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Is Qt free for own hobby programs without distribution purposes?



  • Hello everybody,

    perhaps my question is silly but I like to clarify it before starting using it as I never used such a tool so far.
    I´m a programming learner for hobby and I would like to learn a bit as well regarding how to create a GUI for a small program. Searching on the internet I came across Qt as the most recommended one.
    I saw that there are two versions, respectively a commercial one and a free one and I would be interested in using the latter one.
    I read the "Open Source Usage Obligations" and I got a little confused. Is the licensing relevant for using the tool in the first place, or is this relevant for when distributing one´s own product?
    My purpose would be just to install the tool and the libraries, read some tutorials, exercise using the editor and then hopefully create my own little program for testing my skills (as this is a hobby, I would not distribute it).
    Under this premises, is there anything I need to do "actively" to fulfill the open source licenses or I am automatically fulfilling them as I am the only user of it? I´m basically trying to understand if the usage of the IDE&libraries is free itself or not.
    By searching on Internet it looks like the main requirement is to "Provide a re-linking mechanism for Qt libraries", but this if I understand correctly is relevant only if I distribute it, am I correct (as I say, as a beginner I don´t know exactly how this linking mechanism works)?


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Hi and welcome to devnet,

    Yes you can use it for your purpose. The licensing constraints kick in when you want to create a project that you will distribute which is not your code right now.
    You can use Qt under GPL/LGPL without issue for your learning experience.


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