Packaging Qt apps for Mac OS X

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Revision as of 12:44, 26 February 2011 by Alex (Talk | contribs)

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Once you got tired of reading and trying to comprehend Deploying an Application on Mac OS X in the Qt documentation, you realize at the bottom of the page that all you have to do is:

  1. Build your application in release mode
  2. Execute "macdeployqt" (see -h for options)

This will bundle all the Qt libraries into the - this will be approximately 40 MB. I guess one could still do the manual process for small applications that do not need all the Qt libraries. Or maybe the unnecessary libraries can be removed again manually?


To create a .dmg we can either use the -dmg option to macdeployqt or use the Mac Disk Utility as described here or here (without the encryption part).

Application and package icon

  1. Create icons with size: 16x16, 32x32, 128x128, 256x256 and 512x512
  2. Paste them into Icon Composer
  3. Save .icns file
    • Note: Icon Composer can also create .ico file but these use different sizes
  4. Edit and add: ICON = path/to/icons.icns[1]
    • Can be wrapped in a macx { ... } contditional,[2] see e.g. qthid-2.2
  5. Ejoy the results:

Note: We can also copy and paste .icns files in/out of the bundle and edit the .plist file.

During runtime the dock icon can be changed by calling QWidget::setWindowIcon() on the main window[3].

Including addition data



  1. Setting the Application Icon
  2. Qt Forum: application icon
  3. Qt is Mac OS X Native

Bundle Programming Guide