The qmetaobject crate is a crate which is used to expose rust object to Qt and QML.

Programming language: Rust
License: MIT License
Tags: GUI     Qt     Qml    
Latest version: v0.2.8

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QMetaObject crate for Rust

Crates.io Documentation

A framework empowering everyone to create Qt/QML applications with Rust. It does so by building QMetaObjects at compile time, registering QML types (optionally via exposing QQmlExtensionPlugins) and providing idiomatic wrappers.


  • Rust procedural macro (custom derive) to generate a QMetaObject at compile time.
  • Bindings for the main Qt types using the cpp! macro from the cpp crate.
  • Users of this crate should not require to type any line of C++ or use another build system beyond cargo.
  • Performance: Avoid any unnecessary conversion or heap allocation.

Presentation Blog Post: https://woboq.com/blog/qmetaobject-from-rust.html


use cstr::cstr;
use qmetaobject::prelude::*;

// The `QObject` custom derive macro allows to expose a class to Qt and QML
#[derive(QObject, Default)]
struct Greeter {
    // Specify the base class with the qt_base_class macro
    base: qt_base_class!(trait QObject),
    // Declare `name` as a property usable from Qt
    name: qt_property!(QString; NOTIFY name_changed),
    // Declare a signal
    name_changed: qt_signal!(),
    // And even a slot
    compute_greetings: qt_method!(fn compute_greetings(&self, verb: String) -> QString {
        format!("{} {}", verb, self.name.to_string()).into()

fn main() {
    // Register the `Greeter` struct to QML
    qml_register_type::<Greeter>(cstr!("Greeter"), 1, 0, cstr!("Greeter"));
    // Create a QML engine from rust
    let mut engine = QmlEngine::new();
    // (Here the QML code is inline, but one can also load from a file)
        import QtQuick 2.6
        import QtQuick.Window 2.0
        // Import our Rust classes
        import Greeter 1.0

        Window {
            visible: true
            // Instantiate the rust struct
            Greeter {
                id: greeter;
                // Set a property
                name: "World"
            Text {
                anchors.centerIn: parent
                // Call a method
                text: greeter.compute_greetings("hello")


  • Create object inheriting from QObject, QQuickItem, QAbstractListModel, QQmlExtensionPlugin, ...
  • Export Qt properties, signals, methods, ...
  • Also support #[derive(QGadget)] (same as Q_GADGET)
  • Create Qt plugin (see examples/qmlextensionplugins)
  • Partial scene graph support

Requires Qt >= 5.8

Cargo features

Cargo provides a way to enable (or disable default) optional features.


By default, Qt's logging system is not initialized, and messages from e.g. QML's console.log don't go anywhere. The "log" feature enables integration with log crate, the Rust logging facade.

The feature is enabled by default. To activate it, execute the following code as early as possible in main():

fn main() {
    // don't forget to set up env_logger or any other logging backend.


Enables interoperability of QDate and QTime with Rust chrono package.

This feature is disabled by default.


Enables QtWebEngine functionality. For more details see the [example](./examples/webengine).

This feature is disabled by default.

What if a wrapper for the Qt C++ API is missing?

It is quite likely that you would like to call a particular Qt function which is not wrapped by this crate.

In this case, it is always possible to access C++ directly from your rust code using the cpp! macro.

We strive to increase coverage of wrapped API, so whenever there is something you need but currently missing, you are welcome to open a feature request on GitHub issues or send a Pull Request right away.

Tutorial: Adding Rust wrappers for Qt C++ API

This section teaches how to make your own crate with new Qt wrappers, and walk through a Graph example provided with this repository.

