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I work for a company in which I'm developing a Qt application. So when I install Qt using the online installer it asks me to mark a checkbox saying

I am an individual person not using Qt for any company

https://computerscience.chemeketa.edu/guides/qtcreator-setup/oslicense.png

which is kinda uncomfortable to me. I have the impression I'm doing something wrong here. So what's the correct approach to use Qt while working for a company?

And what's the correct approach to use Qt for free? Should I avoid using the online installer (to avoid the checkbox)?

Should I get Qt source code and build it? Should I install using vcpkg?

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  • Is this application for internal company use or for distribution to people outside the company? May 6 at 21:27
  • Distribution outside the company
    – KcFnMi
    May 6 at 23:50
  • 1
    I think you can proceed even if you don't check the checkbox - you just need to enter something in the "company name" box if you don't check it.
    – Smitop
    May 7 at 0:32

1 Answer 1

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Qt is a whole ecosystem which comes with development tools, libraries, frameworks which do not all use the same license options. Often they offer two: an open source license under GPL or LGPL, and a proprietary license.

That said, of course you can use Qt in a company project. All you have to do is abide by the license you choose. Thus you have to make a choice:

  • use Qt under (usually) GPL royalty-free, and accept that you can only distribute your software under GPL, too.

  • purchase a proprietary license which allows you to distribute your software under whatever license you like.

Either case: Check the licenses of the individual modules you plan to use (many are available under GPL, some LGPL, maybe there are a few different ones; iirc a proprietary license is available for each). And then make an informed decision. Choose to buy a proprietary license if you are not comfortable to release your Qt-based software under terms of the GPL. The decision process is not different whether you work privately on the software or in a company - yet maybe it impacts the price of the proprietary license option.

Check the license options for each feature of Qt in an overview: https://www.qt.io/product/features

EDIT to add and IANAL: Thus if you want it free-of-charge, it depends: Your software likely must also remain open source, thus GPL-licensed when developing with Qt. Additionally and especially in the development tool section there then will be a few modules which you cannot use as they have no open source license. However all base packages of the framework seem to be under LGPL. So with some care one might be able to produce a binary which only makes use of LGPL-licensed libraries and thus could be licensed proprietarily provided you abide by the LGPL requirements, especially to allow replacement of those linked libraries to your customers by one of their choice.

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  • I checked the link, seems what I'm interested is LGPL - to keep my company's project source code closed. In that case I cannot distribute the application binary packaged with Qt Installer Framework, right?
    – KcFnMi
    May 6 at 13:12

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