Does Kicad run on XP?

I am trying to install KiCad on my lab laptop. It is an old Dell XP machine which seems to do well whatever it was originally designed to do. You may accuse me of being senile for trying to do this but at least the computer does not seem to be. Of course, then there is the question of me judging the computer…:frowning:

I downloaded KiCad onto a flash drive for installation and installed it without difficulty.

When I try to run KiCad on the XP laptop I get error: Kicad%20Launch%20Error%20XP%20Joon%2018%202019a

Is this unworkable or has anyone discovered an easy fix?

How old is your laptop?
If it can boot from USB, I suggest to make an USB stick with Linux Mint and boot from that.

Seems a much better option compared to obsolete software.

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Short answer: not supported.

Longer answer:


Hi, Paulvdh

My lab laptop (not my desk laptop) was new in approximately 2008. Here is the system summary:


When I build and test a physical board, it seems particularly nice to have the pcb software at my fingertips. Much better than visually searching for Q11 in a gerber file or .pdf schematic. But if that will not work on my lab machine I will have to just not do it; maybe figure out something else. I am slightly familiar with Linux (I do think I heard that my old Tektronix oscilloscope my run Linux. In spite of visiting a web page for Linux Mint I am not certain what that is) but don’t want to get into running another OS on that laptop.

Actually I think I have heard that I might be able to run Win10 on it but I am not sure I want to try…

Hi JeffYoung

Thanks a lot for passing on the unfavorable news… :frowning:

If it’s just for viewing files…
You can make a .pdf of your schematic (and PCB layers) and then search for text with any pdf viewer.

In older KiCad versions the text was converted to graphichs elements when a .pdf was made, but in newer versions it is saved as text, and therefore searchable.

For a PC of that era Linux Mint should work quite nicely.
“Mint” is one of the very many different Linux versions (called “distributions”) and it is a version that is quite friendly for beginners.

If you are even a bit curious about Linux, then you can download it, and copy it to an USB stick, and then boot directly from the USB stick. It does not change any data on your HDD. If you do not like it, you can simply pull out the USB stick and reboot the computer and it goes back to your old windows.

Your T7300 is only a little bit slower then my regular PC. Your T7300 has a passmark rating of 1192, while the E6550 I use everyday has a Passmark rating of around 1500.
My trusty E6550 is indeed getting quite old, but most programs (including KiCad) still run quite well on it with Linux. I have not touched a windoze machine in years.

Thanks a lot Paulvdh. OK you have convinced me…maybe I will try it. That laptop was issued by my employer until they obsoleted it with Windows 7. At that point they were happy to let me keep the hardware. Although technically obsolete it is a higher quality machine than this 2014 vintage consumer grade Dell which I bought at Costco. For example the touchpad is much better (it has real left and right buttons) and it fits a real docking station (I have two of those.)

About the .pdfs… A searcheable .pdf would help a lot but I do not seem to get that. …I just printed a schematic E-load2 June 12 2019a.pdf (284.6 KB)
and it does not seem to be searcheable. I use Foxit to read and produce .pdfs and I printed the schematic to Foxit as a printer. I know that Foxit can find text in schematics if it is present as text. So…what am I doing worng?

Added later…I figured I must be missing something…so I found that I could plot instead of print…and that seems to be searchable.!!! When I had earlier seen that my printed .pdf was not searchable I thought that I was stuck with that…

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