Qt Signals Slots Threads Example

Connecting in Qt 5. There are several ways to connect a signal in Qt 5. Qt 5 continues to support the old string-based syntax for connecting signals and slots defined in a QObject or any class that inherits from QObject (including QWidget). Connect( sender, SIGNAL( valueChanged( QString, QString ) ), receiver, SLOT( updateValue( QString ) ) ). How Qt Signals and Slots Work - Part 3 - Queued and Inter Thread Connections This blog is part of a series of blogs explaining the internals of signals and slots. Part 1 - How Qt Signals and Slots Work. @JadeN001 said in signal and slots in movetothread: as i know slot will execute on thread where receiver's object is created in directconnection senario. As far as I know this is completely wrong. This is only the case with queued connection. Direct connection will mean that the slot is executed in the thread where the signal is emitted. Signals and Slots. In Qt, we have an alternative to the callback technique: We use signals and slots. A signal is emitted when a particular event occurs. Qt's widgets have many predefined signals, but we can always subclass widgets to add our own signals to them. A slot is a function that is called in response to a particular signal. As you might have seen in the previous example, the slot was just declared as public and not as slot. Qt will indeed call directly the function pointer of the slot, and will not need moc introspection anymore. (It still needs it for the signal) But what we can also do is connecting to any function or functor.

QThread inherits QObject. It emits signals to indicate that the thread started or finished executing, and provides a few slots as well.

More interesting is that QObjects can be used in multiple threads, emit signals that invoke slots in other threads, and post events to objects that 'live' in other threads. This is possible because each thread is allowed to have its own event loop.

QObject Reentrancy

QObject is reentrant. Most of its non-GUI subclasses, such as QTimer, QTcpSocket, QUdpSocket and QProcess, are also reentrant, making it possible to use these classes from multiple threads simultaneously. Note that these classes are designed to be created and used from within a single thread; creating an object in one thread and calling its functions from another thread is not guaranteed to work. There are three constraints to be aware of:

  • The child of a QObject must always be created in the thread where the parent was created. This implies, among other things, that you should never pass the QThread object (this) as the parent of an object created in the thread (since the QThread object itself was created in another thread).
  • Event driven objects may only be used in a single thread. Specifically, this applies to the timer mechanism and the network module. For example, you cannot start a timer or connect a socket in a thread that is not the object's thread.
  • You must ensure that all objects created in a thread are deleted before you delete the QThread. This can be done easily by creating the objects on the stack in your run() implementation.

Although QObject is reentrant, the GUI classes, notably QWidget and all its subclasses, are not reentrant. They can only be used from the main thread. As noted earlier, QCoreApplication::exec() must also be called from that thread.

In practice, the impossibility of using GUI classes in other threads than the main thread can easily be worked around by putting time-consuming operations in a separate worker thread and displaying the results on screen in the main thread when the worker thread is finished. This is the approach used for implementing the Mandelbrot Example and the Blocking Fortune Client Example.

In general, creating QObjects before the QApplication is not supported and can lead to weird crashes on exit, depending on the platform. This means static instances of QObject are also not supported. A properly structured single or multi-threaded application should make the QApplication be the first created, and last destroyed QObject.

Per-Thread Event Loop

Each thread can have its own event loop. The initial thread starts its event loop using QCoreApplication::exec(), or for single-dialog GUI applications, sometimes QDialog::exec(). Other threads can start an event loop using QThread::exec(). Like QCoreApplication, QThread provides an exit(int) function and a quit() slot.

An event loop in a thread makes it possible for the thread to use certain non-GUI Qt classes that require the presence of an event loop (such as QTimer, QTcpSocket, and QProcess). It also makes it possible to connect signals from any threads to slots of a specific thread. This is explained in more detail in the Signals and Slots Across Threads section below.

A QObject instance is said to live in the thread in which it is created. Events to that object are dispatched by that thread's event loop. The thread in which a QObject lives is available using QObject::thread().

Technique roulette casino rouge noir du. The QObject::moveToThread() function changes the thread affinity for an object and its children (the object cannot be moved if it has a parent).

