Differences Between PyQt4 and PyQt5¶
PyQt5 is not compatibile with PyQt4 (although experience shows that the effort in porting applications from PyQt4 to PyQt5 is not great). This section describes the main differences between the two.
Supported Python Versions¶
Versions of Python earlier than v2.6 are not supported.
PyQt5 does not support any parts of the Qt API that are marked as deprecated or obsolete in Qt v5.0. However it is possible that some of these have been included accidentaly. These are considered bugs and will be removed if found.
PyQt4 supports a number of different API versions (
QVariant etc.). With the exception of
QVariant, PyQt5 only implements v2 of those APIs for all
versions of Python. The changed support for
including the removal of
QPyNullVariant, is described in
Support for QVariant.
Old-style Signals and Slots¶
PyQt4’s old-style signals and slots are not supported. Therefore the following are not implemented in PyQt5:
All methods that had arguments that are usually the results of calls to
SLOT() are no longer supported. There will always be an
equivalent that takes a bound signal or callable respectively.
In addition the following methods have differences:
disconnect()takes no arguments and disconnects all connections to the
New-style Signals and Slots¶
Qt implements signals with an optional argument as two separate signals, one with the argument and one without it. PyQt4 exposed both of these allowing you to connect to each of them. However, when emitting the signal, you had to use the signal appropriate to the number of arguments being emitted.
PyQt5 exposes only the signal where all arguments are specified. However it allows any optional arguments to be omitted when emitting the signal.
Unlike PyQt4, PyQt5 supports the definition of properties, signals and slots in
classes not sub-classed from
QObject (i.e. in mixins).
QtScriptTools modules are not
supported. These have been replaced by PyQt5’s
QtQuick modules. Unlike PyQt4, PyQt5 supports the creation of
Python objects from QML.
dbus.mainloop.qt module is called
PyQt5. This allows them to be installed side by side. Their functionality is
writeInt8() methods all interpret the values
being read and written as numeric values. In PyQt4 they are interpreted as
single character strings.
getSaveFileNameAndFilter() methods of PyQt4’s
QFileDialog have now been
getSaveFileName() respectively in PyQt5.
PyQt4’s implementations of
getSaveFileName() are not supported in PyQt5.
Support for the deprecated
QGraphicsItemAnimation class has been removed.
If porting an existing PyQt4 application then consider first updating it to use
Support for the deprecated
QMatrix class has been removed. If porting an
existing PyQt4 application then consider first updating it to use
PyQt4 implements the
QPyTextObject as a workaround for the inability to
define a Python class that is sub-classed from more than one Qt class. PyQt5
does support the ability to define a Python class that is sub-classed from more
than one Qt class so long as all but one of the Qt classes are interfaces, i.e.
they have been declared in C++ as such using
QPyTextObject is not implemented in PyQt5.
QSet was implemented as a list in Python v2 and a set in Python
v3. In PyQt5
QSet is always implemented as a set.
pyuic5 does not support the
--pyqt3-wrapper flag of
pyrcc5 does not support the
-py3 flags of
pyrcc4. The output of pyrcc5 is compatible with all versions of
Python starting with Python v2.6.
Unlike PyQt4, PyQt5 classes implement cooperative multi-inheritance. In other
words PyQt5 classes always do the equivalent of the following Python v3 code
__init__ methods (where
kwds is a dictionary of unused keyword
This means that those unused keyword arguments are passed to the
methods of any mixin classes. Those mixin classes must cooperate, i.e. they
must make a similar call if they have their own
When using multiple inheritance in PyQt4 it is common to call the
methods of the super-classes explicitly, for example:
class MyQObject(QObject, MyMixin): def __init__(self, parent, mixin_arg): QObject.__init__(self, parent) MyMixin.__init__(self, mixin_arg) # Other initialisation...
In PyQt5 the above would cause
MyMixin.__init__ to be called twice.
Instead it should be implemented as follows:
class MyQObject(QObject, MyMixin): def __init__(self, **kwds): super().__init__(**kwds) # Other initialisation...
Note that if there is no other initialisation to do then the
method isn’t actually needed.
The mixin class should be implemented as follows:
class MyMixin: def __init__(self, mixin_arg, **kwds): super().__init__(**kwds) # Other initialisation...
If a class only inherits from a single class then it can still call the
__init__ method explicitly (although it is recommended to use
Releasing the GIL¶
The GIL is only released when it is known to be needed. PyQt4 always released the GIL when calling Qt.
Object Destruction on Exit¶
When the Python interpreter exits PyQt4 (by default) calls the C++ destructor
of all wrapped instances that it owns. This happens in a random order and can
therefore cause the interpreter to crash. This behavior can be disabled by
sip.setdestroyonexit() function. PyQt5 always calls