Craft is a tool to build the sources and its third-party requirements. It is the easy way to build software.

Setting up craft

Installing python

While Craft is capable of installing a embedded Python version sufficient for most packages, we recommend a full installation of Python. The current version is 3.6. Download Python 3.6+

Setting up a powershell

Powershell is required to be at least version 5.0. If you're running Windows 10 you most probably won't need to update Powershell.

You can check the version with $PSVersionTable.PSVersion .

Download Powershell

Setting up a compiler

Currently Craft supports both the MinGW and Microsoft Visual Studio (msvc) compiler. While MinGW can be installed by Craft, Visual Studio must be installed independently by the user.

Direct X SDK

If you are using the MinGW compiler, in order to compile the Qt5 qtbase package you will also need to install the Microsoft DirectX SDK. Make sure to open a new command line window after the installation for the environment variables to be set.

Installing Craft

  • Start a powershell environment.
  • Allow execution of powershell scripts.
 Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser RemoteSigned
  • Install Craft and folow the instructions
iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString(''))

Using Craft

To use Craft you need to start a Powershell window, point that to KDEROOT\craft and run the initalization script. For example:


This tells Craft about your environment settings (e.g. paths). It will load your configuration from KDEROOT\etc\kdesettings.ini. If there are any error messages Craft will not work as expected. The output should look similar to this one (of course with your paths):

PS C:\kderoot\craft>.\kdeenv.ps1
KDEROOT     : C:\kderoot\
KDECOMPILER : msvc2015
KDESVNDIR   : C:\kderoot\download\svn
KDEGITDIR   : C:\kderoot\download\git
DOWNLOADDIR : C:\kderoot\download
PYTHONPATH  : C:\kderoot\python

PS C:\kderoot\>

Common Craft commands

  • Installing a package and its dependencies: Simply run
    craft packagename
  • Updating an installed package: Once you have packagename built, type
    craft -i packagename
    to update packagename.
  • Updating Craft:
    craft craft

Advanced tips

To build a non default version, append a line to kderoot/etc/kdesettings.ini of form:

category/packagename = branch

For example, to install master branch of kdevelop, the line to be appended should look like:

extragear/kdevelop = master

To find the category of the package you want to install, run this in powershell:

craft --search packagename

The second line of the output will be of form: category/packagename

Using the Qt SDK

This will skip all Qt packages and use the official Qt builds instead. It will work fine for most CMake based recipes but definitely cause problems with QMake based projects. You will of course also miss all patches we usually apply to Qt. This is only recommended when you know what you are doing and you won't get support for in our channel.

To activate the SDK mode adapt the [QtSDK] section in your etc/kdesettings.ini to something like:

   ## Whether to use prebuild Qt binaries.
   Enabled = True
   ## The path to the Qt sdk.
   Path = C:\Qt
   ## The version of Qt.
   Version = 5.9
   ## The compiler version, if you are not sure what to use, have a look into the derectory set in QtSDK/Path.
   ## The compiler must be of the same type as General/KDECOMPILER.
   ## If you are using mingw please make sure you have installed the mingw using the Qt installer.
   Compiler = msvc2017_64


If a package fails to build, you'll be greeted with something like:

 craft warning: while running make cmd: jom
 craft warning: Action: compile for libs/qt5/qtbase FAILED
 *** Craft all failed: all of libs/qtbase failed after 0:07:25 ***
 craft error: fatal error: package libs/qtbase all failed

In order to figure out what failed, grep the command line output above for errors.

Or have a look at the log file located in  %USERPROFILE%\.craft which will contain much more details.

Search for "error", or "error:" in the file.

Using Craft with Qt Creator

To compile from within Qt Creator, I need to set up a kit. This is an example for mingw64.

  • Add a cmake if none is set: R:\dev-utils\cmake\bin\cmake.exe
  • Add a debugger: R:\mingw64\bin\gdb.exe
  • Add a C++ compiler and a C compiler. Both: R:\mingw64\bin\gcc.exe
    • Ensure that the ABI is correctly set
  • Add a Qt: R:\bin\qmake.exe
  • Add a kit with all of the above
  • Use the kit on a project

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