Originally developed for the automotive industry, QR codes are gradually gaining popularity in other industries, thanks to their high readability and the capacity to store more data.
As a result, today you will find QR codes in action in various applications. Whether it’s sharing vCards and Wi-Fi passwords or facilitating wireless payments, sharing app download links or redirecting people to websites, QR codes can do almost anything.
However, to get a QR code to do any of these things, you need a QR code generator: a tool that can add information to QR codes. Here are some of the best QR code generators for Linux.
1. qren code
qrencode is a CLI based QR code generator for Linux. It uses the libqrencode library to encode data in QR code symbols as a bitmap array. Once a code is generated, it is saved as a PNG image file, which you can then share or use as you wish.
Using qrencode is quite simple. All you need to do to generate QR codes is run a few simple commands in the terminal. But since qrencode offers so many options: error correction level, size, file type, etc., and you can do a lot with it, getting your head around all these options can be daunting. For such moments, you can use the qren code –help command to look up all available options and their usage.
What stands out about qrencode, compared to most other QR code generators, is that it offers several advanced features, through which you can use it not only to generate basic text QR codes, but also QR codes for SMS prompts, WhatsApp prompts, vCard and much more.
Follow the installation instructions below to get qrencode on your Linux machine.
sudo apt install qrencode
On Arch Linux:
sudo pacman -S qrencode
On Fedora, CentOS or RHEL:
sudo dnf install qrencode
2. QR Code Generator
QR Code Generator (by Studio La Cosa Nostra) is a simple QR generator software at its core. It is completely GUI based and quite easy to use. One of the things that stand out about this software is its live preview feature, which changes the structure of the QR code as you enter text into it.
But that said, QR Code Generator is quite simple and ideal for text-based QR code generation only. Unlike most other tools, it only offers two additional options: the ability to select the width of the QR code and a quick save button to save your QR code as a PNG file, which in some ways meaning its use is limited.
Install QR Code Generator on Linux
QR Code Generator is available as an AppImage and as a Snap package on Linux. If Snap is present on your machine, you can get the QR code generator on it by running the following command in a terminal:
sudo snap install qr-code-generator-desktop
If you don’t have Snap, you can also install it first using our Snap guide or download the AppImage for QR Code Generator.
to download: QR Code Generator AppPicture
After this, go to the folder where you downloaded it and right click on the AppImage. Select Propertiesand on the Properties window, click on the rights tab.
Finally, check the box next to Allow to run a file as a program if you are using a Nautilus based file manager. On Dolphin, tick the . at Is executable option and change the to carry out dropdown to Everybody on PCManFM.
Finally, double tap the AppImage to run it.
Decoder is advanced QR code generation software for Linux. Similar to the QR code generator, it also gives you a live preview of the QR code when you type the text you want. After you have generated a QR code, you can save or export it. All your stored codes are listed under the History tab and can be accessed at any time.
However, what sets Decoder apart from the QR code generator is its built-in Wi-Fi QR code generator functionality that takes input in the form of network name, password and encryption and generates a QR code from it.
Not only that, Decoder can also scan QR codes, so you don’t need to download any other tool for it on your computer. To do this, Decoder relies on your webcam as well as screenshots. So if you go to the Scan tab on the app, Decoder will ask you to choose a method, then you need to take the appropriate steps to scan the QR code.
Decode is available as a flat pack. To install it, you must first install Flatpak on your Linux machine.
Once Flatpak is installed, open the terminal and run the following command to install Decoder:
flatpak install flathub com.belmoussaoui.Decoder
QtQR is Qt-based QR code generation and decoding software on Linux. It is the most advanced GUI based QR code generator in this list that gives you the ability to generate QR codes for various data types ranging from text and URL to SMS, Wi-Fi, geolocation and much more.
Likewise, QtQR allows you to change various QR code parameters, such as pixel size, margin size, and the error correction level, before generating a QR code. And it even includes a built-in decoder that allows you to scan QR codes.
With regard to scanning, QtQR offers you two options: Decrypt from file and Decoding from webcam, which you can choose accordingly to decode any QR code. Once QtQR decodes the code, it executes the content, with a few relevant action options, in the main window, which you can use as you wish.
How to Install QtQR on Linux
QtQR is quite old software and therefore you can find it at most package managers. So open the package manager on your Linux machine, find QtQR and install it.
You can also go to Launch pad to find a QtQR release, download it and install it from the command line.
Zint is yet another CLI based QR code scanner for Linux. However, if you’re running a Qt-based distro on your machine, you can access the GUI too, in case you prefer that. Note that you need to install Qt libraries on your system if you want to use Zint in GUI mode.
Of all the QR code generators on this list, Zint is probably the only tool that offers so many features and options while being both CLI and GUI friendly. Whether it’s setting the code’s appearance or entering different types of data, Zint can handle almost all types of operations.
Adding further to Zint’s advantage is its support for over 50 different symbology, allowing you to use it for more than just QR code generation.
Install Zint on Linux
Zint is available as a TAR package. So first download the archive on your computer.
to download: Zint
Then go to the Downloads folder and extract the file. Open the terminal and navigate to the extracted Zint folder using the cd command and the ls command. Now enter the following commands to install it:
If you get error codes when running these commands, make sure you: cmake, libpngand libpng-devel packages installed on your system before trying again.
Effortlessly generate QR codes on Linux
We’ve already established how useful QR codes can be. On Linux, it’s easy to find the right QR code generator for your requirements, and you can use multiple tools to effortlessly generate QR codes on your Linux machine.
If some of these tools seem very basic to you, while others seem intimidating, you can also try an online QR code generator instead.