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Autostart Qt applications at boot on Symbian devices

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For implementing autostart in Qt, we need to use Startup List Management API of symbian. The procedure to implement autostart in Qt is same as described in How to autostart an application on boot up in 3rd- Startup List Management API, so this article is, specially, useful to those developer who are not familiar with Symbian.

Startup List Management API

Steps for auto-starting an EXE on boot time in Qt for Symbian.

1. Create an .RSS file in your project's directories.

For example: 06000001.rss

Here a number is used for the name, which is the same as the Package UID (pUID) of the project. This might help later in identifying the resource and is a good reminder when adding the entry in the PKG file. The name is however irrelevant at this point.

Add the following code to the new .rss file:

#include <startupitem.rh>
executable_name = "!:\\sys\\bin\\StartEXE.exe";
recovery = EStartupItemExPolicyNone;

In the code above:

  • StartEXE.exe is the name of the application to be started and this will of course depend on your choice of name for your project. Must be the same as specified for the TARGET statement in the MMP file.

2. Open your .PRO file.

Add the following lines to include the new resource in the build and attach .RSC file to package.

/* the following line is automatically added to .pro file by carbide IDE */
SOURCES += 06000001.rss \
/* the following lines add resource file to .mmp file*/
autoStartBlock = \
"START RESOURCE 06000001.rss" \
MMP_RULES += autoStartBlock
/* following line attach the resource to .pkg file */
symbian: {
/* Add full path of .rsc file which is created at epoc32\data folder */
addFiles.sources = D:\S60\devices\S60_5th_Edition_SDK_v0.9\epoc32\data\06000001.rsc
/*Application can be installed on any drive (either phone memory or memory card) but resource file [uid].rsc must be in c:\private\101f875a\import\ . */
addFiles.path = c:\private\101f875a\import
DEPLOYMENT += addFiles

3. Add one more .pkg file to your application.

The name of the file must be changed when copied on the device. It will always be the Package UID (pUID) (as specified in the header of the PKG file) but without the 0x prefix and enclosed by square brackets ([ and ]). The .pkg files generated by qmake will not be modified by the user. so add one more .pkg file to your application and add content from existing pkg file. Then open your new .pkg file and modify it as follows.

Modify your .pkg file From




4. That's it. Now just re-build the project with new .pkg file and make sure that the new resource file is built and if everything else is ok with the project you will obtain a sis files ready to install on the phone. On the next phone reboot your application will be started automatically.


  • If the EXE exits within a few (about 5?) seconds of starting up, a message is displayed, reading: Unable to start <name of EXE>. Application may need to be removed.
  • There are several Known Issues and Technical Solutions about using the Startup List logged in the Forum Nokia Technical Library. Search for "Startup List" to get an up-to-date overview.
  • Startup List Management API does not work with Self-Signed application. It should be signed with a trusted certificate (Open Signed Online or Open Signed Offline during R&D stage and Symbian Signed when released) even if otherwise the capabilities required for the project do not justify it.
  • The exe to be started must be installed directly from the root of the package that contains the resource file (not accepted from embedded file)

Download Example Code

Startup List Management Example in Qt

See also

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