Does V5 have to overwrite on install?


I have done that already if you didn’t notice.


Sorry, I didn’t notice. And I can’t find it now, but it’s probably a PEBCAK :wink:


I wrote “I already filed a generic issue about v4->v5 transition” but didn’t give a link. Here it is:


I just installed 5 in a separate folder Kicad5 next to 4.05 in folder Kicad
Both are working side by side at the same time.
Am I doing something wrong ?
Win10 x64


Depends on what you mean by “working”… As long as you don’t use any v5 specific features that affect file format, then it would be ok. But if you added a rounded rect pad to a footprint, v4 will fail to load the library. There are several incompatibilities like that.


There was also a feature request on the KiCad tracker The comment “this feature has been implemented” refers to KICAD_CONFIG_HOME, which was the result of some discussion on the dev list but IMO not a good or even adequate solution.

Sadly, I think the stable door may be closed on v5, but maybe we can use it as a learning experience to get something better into v6. Historically major upgrades to KiCad have always been painful for users who don’t track nightly builds but I guess they are so infrequent people forget the pain :wink:


If they both work, you have definitely done something wrong, they are not supposed to work :slight_smile:

Seriously, it depends also on how you use them, for what purpose. Once you have migrated a project to v5 you can’t edit that project with v4 anymore. But if you keep v4 projects in v4 and migrated or new projects in v5 you should be fine once you’ve got possible issues sorted out.


I only use 5 to make a new footprint using graphic lines + PAD to PAD function.
Now I find that I cannot use the new pads in K4.05 :frowning:
I have a lot of parts defined under 4.05, will they go across ok ?


Yes, all old footprints are completely compatible with v5, if that’s what you mean. If you need those new footprint features the only possibility is to migrate the projects to v5.


is there a you tube video for migration ?
so much easier to listen to a human :slight_smile:


Certainly not, we are pioneers here and we would know already if someone would have done that. The second best option would be step-by-step screenshots. In any case we should map use cases first and wait for response from the installer developers. Some radical changes could be made with the installer. If there won’t be changes before, say, 5.1 or maybe 5.0.1, creating high quality documents would be feasible. On the other hand a screencast video isn’t difficult to make nowadays. Easier than a series of screenshots.


thanks for the support,

which PDF, HTML page can I review for migration ?


This :slight_smile:

First you should decide what you aim for. There’s no one document, yet. We forum users think about this case-by-case basis and a more comprehensive document is still waiting for writing. In this thread there’s enough information to install v5 alongside v4 and start using both. What are your use cases?


There is also this document but it seems to be a work in progress.


It’s the official documented by Wayne Stambaugh (hauptmech’s fork (EDIT: you updated the link to the original)). It handles almost exclusively the symbol library migration, the minimal things to make v4 projects v5 compatible.


To answer again this original question: because the installer is a bit simple. I tried a simple search/replace operation with it, rebuilt and voilà: KiCad5 which doesn’t interfere with KiCad as far as the installation path, uninstaller and start menu are concerned. The environment variables, configuration folder and fp-lib-table are still problems.


Do you consider submitting a PR ?


This is now fixed, should be in the next nightly if wasn’t yet.


Considering we’re now in rc3 phase, I’m afraid our remarks and your proposals won’t be heard, which is very unfortunate. Users who want v4 and v5 side by side will have to “hack” by themselves during the installation.


This is only for Windows so far. Some of the steps might need expanding. But it works on Win7/64 and recent nightly (after June 28). Older nightly builds do not assume the correct default paths, and you would need to setup the paths manually.

Installing KiCad v4 and v5 side by side

Refer to for more details.


v4 installed in default location (C:\Program Files\Kicad)
v4 config is in C:\Users\MyUserName\AppData\Roaming\kicad
v4 environment variables are set to defaults: (C:\Program Files\KiCad\share etc)

  1. Make a note of the current env vars

  2. Delete all KiCad related env vars from system and user environment (Control Panel)

  3. Install KiCad v5 to C:\Program Files\Kicad5

  4. Create a shortcut for v5. The default shortcut will use the v4 config, so create shortcut with
    cmd.exe /c "set ^"KICAD_CONFIG_HOME=C:\Users\MyUserName\Documents\kicad5\^" && start /d ^"C:\Program Files\kicad5\bin^" kicad.exe"

give it a name “KiCad v5”

  1. The v5 installer will have removed the v4 shortcut.
    Create a shortcut for v4:
    "C:\Program Files\kicad\bin\kicad.exe"

give it a name “KiCad v4”

  1. Start KiCad v4 and make sure the env vars are still correct. If not, edit C:\Users\MyUserName\AppData\Roaming\kicad\kicad_common

  2. Start KiCad v5 and check it is correctly setup.