Creating Devices with Qt

Quick Start 1-2-3: Here’s how you do it.

1. Evaluate

Select Your Reference Board

For quickly getting started or evaluating Qt, we recommend using the pre-built Boot to Qt software stack. The stack is based on Embedded Linux and is built using the Yocto Project tooling for easy customization later on. With the stack, you get a real embedded environment out-of-the-box that runs on a variety of supported hardware.

Reference Target Devices

Install Your Qt Evaluation Package on the Board

Download Qt using the online installer. The installer lets you select your development board and gives you a deployment wizard to immediately initialize your hardware with the Boot to Qt image. Qt Creator IDE is already configured to work with the stack, so after installation you are fully up and running with Qt on your board.

Request a free Qt evaluation package for device creation. Carefully follow the installation instructions. The Boot to Qt image comes pre-loaded with the Qt demo launcher, so you can see examples of various Qt libraries and solutions in action.

Start Exploring the Workflow

Get creative with Qt. Explore the libraries, play around with Qt Quick GUIs and start building your own software content. To get started with Qt programming, see the Getting Started documentation.

2. Develop

Write Your Application

Qt Creator IDE is a full development environment designed to make your Qt application development as seamless as possible. Design your UI visually, write your code, and best of all: deploy directly to your embedded or mobile device with just one click. On top of that, Qt Creator IDE provides you with professional on-device debugging and profiling features.


  • With Qt Libraries, you get over 1000 C++ classes for creating all layers of your application logic from data access to hardware communications all the way to GUI creation.
  •  To let you focus even more on the application content and not the embedded environment, we give you additional libraries and solutions.
  • If you hit any obstacles, our The Qt Company support team is always there to help you, whether it’s an issue about using the Qt libraries or a possible bug that requires patching.
  • If you need help with the actual Qt implementation, want to externalize the whole application development or just want to be trained in the best practices, we offer Qt Services – a great team of Qt engineers happy and ready to assist you.
  • If you want to do usability testing with end users during your development process, you can take your cross-platform Qt application to a handheld tablet and do rapid prototyping on mobile OSs without needing to have your embedded hardware in place.

Build Your Hardware

Parallel to your software development, you naturally design and develop your production hardware. As Qt libraries, tools and development workflow are platform independent, the application software is not hard-bound to the hardware you end up using.

The applications work as-is cross-platform, but naturally, additional hardware specific drivers within your software stack need to be custom-written. When the hardware is ready, it is time to take your prototyping software stack and integrate that into your hardware.

Customize Your Software Stack for Your Hardware

Whatever your approach is, your Qt application itself does not need heavy modifications – Qt code runs as-is regardless of the platform. Naturally, connecting into custom hardware peripherals and drivers is something you need to do specifically for your product hardware. We give you a few different options for productizing your device stack:
Take Boot to Qt as-is

This is especially ideal if you are building small batch devices. Just take the stack as-is for any of the supported development boards and focus purely on application content on top of the generic Boot to Qt solution, optimized to run Qt!
Customize Boot to Qt

The Boot to Qt stack is built using the Yocto Project tooling with our proprietary recipes that provide a good starting point for your custom operating system stack. Our Qt Services team is also ready to help you with building and customizing the stack for you, optimized to your liking.
Configure Qt manually on an existing OS stack

Qt can be manually configured and compiled for a large amount of different hardware and OS combinations. After cross-compiling the libraries you can configure Qt Creator IDE to directly utilize your own embedded tool chains.

3. Productize & Go To Market


Launching a product internationally can be challenging, especially regarding internationalization and localization. Qt simplifies this with its complete tooling offer, for instance Qt Linguist.

Long-Term Support

Once your product is in the market and your software is in maintenance mode, we still want to give you the best support to guarantee long-term lifespan. With Qt, you will get:
  • Constantly updated bleeding edge application framework with bi-annual feature updates and bug fixes
  • Two years of official support from The Qt Company for each Qt version
  • Possibility to expand your product offering to new platforms, like mobile operating systems by simply reusing the same Qt code base

Quick Links

Get started
Qt for Application Development
Customer Stories: Embedded Devices
Qt for Mobile App Development
Qt Training
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