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(C++) How to cross-compile a Qt Creator project from Ubuntu to a windows executable: example 15: MXE


This is a successful approach to solve the Qt FAQ How to cross-compile a Qt Creator project from Ubuntu to a windows executable?, following [1].


See MXE for more information about MXE.













Technical facts


Application type(s)

Operating system(s) or programming environment(s)


Project type:

C++ standard:


Libraries used:






Qt project file: CppQtCrosscompileToWindowsExample15.pro


# Project created by QtCreator 2010-09-25T09:43:28
QT       += core
QT       -= gui
LIBS += -lboost_filesystem-mt -lboost_system-mt
TARGET = CppQtCrosscompileToWindowsExample15
CONFIG   += console
CONFIG   -= app_bundle
SOURCES += main.cpp








#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <vector>
#include <boost/filesystem.hpp>
//From http://www.richelbilderbeek.nl/CppGetFilesInFolder.htm
const std::vector<std::string> GetFilesInFolder(const std::string& folder)
  std::vector<std::string> v;

  const boost::filesystem::path my_folder
    = boost::filesystem::system_complete(

  if (!boost::filesystem::is_directory(my_folder)) return v;

  const boost::filesystem::directory_iterator j;
  for ( boost::filesystem::directory_iterator i(my_folder);
        i != j;
    if ( boost::filesystem::is_regular_file( i->status() ) )
      const std::string filename = i->path().filename();
  return v;
//From http://www.richelbilderbeek.nl/CppGetPath.htm
const std::string GetPath(const std::string& filename)
  return boost::filesystem::path(filename).parent_path().string();
int main(int, char* argv[])
  const std::vector<std::string> v = GetFilesInFolder(GetPath(argv[0]));
  std::cout << "Number of files: " << v.size() << '\n';








For installation, follow the approach by described by [1].


In the folder with your project


richel@richel1-desktop:~/2Projects/Website/CppQtCrosscompileToWindowsExample15$ i686-pc-mingw32-qmake

richel@richel1-desktop:~/2Projects/Website/CppQtCrosscompileToWindowsExample15$ make

make -f Makefile.Release
make[1]: Entering directory `/home/richel/qtsdk-2010.04/bin/Projects/Website/CppQtCrosscompileToWindowsExample15'
i686-pc-mingw32-g++ -c -pipe -O2 -frtti -fexceptions -mthreads -Wall -DUNICODE -DQT_LARGEFILE_SUPPORT -DQT_NO_DEBUG -DQT_CORE_LIB -DQT_THREAD_SUPPORT -I'/home/richel/mingw-cross-env-2.15/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/include/QtCore' -I'/home/richel/mingw-cross-env-2.15/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/include' -I'/home/richel/mingw-cross-env-2.15/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/include/ActiveQt' -I'release' -I'/home/richel/mingw-cross-env-2.15/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/mkspecs/unsupported/win32-g++-cross' -o release/main.o main.cpp
i686-pc-mingw32-g++ -enable-stdcall-fixup -Wl,-enable-auto-import -Wl,-enable-runtime-pseudo-reloc -Wl,-s -Wl,-subsystem,console -mthreads -Wl -o release/CppQtCrosscompileToWindowsExample15.exe release/main.o  -L'/home/richel/mingw-cross-env-2.15/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/lib' -lboost_filesystem-mt -lboost_system-mt -lQtCore -lkernel32 -luser32 -lshell32 -luuid -lole32 -ladvapi32 -lws2_32 -lz
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/richel/qtsdk-2010.04/bin/Projects/Website/CppQtCrosscompileToWindowsExample15'



Now the Windows executable can be found in the /release folder.






External links









Thanks to Mark Brand for contacting me: at the first try this approach failed and Mark let me try this approach again.












[1] http://mingw-cross-env.nongnu.org/#tutorial


Step 1: Download and Unpack

First, you should ensure that your system meets mingw-cross-env's requirements. You probably need to install some stuff.

When everything is fine, download the latest release:

wget http://download.savannah.nongnu.org/releases/mingw-cross-env/mingw-cross-env-2.15.tar.gz

and unpack the tarball:

tar -xzvf mingw-cross-env-2.15.tar.gz

If you don't mind installing it in your home directory, just skip the following step and go straight to step 3.
Step 2: System-wide Installation (optional)

Now you should save any previous installation of the mingw-cross-env. Assuming you've installed it under /opt/mingw (any other directory will do as well), you should execute the following commands:

mv /opt/mingw /opt/mingw.old

Then you need to transfer the entire directory to its definitive location. We will assume again you use /opt/mingw, but feel free to use any other directory if you like.

mv mingw-cross-env-2.15 /opt/mingw

We're almost done. Just change to your newly created directory and get going:

cd /opt/mingw

Step 3: Build mingw-cross-env

Enter the directory where you've unpacked the mingw-cross-env. Now it depends on what you actually want ? or need.

If you choose to enter:


you're in for a long wait, because it compiles a lot of packages. On the other hand it doesn't require any intervention, so you're free to do whatever you like ? like watch a movie or go for a night on the town. When it's done you'll find that you've installed a very capable Win32 cross compiler onto your system.

If you only need the most basic tools you can also use:

make gcc

and add any additional packages you need later on. You can also supply a host of packages on the command line, e.g.:

make gtk lua libidn

You'll always end up with a consistent cross compiling environment.

After you're done it just needs a little post-installation.
Step 4: Environment Variables

Edit your .bashrc script in order to change $PATH:

export PATH=/where mingw-cross-env is installed/usr/bin:$PATH

Note that any compiler related environment variables (like $CC, $LDFLAGS, etc.) may spoil your compiling pleasure, so be sure to delete or disable those.

Congratulations! You're ready to cross compile anything you like.
Step 5a: Cross compile your Project (Autotools)

If you use the Autotools, all you have to do is:

./configure --host=i686-pc-mingw32

Don't worry about a warning like this:

configure: WARNING: If you wanted to set the --build type, don't use --host.
If a cross compiler is detected then cross compile mode will be used.

Everything will be just fine.
Step 5b: Cross compile your Project (Qt)

If you have a Qt application, all you have to do is:


If you are using Qt plugins such as database drivers or graphics plugins, you should also have a look at the Qt documentation about static plugins.
Step 5c: Cross compile your Project (Makefile)

If you have a handwritten Makefile, you probably will have to make a few adjustments to it:


You may have to add a few others, depending on your project.

Then, all you have to do is:

make CROSS=i686-pc-mingw32-

That's it!
Step 5d: Cross compile your Project (OSG)

Using static OpenSceneGraph libraries requires a few changes to your source. The graphics subsystem and all plugins required by your application must be referenced explicitly. Use a code block like the following:


Look at examples/osgstaticviewer/osgstaticviewer.cpp in the OpenSceneGraph source distribution for an example. This example can be compiled with the following command:

i686-pc-mingw32-g++ \
    -o osgstaticviewer.exe examples/osgstaticviewer/osgstaticviewer.cpp \
    `i686-pc-mingw32-pkg-config --cflags openscenegraph-osgViewer openscenegraph-osgPlugins` \
    `i686-pc-mingw32-pkg-config --libs openscenegraph-osgViewer openscenegraph-osgPlugins`

The i686-pc-mingw32-pkg-config command from mingw-cross-env will automatically add -DOSG_LIBRARY_STATIC to your compiler flags.






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