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Qt "is a cross-platform application framework that is widely used for developing application software that can be run on various software and hardware platforms with little or no change in the underlying codebase, while still being a native application with the capabilities and speed thereof".

For Geant4, the Qt headers and libraries are required in order to allow visualisation and interaction through the Qt user interface.


Source URL
Installed Production version 
5.6.0 (13 May 2016)
Source code 
Installed Development version 
5.8.0 (20 October 2017)
Central Repository

Installation Notes

Geant4 supports Qt 4.6 or higher (Qt 4.8 or higher on Mac).

Qt is available in a number of different versions and with a vast array of submodules. Only the "qtbase" submodule is required to compile all the elements required for Geant4. The various different installer and source code options can be found at:

For installation, Qt does not support installation into a sandbox directory (i.e. there are no options prefix or DESTDIR defined for command make install) and must be given the installation directory with the -prefix option. As such, to recompile Qt for different target directories, the configure script must be rerun with a modified -prefix /path/to/dest option. This has to be managed manually as can be seen in the installation commands below.

The tarball extracts to a rather long folder name. To follow the installation commands below, rename this to src/qt-5.6.0.

Some instructions on the correct package to download and the various compilation flags were provided by Ben Morgan at Warwick, along with this configuration script:


When downloading software, the downloaded tarball (or other Zip archive) should be placed in an appropriately named directory in /unix/pbt/software/src: the instructions below assume that the directory is /unix/pbt/software/src/qt.

The source code should then be extracted into a suitable subdirectory in /unix/pbt/software/build. The extracted source code directory can only be deleted once the software has been built and installed.

Installation from Central Repository

After the latest version has been pulled from its central repository and placed within /unix/pbt/software/src/qt, create a build directory within the PBT software directory from which you can compile the code:

cd /unix/pbt/software/build/
mkdir qt-5.8.0
cd qt-5.8.0

Qt is then compiled using its /configure script with the following options. Note: Here, the software is to be installed into the development software directory using the command -prefix /unix/pbt/software/dev/qt-5.8.0. Define this as appropriate for your system.

../../src/qt/configure -prefix /unix/pbt/software/dev/qt-5.8.0 -verbose -release -opensource -confirm-license -system-zlib -qt-libpng -qt-libjpeg -qt-freetype -qt-pcre -nomake tests -nomake examples -pkg-config -c++std c++14 -qt-xcb -fontconfig -system-freetype

Note: the installation options used here are specific to Qt v5.8.0 and are taken from Ben Morgan's script. If installing a different version of Qt, it is likely that the configuration options may need to be different for your system.

Qt can then be compiled and installed using the usual commands:

make install

Installation from source code

Source Code Extraction

cd /unix/pbt/software/src/geant4-prerequisites/qt
tar -xvz -f qtbase-opensource-src-5.6.0.tar.gz
mv qtbase-opensource-src-5.6.0 qt-5.6.0

Build And Install

It is possible to build for the Production environment without deleting the Qt build directory created for the Development installation, meaning that significant time is saved when running make. However, it isn't recommended to do so as the Production installation ends up referencing components within /unix/pbt/software/dev which is not desirable as the two environments are no longer independent. As such, these instructions assume one is building from scratch for each environment: to do so, make sure that the build/qt directory is deleted before recreating it for the subsequent build and install.

Also, although it is possible to install straight to the Production environment, it is highly discouraged to do so without first compiling a Development version.

Development Environment
cd /unix/pbt/software/build
mkdir -pv qt/qt-5.6.0
cd qt/qt-5.6.0
../../../src/geant4-prerequisites/qt/qt-5.6.0/configure -prefix /unix/pbt/software/dev/qt-5.6.0 -release -opensource -confirm-licence -nomake tests -nomake examples -optimized-qmake -opengl -qt-xcb
make install
Production Environment
cd /unix/pbt/software/build
mkdir -pv qt/qt-5.6.0
cd qt/qt-5.6.0
../../../src/geant4-prerequisites/qt/qt-5.6.0/configure -prefix /unix/pbt/software/prod-sl6 -release -opensource -confirm-licence -nomake tests -nomake examples -optimized-qmake -opengl -qt-xcb
make install
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