[Linaro-dev] Embedded Qt (QWS) packages

Alexandros Frantzis alexandros.frantzis at linaro.org
Fri Jun 25 11:00:48 BST 2010

Hi all!

As part of the User Platform team's exploration of non X11-based graphical
environments I have started experimenting with the QWS variant of the Qt
library (also known as Qt/Embedded).

Qt/QWS offers the ability to render graphics directly on a Linux framebuffer
without the need for X11 or any other windowing system. It provides its own
simple windowing system, which is (unsurprisingly) called the Qt Windowing
System (QWS).

The Qt/QWS variant is mostly API compatible with Qt/X11, except for some X11
specific functions and some missing libraries (eg QtOpenGL). Most Qt programs
should build without problems with Qt/QWS. Note, however, that Qt/QWS is *not*
ABI compatible with Qt/X11.

Qt/QWS has been tested successfully on the x86 architecture under both X11
(using the QVFB virtual framebuffer) and the Linux framebuffer. Tests for the
ARM architecture are under way. If you test the libraries on ARM please let
us know how it went!

You can find installation and usage instructions at:


You can also find some screenshots at:


If you have any issues or questions don't hesitate to contact me!

As a side note, the next generation of Embedded Qt, called (for now)
project Lighthouse, is planned for Q1 2011 and is going to improve on
QWS by offering support for hardware acceleration and a plugin
architecture for windowing systems (instead of just a built-in one). We
are keeping an eye on that and are planning to eventually provide
experimental packages for Lighthouse.


More information about the Linaro-dev mailing list