew install qt --build-from-source

Mountain Lion and newer versions of OS X don't include X11, so it needs to be installed from

Video playback (mp4) on OSX requires Qt 5

capybara-webkit does work with mp4 videos on OSX 10.9 Mavericks, but not with Qt 4.8.6, only with Qt 5 (due to the updated Webkit implementation that ships with Qt 5). See this blog post, if interested in the details. Please note that some users have experienced hangs with Qt 5, while others have not. It might depend on your use case.

Qt 5 sadly requires the full Xcode to be installed (> 5 GB), as opposed to previous versions of Qt which didn't. NB: We warn against using tools that try to avoid installing the full Xcode by overwriting system files in /usr/bin, since that has caused problems for other users, forcing them to reinstall OSX.

When installing Qt 5, Qt 4.x should be uninstalled, to prevent interference. You can download the official Qt 5 dmg and install it that way, as previously explained. Once installed via the package, one simply needs to set the QMAKE environment variable and bundle. Or you can upgrade with Homebrew, in the following way:

brew uninstall qt
brew install qt5
ln -s /usr/local/Cellar/qt5/5.4.1/bin/qmake /usr/local/bin/qmake

The last line is to symlink qmake, so that qmake -v will run and report: QMake version 3.0 Using Qt version 5.4.1 in /usr/local/Cellar/qt5/5.4.1/lib. Your Qt 5 version might be more recent than 5.4.1. Also run brew doctor afterwards, to make sure everything is fine.

OS X Lion 10.7


Install Qt via homebrew. First update the formulas, then try installing the built binary with:

brew update
brew install qt

If that doesn't work, try building it from source (which can take more than an hour):

brew install qt --build-from-source


Install Qt via macports.

sudo port install qt5-mac

Debian & Ubuntu

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install qt5-default libqt5webkit5-dev gstreamer1.0-plugins-base gstreamer1.0-tools gstreamer1.0-x

QtWebKit now requires gstreamer; without gstreamer you may get EOFErrors on visit.

Fedora 24, 25

To install using qt5:

 [sudo] dnf install qt5-qtwebkit-devel
 export QMAKE=/usr/bin/qmake-qt5

Gentoo Linux

emerge dev-qt/qtwebkit

Having both qt4 and qt5 on your system at once might cause trouble when compiling capybara-webkit, due to the qmake linking to qt4, when the package dev-qt/qtwebkit was installed for qt5. To resolve this issue, specify the qt/qmake version manually:

export QT_SELECT=qt5
bundle install OR gem install capybara-webkit

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S qt5-webkit

This pulls all the other dependencies, such as qt5-base and openssl-1.0, and some xcb-related packages.

openSUSE Tumbleweed

zypper install libQt5WebKitWidgets-devel
QMAKE=/usr/bin/qmake-qt5 gem install capybara-webkit

openSUSE 13.2, openSUSE Leap 42.1

zypper install libqt4-devel libQtWebKit-devel

CentOS 7

You can compile the source code, but adding the epel repository is way faster and easier:

sudo yum install -y epel-release
sudo yum install -y qt5-qtwebkit-devel
QMAKE=/usr/lib64/qt5/bin/qmake gem install capybara-webkit
echo 'PATH=/usr/lib64/qt5/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bash_profile

CentOS 6.7

Instead of compiling source code, add the EPEL repository and qt5-webkit-devel by performing:

sudo yum install epel-release
sudo yum install qt5-qtwebkit-devel
QMAKE=/usr/lib64/qt5/bin/qmake gem install capybara-webkit

It's that easy! If you want qmake to always work, add /usr/lib64/qt5/bin/ to your PATH variable, such as shown in the CentOS 7 example.

CentOS 5.8 (and possibly below)

If you know how to compile using Qt 5 under CentOS 5.8, please edit this page and add instructions.

Alpine Linux 3.4

apk add qt5-qtwebkit-dev
QMAKE=/usr/lib/qt5/bin/qmake gem install capybara-webkit

Solus 3.99

sudo eopkg install qt5-webkit-devel
QMAKE=/usr/bin/qmake gem install capybara-webkit


On FreeBSD 11.0:

sudo pkg install qt5-webkit qt5-qmake qt5-buildtools
QMAKE=/usr/local/bin/qmake gem install capybara-webkit


The main thing in the installation below is to have the binaries for ruby, DevKit and QT, compiled for the same MinGW version, which in this case is MinGW 4.7 32 bits.

Install the 32 bits version of ruby 2.3:

Install the 32 bits version of DevKit for MinGW 4.7:

Link DevKit and ruby following the quick start instructions:

Download the 32 bits QT installer for windows:

Use the installer in the step above and install the QT 5.0.2 / MinGW 4.7 version.
Add this to your PATH environment variable:


Execute this:

gem install capybara-webkit  

You’ll get an error like this one: No such file or directory @ rb_sysopen - src/debug/webkit_server.exe (Errno::ENOENT)
Go to:


copy webkit-server.exe to a temporary location
Execute again:

gem install capybara-webkit

Before it finishes compiling copy webkit-server.exe to:


After the step above, the gem should be successfully compiled.

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