First things first, set up your Cargo.toml and build.rs:

  1. Add qttypes to dependencies. Likely, you would just stick to recent versions published on [crates.io](versions).

    qttypes = { version = "0.2", features = [ "qtquick" ] }

    Add more Qt modules you need to the features array. Refer to [qttypes crate documentation](docs.qttypes) for a full list of supported modules. If you absolutely need latest unreleased changes, use this instead of version = "...":

    • path = "../path/to/qmetaobject-rs/qttypes" or
    • git = "https://github.com/woboq/qmetaobject-rs"
  2. Add cpp to dependencies and cpp_build to build-dependencies. You can find up-to-date instructions on cpp documentation page.

    cpp = "0.5"

[build-dependencies] cpp_build = "0.5"

3. Copy _build.rs_ script from [_qmetaobject/build.rs_](./qmetaobject/build.rs).
   It will run `cpp_build` against you package, using environment provided by

Now, every time you build your package, content of `cpp!` macros will be
collected in one big C++ file and compiled into a static library which will
later be linked into a final binary. You can find this _cpp_closures.cpp_
file buried inside Cargo target directory. Understanding its content might be
useful for troubleshooting.

There are two forms of `cpp!` macro.

* The one with double curly `{{` braces `}}` appends its content verbatim to
  the C++ file. Use it to `#include` headers, define C++ structs & classes etc.

* The other one is for calling expressions at runtime. It is usually written
  with `(` parenthesis `)`, it takes `[` arguments `]` list and requires an
  `unsafe` marker (either surrounding block or as a first keyword inside).

Order of macros invocations is preserved on a per-file (Rust module) basis;
but processing order of files is not guaranteed by the order of `mod`
declarations. So don't assume visibility โ€” make sure to `#include` everything
needed on top of every Rust module.

Check out [documentation of `cpp`](https://docs.rs/cpp) to read more about how
it works internally.

Now that we are all set, let's take a look at the Graph example's code. It is
located in [_examples/graph_](./examples/graph) directory.

Before adding wrappers, we put relevant `#include` lines inside a `{{` double
curly braced `}}` macro:

cpp! {{
    #include <QtQuick/QQuickItem>

If you need to include you own local C++ headers, you can do that too! Check out how main qmetaobject crate includes qmetaobject_rust.hpp header in every Rust module that needs it.

Next, we declare a custom QObject, just like in the overview, but this time it derives from QQuickItem. Despite its name, #[derive(QObject)] proc-macro can work with more than one base class, as long as it is properly wrapped and implements the [QObject](trait.QObject) trait.

#[derive(Default, QObject)]
struct Graph {
    base: qt_base_class!(trait QQuickItem),

    // ...

We wish to call QQuickItem::setFlag method which is currently not exposed in the qmetaobject-rs API, so let's call it directly:

impl Graph {
    fn appendSample(&mut self, value: f64) {
        // ...
        let obj = self.get_cpp_object();
        cpp!(unsafe [obj as "QQuickItem *"] {
        // ...

Alternatively, we could add a proper method wrapper, and call it without unsafe:

enum QQuickItemFlag {
    ItemClipsChildrenToShape = 0x01,
    ItemAcceptsInputMethod = 0x02,
    ItemIsFocusScope = 0x04,
    ItemHasContents = 0x08,
    ItemAcceptsDrops = 0x10,

impl Graph {
    fn set_flag(&mut self, flag: QQuickItemFlag) {
        let obj = self.get_cpp_object();
        cpp!(unsafe [obj as "QQuickItem *", flag as "QQuickItem::Flag"] {

    fn appendSample(&mut self, value: f64) {
        // ...
        // ...

Note that C++ method takes optional second argument, but since optional arguments are not supported by Rust nor by FFI glue, it is always left out (and defaults to true) in this case. To improve on this situation, we could have added second required argument to Rust function, or implement two "overloads" with slightly different names, e.g. set_flag(Flag, bool) & set_flag_on(Flag) or enable_flag(Flag) etc.

Assert for not-null should not be needed if object is guaranteed to be properly instantiated and initialized before usage. This applies to the following situations:

  • Call QObject::cpp_construct() directly and store the result in immovable memory location;

  • Construct QObjectPinned instance: any access to pinned object or conversion to QVariant ensures creation of C++ object;

  • Instantiate object as a QML component. They are always properly default-initialized by a QML engine before setting any properties or calling any signals/slots.

And that's it! You have just implemented a new wrapper for a Qt C++ class method. Now send us a Pull Request. ๐Ÿ™‚