Calling delete on a QObject from a thread other than the one that owns the object (or accessing the object in other ways) is unsafe, unless you guarantee that the object isn't processing events at that moment. Use QObject::deleteLater() instead, and a DeferredDelete event will be posted, which the event loop of the object's thread will eventually pick up. By default, the thread that owns a QObject is the thread that creates the QObject, but not after QObject::moveToThread() has been called.

If no event loop is running, events won't be delivered to the object. For example, if you create a QTimer object in a thread but never call exec(), the QTimer will never emit its timeout() signal. Calling deleteLater() won't work either. (These restrictions apply to the main thread as well.)

You can manually post events to any object in any thread at any time using the thread-safe function QCoreApplication::postEvent(). The events will automatically be dispatched by the event loop of the thread where the object was created.

Event filters are supported in all threads, with the restriction that the monitoring object must live in the same thread as the monitored object. Similarly, QCoreApplication::sendEvent() (unlike postEvent()) can only be used to dispatch events to objects living in the thread from which the function is called.

Accessing QObject Subclasses from Other Threads

QObject and all of its subclasses are not thread-safe. This includes the entire event delivery system. It is important to keep in mind that the event loop may be delivering events to your QObject subclass while you are accessing the object from another thread.

If you are calling a function on an QObject subclass that doesn't live in the current thread and the object might receive events, you must protect all access to your QObject subclass's internal data with a mutex; otherwise, you may experience crashes or other undesired behavior.

Like other objects, QThread objects live in the thread where the object was created -- not in the thread that is created when QThread::run() is called. It is generally unsafe to provide slots in your QThread subclass, unless you protect the member variables with a mutex.

On the other hand, you can safely emit signals from your QThread::run() implementation, because signal emission is thread-safe.

Signals and Slots Across Threads

Qt supports these signal-slot connection types:

  • Auto Connection (default) If the signal is emitted in the thread which the receiving object has affinity then the behavior is the same as the Direct Connection. Otherwise, the behavior is the same as the Queued Connection.'
  • Direct Connection The slot is invoked immediately, when the signal is emitted. The slot is executed in the emitter's thread, which is not necessarily the receiver's thread.
  • Queued Connection The slot is invoked when control returns to the event loop of the receiver's thread. The slot is executed in the receiver's thread.
  • Blocking Queued Connection The slot is invoked as for the Queued Connection, except the current thread blocks until the slot returns.

    Note: Using this type to connect objects in the same thread will cause deadlock.

  • Unique Connection The behavior is the same as the Auto Connection, but the connection is made only if it does not duplicate an existing connection. i.e., if the same signal is already connected to the same slot for the same pair of objects, then the connection is not made and connect() returns false.

The connection type can be specified by passing an additional argument to connect(). Be aware that using direct connections when the sender and receiver live in different threads is unsafe if an event loop is running in the receiver's thread, for the same reason that calling any function on an object living in another thread is unsafe.

QObject::connect() itself is thread-safe.

The Mandelbrot Example uses a queued connection to communicate between a worker thread and the main thread. To avoid freezing the main thread's event loop (and, as a consequence, the application's user interface), all the Mandelbrot fractal computation is done in a separate worker thread. The thread emits a signal when it is done rendering the fractal.

Similarly, the Blocking Fortune Client Example uses a separate thread for communicating with a TCP server asynchronously.

© The Qt Company Ltd
Licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3.


This page was used to describe the new signal and slot syntax during its development. The feature is now released with Qt 5.

  • Differences between String-Based and Functor-Based Connections (Official documentation)
  • Introduction (Woboq blog)
  • Implementation Details (Woboq blog)

Qt Thread Example

Note: This is in addition to the old string-based syntax which remains valid.

  • 1Connecting in Qt 5
  • 2Disconnecting in Qt 5
  • 4Error reporting
  • 5Open questions

Connecting in Qt 5

Palms casino resort restaurants. There are several ways to connect a signal in Qt 5.

