Select the build system

You can use several build systems to build your projects:

  • CMake is a cross-platform system for build automation that helps simplify the build process for development projects across different platforms. It automates the generation of build configurations. For more information, see CMake.
  • qmake is an alternative to CMake for automating the generation of build configurations. Qt installers install and configure qmake. To use one of the other supported build systems, you need to set it up.
  • Meson is a fast and user-friendly open-source build system that aims to minimize the time developers spend writing or debugging build definitions and waiting for the build system to start compiling code. For more information, see Meson.
  • Qbs is an all-in-one build tool that generates a build graph from a high-level project description (like qmake or CMake do) and executes the commands in the low-level build graph (like make does). For more information, see Build Systems: Qbs.

Typically, you select the build system when you create a project.

Migrate to another build system

To export a project to some other build system, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, select Build > Run Generator, and select a generator in the list. Qt Creator generates the build files, such as .vcxproj, in the project's build directory.

The tool that you use to build the project (qmake or CMake) provides the generators. Their availability depends on the version of the build tool, host platform, and properties of the host system. Also, a JSON compilation database generator is available if the Clang Code Model plugin is enabled (default).

Set preferences for building and running

To change the location of the project directory, and to specify settings for building and running projects, select Preferences > Build & Run > General.

Specify build and run settings for different target platforms, in the Projects mode.

See also Configure projects for building, Configure projects for running, Reference: Build Systems, and Use project wizards.

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