Tag Archives: embedded

Using QtCreator for non-Qt CMake projects with Yocto generated SDKs


Many of the embedded projects I work on use the Yocto Project to create an image for some embedded target. Usually there’s a base system that doesn’t change that often, and then there’s one or more project specific components that runs on this base system.

In most cases those components are can be decoupled from the actual target and target system enough so that the development can be done natively on the developers systems, and then just integrated into the Yocto build once the changes are done. But sometimes it is just more convenient to build and test things directly on the target, or maybe a bug only showing on target needs to be debugged, and then it can be quite nice to use the same IDE I use for most development which is QtCreator. I think QtCreator is quite nice even for projects not using Qt.

The Problem

When using the Yocto Project to build Linux images for a target, you basically get the SDK generation for free. It’s just a matter of running the populate_sdk task for the image, and you get a nicely packaged SDK-installer which contains everything you need to build for that system: toolchain, sysroot and a selection of native tools that might be needed in the process. It also includes a script that sets the shell up for cross-compilation by setting environment variables like CC, CFLAGS, CONFIGURE_FLAGS etc.

This script however doesn’t work out-of-the-box with QtCreator. The issue is that this scripts sets up CC/CXX/CPP so that the machine specific flags are part of those variables instead of CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS/CPPFLAGS, and when you set up the SDK in QtCreator those flags are not picked up properly so the compiler doesn’t generate compatible binaries.

The Solution

You can solve this by manually editing the script, but in the spirit of “fix things once” I prefer to address this directly in the SDK generation. The script that sets up the environment has some support for this kind of modifications by looking in two different environment-setup.d/ directories and pulling in all .sh files in those directories. So all that needs to be done is provide a script that takes all -m<something> options set in CC/CXX/CPP and add those to CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS/CPPFLAGS.

So to automate this I add a recipe to the projects meta-layer which installs this script, and then a small change is needed in the image recipe to pull in this package into the SDK. And yes, the sed part can probably be done in a much nicer way, but it works.


CC_MFLAGS=`echo $CC | sed -e 's/^/ /g' -e 's/ [^-][^ ]*//g' -e 's/ -[^m][^ ]*//g'`

CXX_MFLAGS=`echo $CXX | sed -e 's/^/ /g' -e 's/ [^-][^ ]*//g' -e 's/ -[^m][^ ]*//g'`

CPP_MFLAGS=`echo $CPP | sed -e 's/^/ /g' -e 's/ [^-][^ ]*//g' -e 's/ -[^m][^ ]*//g'`


DESCRIPTION = "Fixes for SDK use in QtCreator"

SRC_URI = "file://qt-creator-fixes.sh"

inherit nativesdk

do_configure[noexec] = "1"
do_compile[noexec] = "1"

do_install() {
    install -Dm0644 ${WORKDIR}/qt-creator-fixes.sh ${D}${SDKPATHNATIVE}/environment-setup.d/qt-creator-fixes.sh

FILES_${PN} = "${SDKPATHNATIVE}/environment-setup.d"

And then add the following line to the image recipe used for SDK generation , to make sure that the script is included in the generated SDKs.

TOOLCHAIN_HOST_TASK_append = " nativesdk-qtcreator-fix"

The End

I hope that this can be of help for anyone wanting to use QtCreator with Yocto generated SDK. I’m might do more tutorial like follow-up up posts on this, where I walk you through the process of setting building an SDK for Raspberry Pi that works with both qmake and CMake based projects. It’s even possible to ship a script that help you set up QtCreator, so you don’t have to click around as much in the UI.