Installing or Building with CMake

Slint comes with a CMake integration that automates the compilation step of the .slint markup language files and offers a CMake target for convenient linkage.

Note: We recommend using the Ninja generator of CMake for the most efficient build and .slint dependency tracking. You can select the CMake Ninja backend by passing -GNinja or setting the CMAKE_GENERATOR environment variable to Ninja.

Binary Packages

We also provide binary packages of Slint for use with C++, which eliminates the need to have Rust installed in your development environment.

You can download one of our pre-built binaries for Linux or Windows on x86-64 architectures:

  1. Open

  2. Click on the latest release

  3. From “Assets” download either slint-cpp-XXX-Linux-x86_64.tar.gz for a Linux archive or slint-cpp-XXX-win64.exe for a Windows installer. (“XXX” refers to the version of the latest release)

  4. Uncompress the downloaded archive or run the installer.

After extracting the artifact or running the installer, you can place the lib sub-directory into your CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH and find_package(Slint) should succeed in locating the package.

In the next section you will learn how to use the installed library in your application and load .slint UI files.

Building from Sources

The recommended and most flexible way to use the C++ API is to build Slint from sources.

First you need to install the prerequisites:

  • Install Rust by following the Rust Getting Started Guide. If you already have Rust installed, make sure that it’s at least version 1.60 or newer. You can check which version you have installed by running rustc --version. Once this is done, you should have the rustc compiler and the cargo build system installed in your path.

  • cmake (3.19 or newer)

  • A C++ compiler that supports C++20 (e.g., MSVC 2019 16.6 on Windows)

You can include Slint in your CMake project using CMake’s FetchContent feature. Insert the following snippet into your CMakeLists.txt to make CMake download the latest release, compile it and make the CMake integration available:

    GIT_TAG release/0.3
    SOURCE_SUBDIR api/cpp

If you prefer to treat Slint as an external CMake package, then you can also build Slint from source like a regular CMake project, install it into a prefix directory of your choice and use find_package(Slint) in your CMakeLists.txt.


The Slint run-time library supports different features that can be toggled. You might want to enable a feature that is not enabled by default but that is revelant for you, or you may want to disable a feature that you know you do not need and therefore reduce the size of the resulting library.

The CMake configure step offers CMake options for various feature that are all prefixed with SLINT_FEATURE_. For example you can make a build that exclusively supports Wayland on Linux by enabling the SLINT_FEATURE_BACKEND_WINIT_WAYLAND feature and turning off SLINT_FEATURE_BACKEND_WINIT. There are different ways of toggling CMake options. For example on the command line using the -D parameter:


Alternatively, after the configure step you can use cmake-gui or ccmake on the build directory for a list of all features and their description.

This works when compiling Slint as a package, using cmake --build and cmake --install, or when including Slint using FetchContent.


Slint needs a backend that will act as liaison between Slint and the OS. By default, Slint will use the Qt backend, if Qt is installed, otherwise, it will use Winit with Femtovg. Both backends are compiled in. If you want to not compile one of these you need to disable the SLINT_FEATURE_BACKEND_WINIT and SLINT_FEATURE_RENDERER_WINIT_FEMTOVG features and enable the backend and renderer features you choose.

If you enable the Winit backend, you need to also include a renderer. SLINT_FEATURE_RENDERER_WINIT_FEMTOVG is the only stable renderer, the other ones are experimental It is also possible to select the backend and renderer at runtime when several are enabled, using the SLINT_BACKEND environment variable.

  • SLINT_BACKEND=Qt selects the Qt backend

  • SLINT_BACKEND=winit selects the winit backend

  • SLINT_BACKEND=winit-femtovg selects the winit backend with the femtovg renderer

  • SLINT_BACKEND=winit-skia selects the winit backend with the skia renderer

  • SLINT_BACKEND=winit-software selects the winit backend with the software renderer If the selected backend is not available, the default will be used.


It is possible to cross-compile Slint to a different target architecture when building with CMake. In order to complete that, you need to make sure that your CMake setup is ready for cross-compilation. You can find more information about how to set this up in the upstream CMake documentation. If you are building against a Yocto SDK, it is sufficient to source the SDK’s environment setup file.

Since Slint is implemented using the Rust programming language, you need to determine which Rust target matches the target architecture that you’re compiling to. Please consult the upstream Rust documentation to find the correct target name. Now you need to install the Rust toolchain:

rustup target add <target-name>

Then you’re ready to invoke CMake and you need to add -DRust_CARGO_TARGET=<target name> to the CMake command line. This ensures that the Slint library is built for the correct architecture.

For example if you are building against an embedded Linux Yocto SDK targeting an ARM64 board, the following commands show how to compile:

Install the Rust targe toolchain once:

rustup target add aarch64-unknown-linux-gnu

Set up the environment and build:

. /path/to/yocto/sdk/environment-setup-cortexa53-crypto-poky-linux
cd slint
mkdir build
cd build
cmake -DRust_CARGO_TARGET=aarch64-unknown-linux-gnu -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/slint/install/path ..
cmake --build .
cmake --install .