Please note that as of October 24, 2014, the Nokia Developer Wiki will no longer be accepting user contributions, including new entries, edits and comments, as we begin transitioning to our new home, in the Windows Phone Development Wiki. We plan to move over the majority of the existing entries. Thanks for all your past and future contributions.

Implementing user-selectable autostart feature in Qt for Symbian

From Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Article Metadata
Code ExampleTested with
Devices(s): Tested on Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia N8
Platform(s): S60 3rd Edition
S60 5th Edition
Keywords: S60AutoStart
Created: treinio (March 05, 2010
Updated: December 10, 2010)
Last edited: hamishwillee (11 Oct 2012)



This article describes how to enable a Qt application to be started during a device bootup process, with the ability to enable/disable the autostart feature dynamically.

Detailed description

This article extends Archived:Implementing user-selectable autostart feature using Symbian C++ specifically for Qt applications. In native Symbian code, it's possible to detect whether the application was started during bootup or from the menu by checking for the existence of additional data defined in the registration resource file. If opaque_data is missing, we know the application was auto-started as these registration files are omitted by the startup list manager.

For Qt applications however, similar implementation is difficult as it requires re-implementing methods from the S60 application framework. As an alternative, it is possible to create a small, native Symbian C++ executable that will be added to the startup list; this EXE will check if the main application has the autostart setting turned on and launches it if it does.


S60AutoStart is a piece of code that can be included in an existing Qt project to add the autostart capability in S60 devices.



  • #Download and extract the ZIP into your Qt project folder (that contains your .pro file).
  • Define the following variables in your .pro file:


  • s60launcher.UID3
    • Specifies a unique ID to use for the native launcher application
    • Same format as TARGET.UID3, value must be different.

  • Add the following line to the end of your .pro file:
  • Run qmake to recreate makefile, then build normally.


After a successful build, the SIS file needs to be signed against a trusted certificate, as required by the S60 startup list manager. Autostart application cannot be installed using a self-signed SIS package.

Implementation details

S60AutoStart uses a native Symbian executable, included in the main application SIS file and added to the startup list. This executable checks for the presence of a c:\system\data\<AppName>.ini file, and launches the main application if it exists.

It's easy to provide a setup UI for turning autostart on/off in the main application using the provided helper functions:

#include "s60autostart.h"
bool autostart = S60AutoStart::IsAutoStartEnabled();
// toggle autostart
S60AutoStart::SetAutoStart( !autostart );
#endif // Q_OS_SYMBIAN

The launcher passes a command line parameter autostart to the application. This makes it possible to determine whether the application was launched automatically or by the user. Parse the command line arguments in main() for autostart string, or simply check if argc > 1.

Notes about backup & restore

S60AutoStart currently uses the c:\system\data folder to store the application startup settings file. This location allows both processes (main application and the native launcher) to access the file without any special platform security capabilities. However, a minor issue is that c:\system\data is not included in the backup process, so after running a backup and restore the application will lose the current startup setting - it defaults to off and must be turned on again in the main application.

If this is a problem, S60AutoStart can be modified to use some other (unprotected) folder instead, for example C:\data. Backup and restore will work correctly for files in this folder, but they will also be visible in the File Manager application.



Simple example Qt project that has a UI to turn autostart on/off

See also

This page was last modified on 11 October 2012, at 01:17.
65 page views in the last 30 days.