Attention Fedora users: New nightly builds

Today we made some changes to the KiCad development snapshot builds in an effort to allow them to be installed in parallel to the KiCad stable release on Fedora (see also the previous discussion on this topic). To achieve this, the package was renamed to “kicad-nightly”. The underlying packaging architecture is based on the Ubuntu nightlies, which support side-by-side installation since almost three years now. We hope that this will motivate more Fedora users to try out the latest features and help the developer team to find and fix any remaining bugs for the upcoming 6.0 release and beyond.

Installation and updates
If you are already using the nightly builds from the @kicad/kicad Copr repository, your system should be automatically updated to the new packages within the next days. If you prefer, you can also trigger a manual update by executing dnf --refresh update.

If you are a new user who would like to try out the nightly builds for the first time, then you don’t have to worry about this. Just follow the updated installation instructions on the KiCad website.

Known issues and limitations

  1. When you have both the stable release and the nightly build installed in parallel, be extra careful to always choose the correct version of the application to open your projects. Files created with or modified by the current nightlies are incompatible to the latest stable release from the 5.1 series!
  2. It is currently not possible to set the library paths from within the KiCad nightly via Preferences->Configure Paths…. If you need to change them, then you must set the respective environment variables instead (e.g., export KICAD6_SYMBOL_DIR=/home/user/lib/library/). -> This is fixed since March 28, 2021.
  3. Pcbnew Python scripting and plugins should work out-of-the-box. But if you intend to use the scripting interface from outside of KiCad, you will have to manually set the LD_LIBRARY_PATH and PYTHONPATH environment variables to allow the standalone Python interpreter to find the required libraries.
  4. The commands to launch the applications are kicad-nightly, eeschema-nightly, pcbnew-nightly, etc. The binaries themselves are installed to a non-standard location, though. So if you ever want to call those directly (e.g., to attach a debugger), you need to use the full path (/usr/lib/kicad-nightly/bin/kicad, etc.) and make sure that the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable is set correctly (look at /usr/bin/kicad-nightly for how to do this).

Please check out the README for more details. We use it to collect known issues, limitations, and possible workarounds.

In case you are experiencing any packaging-related problems with the new nightlies, leave a post in this thread or file a bug report on our GitLab issue tracker.

And take a look at this FAQ article if you are not sure if the nightly build is what you want or need:

FYI: @nickoe, @SteveFalco