Old syntax

Qt 5 continues to support the old string-based syntax for connecting signals and slots defined in a QObject or any class that inherits from QObject (including QWidget)

New: connecting to QObject member

Here's Qt 5's new way to connect two QObjects and pass non-string objects:


  • Compile time check of the existence of the signals and slot, of the types, or if the Q_OBJECT is missing.
  • Argument can be by typedefs or with different namespace specifier, and it works.
  • Possibility to automatically cast the types if there is implicit conversion (e.g. from QString to QVariant)
  • It is possible to connect to any member function of QObject, not only slots.


  • More complicated syntax? (you need to specify the type of your object)
  • Very complicated syntax in cases of overloads? (see below)
  • Default arguments in slot is not supported anymore.

New: connecting to simple function

The new syntax can even connect to functions, not just QObjects:


  • Can be used with std::bind:
  • Can be used with C++11 lambda expressions:


  • There is no automatic disconnection when the 'receiver' is destroyed because it's a functor with no QObject. However, since 5.2 there is an overload which adds a 'context object'. When that object is destroyed, the connection is broken (the context is also used for the thread affinity: the lambda will be called in the thread of the event loop of the object used as context).

Disconnecting in Qt 5

Qt Connect Signal Slot

As you might expect, there are some changes in how connections can be terminated in Qt 5, too.

Old way

You can disconnect in the old way (using SIGNAL, SLOT) but only if

  • You connected using the old way, or
  • If you want to disconnect all the slots from a given signal using wild card character

Symetric to the function pointer one

Only works if you connected with the symmetric call, with function pointers (Or you can also use 0 for wild card)In particular, does not work with static function, functors or lambda functions.

New way using QMetaObject::Connection

Works in all cases, including lambda functions or functors.

Asynchronous made easier

With C++11 it is possible to keep the code inline

Here's a QDialog without re-entering the eventloop, and keeping the code where it belongs:

Another example using QHttpServer : http://pastebin.com/pfbTMqUm

Error reporting

Tested with GCC.

Fortunately, IDEs like Qt Creator simplifies the function naming

Missing Q_OBJECT in class definition

Qt signals and slots tutorial

Type mismatch

Open questions

Default arguments in slot

If you have code like this:

The old method allows you to connect that slot to a signal that does not have arguments.But I cannot know with template code if a function has default arguments or not.So this feature is disabled.

There was an implementation that falls back to the old method if there are more arguments in the slot than in the signal.This however is quite inconsistent, since the old method does not perform type-checking or type conversion. It was removed from the patch that has been merged.


As you might see in the example above, connecting to QAbstractSocket::error is not really beautiful since error has an overload, and taking the address of an overloaded function requires explicit casting, e.g. a connection that previously was made as follows:

connect(mySpinBox, SIGNAL(valueChanged(int)), mySlider, SLOT(setValue(int));

Qt Signal Slot Thread

cannot be simply converted to:

Qt Signals And Slots Tutorial

..because QSpinBox has two signals named valueChanged() with different arguments. Instead, the new code needs to be:

Unfortunately, using an explicit cast here allows several types of errors to slip past the compiler. Adding a temporary variable assignment preserves these compile-time checks:

Some macro could help (with C++11 or typeof extensions). A template based solution was introduced in Qt 5.7: qOverload

The best thing is probably to recommend not to overload signals or slots …

… but we have been adding overloads in past minor releases of Qt because taking the address of a function was not a use case we support. But now this would be impossible without breaking the source compatibility.


Should QMetaObject::Connection have a disconnect() function?

Qt Signal Slot

The other problem is that there is no automatic disconnection for some object in the closure if we use the syntax that takes a closure.One could add a list of objects in the disconnection, or a new function like QMetaObject::Connection::require


Function such as QHostInfo::lookupHost or QTimer::singleShot or QFileDialog::open take a QObject receiver and char* slot.This does not work for the new method.If one wants to do callback C++ way, one should use std::functionBut we cannot use STL types in our ABI, so a QFunction should be done to copy std::function.In any case, this is irrelevant for QObject connections.

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