Qt5 for Ubuntu 14.04 on i.MX6

As part of a software project we needed a version of Qt5 built for the i.MX6, an ARM Cortex-A9 microcontroller from NXP (formerly Freescale). As the system was to run a system based on Ubuntu 14.04 building a „real“ deb-package was a requirement so we would be able to use the package manager apt.

Ubuntu has been providing ARM builds for some time now. So in principle a binary build of Qt5 for ARM was already available from the Ubuntu package repositories.

What was not available was a build supporting the graphics hardware of the i.MX6, something we needed as we were going to use QML which in turn needs OpenGL support.

Qt5 provides the possibility to cross compile for various platforms – including the i.MX6 – but this did not really allow us to easily build an Ubuntu package (deb) from the output.

In the end the best solution was to patch the existing Ubuntu package adding a platform description for the i.MX6 making it possible to natively build the Ubuntu package with graphics hardware support enabled on an i.MX6 build server.