The androiddeployqt Tool

Building an Android package involves many steps, so Qt comes with a tool which handles the work for you. The steps handled by the androiddeployqt tool are described in Deploying an Application on Android.

Prerequisites Before Running androiddeployqt

Before running the tool manually, you need to configure your project with CMake or qmake to generate Makefiles and a JSON file (i.e. android-<target_name>-deployment-settings.json) containing important settings used by androiddeployqt.

Note: It is not recommended to modify the androiddeployqt JSON file.

To prepare the environment for androiddeployqt, configure your project in a separate directory than your source directory. For more information on configuring your project, see Building Qt for Android Projects from Command Line.

Command Line Arguments

The only required command line arguments when running the tool are --input and --output. Other command line arguments are optional but useful. The list below is available by passing the --help argument to androiddeployqt.

Syntax: androiddeployqt --output <destination> [options]

Creates an Android package in the build directory <destination> and
builds it into an .apk file.

Optional arguments:
    --input <inputfile>: Reads <inputfile> for options generated by
       qmake. A default file name based on the current working
       directory will be used if nothing else is specified.

    --deployment <mechanism>: Supported deployment mechanisms:
       bundled (default): Includes Qt files in stand-alone package.
       unbundled: Assumes native libraries are present on the device
       and does not include them in the APK.

    --aab: Build an Android App Bundle.

    --no-build: Do not build the package, it is useful to just install
       a package previously built.

    --install: Installs apk to device/emulator. By default this step is
       not taken. If the application has previously been installed on
       the device, it will be uninstalled first.

    --reinstall: Installs apk to device/emulator. By default this step
       is not taken. If the application has previously been installed on
       the device, it will be overwritten, but its data will be left

    --device [device ID]: Use specified device for deployment. Default
       is the device selected by default by adb.

    --android-platform <platform>: Builds against the given android
       platform. By default, the highest available version will be

    --release: Builds a package ready for release. By default, the
       package will be signed with a debug key.

    --sign <url/to/keystore> <alias>: Signs the package with the
       specified keystore, alias and store password.
       Optional arguments for use with signing:
         --storepass <password>: Keystore password.
         --storetype <type>: Keystore type.
         --keypass <password>: Password for private key (if different
           from keystore password.)
         --sigfile <file>: Name of .SF/.DSA file.
         --digestalg <name>: Name of digest algorithm. Default is
         --sigalg <name>: Name of signature algorithm. Default is
         --tsa <url>: Location of the Time Stamping Authority.
         --tsacert <alias>: Public key certificate for TSA.
         --internalsf: Include the .SF file inside the signature block.
         --sectionsonly: Don't compute hash of entire manifest.
         --protected: Keystore has protected authentication path.
         --jarsigner: Deprecated, ignored.

       NOTE: To conceal the keystore information, the environment variables
         set the values keysotore and alias respectively.
         Also the environment variables QT_ANDROID_KEYSTORE_STORE_PASS,
         and QT_ANDROID_KEYSTORE_KEY_PASS are used to set the store and key
         passwords respectively. This option needs only the --sign parameter.

    --jdk <path/to/jdk>: Used to find the jarsigner tool when used
       in combination with the --release argument. By default,
       an attempt is made to detect the tool using the JAVA_HOME and
       PATH environment variables, in that order.

    --qml-import-paths: Specify additional search paths for QML

    --verbose: Prints out information during processing.

    --no-generated-assets-cache: Do not pregenerate the entry list for
       the assets file engine.

    --aux-mode: Operate in auxiliary mode. This will only copy the
       dependencies into the build directory and update the XML templates.
       The project will not be built or installed.

    --apk <path/where/to/copy/the/apk>: Path where to copy the built apk.

    --qml-importscanner-binary <path/to/qmlimportscanner>: Override the
       default qmlimportscanner binary path. By default the
       qmlimportscanner binary is located using the Qt directory
       specified in the input file.

    --depfile <path/to/depfile>: Output a dependency file.

    --builddir <path/to/build/directory>: build directory. Necessary when
       generating a depfile because ninja requires relative paths.

    --no-rcc-bundle-cleanup: skip cleaning rcc bundle directory after
       running androiddeployqt. This option simplifies debugging of
       the resource bundle content, but it should not be used when deploying
       a project, since it litters the 'assets' directory.

    --copy-dependencies-only: resolve application dependencies and stop
       deploying process after all libraries and resources that the
       application depends on have been copied.

    --help: Displays this information.

With a project_name, to build the application package with androiddeployqt without deploying it the device, run the following:

androiddeployqt --input <build_dir>/android-project_name-deployment-settings.json \
                --output <build_dir>/android-build

To build and deploy the package to the device:

androiddeployqt --input <build_dir>/android-project_name-deployment-settings.json \
                --output <build_dir>/android-build --install --device <device_serial_id>

Dependencies Detection

Qt comes with a number of plugins which are loaded at run-time when they are needed. These can handle anything from connecting to SQL databases to loading specific image formats. Detecting plugin dependencies is impossible as the plugins are loaded at run-time, but androiddeployqt tries to guess such dependencies based on the Qt dependencies of your application. If the plugin has any Qt dependencies which are not also dependencies of your application, it will not be included by default. For instance, in order to ensure that the SVG image format plugin is included, you will need to add Qt SVG module to your project for it to become a dependency of your application:

find_package(Qt6 REQUIRED COMPONENTS Svg)
target_link_libraries(target_name PRIVATE Qt6::Svg)

If you are wondering why a particular plugin is not included automatically, you can run androiddeployqt with the --verbose option to get the list of missing dependencies for each excluded plugin. You can achieve the same in Qt Creator by ticking the Verbose output check box in the Projects > Build Steps > Build Android APK > Advanced Actions.

It's also possible to manually specify the dependencies of your application. For more information, see QT_ANDROID_DEPLOYMENT_DEPENDENCIES CMake variable.

Note: androiddeployqt scans the QML files of the project to collect the QML imports. However, if you are loading QML code as a QString from C++ at runtime, that might not work properly because androiddeployqt won't be aware of it at deploy time. To remedy that, you can add a dummy QML file that imports such QML modules that are referenced at runtime.

Deployment in Qt Creator

Qt Creator uses androiddeployqt under the hood, and provides easy and intuitive user interfaces to specify various options. For more information, see Qt Creator: Deploying Applications to Android Devices.

For more information about customizing and deploying a Qt for Android app, see Deploying an Application on Android.

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