Eeschema: how to populate Choose Symbol list


I’ve created a new project with KiCad 5.0. Preferences > Manage Symbol Libraries… shows a wealth of Global Libraries, but a list in the Choose Symbol dialog is empty, so I cannot put even a resistor there. What am I missing?

That is a strange behavior. Maybe a few screenshots would help. (Make one of the lib manager and one of the add symbol dialog.)

In the symbol manager there is a tickmark to the left of every symbol library. This tickmark controls the visibility of the library for eeschema.

It could also be that you did open the wrong tool. There is a add power port tool as well. That one only shows symbols defined as power ports.

After activating the “add symbol” tool you also need to left click somewhere on the canvas. After that a small dialog with a progress bar should open. Above the progress bar it should display the currently processed library name. Does this go through approximately the number of libs you expect it to do?

Above the library list there is a searc field. This can be used to filter the results in real time. Make sure this field is empty.

Do you get any error message when you start eeschema (or kicad it self)?

Today it shows a long list of errors:

10:20:24: Error occurred loading symbol library 4xxx.

Unable to open filename “/usr/share/kicad/library/4xxx.lib” for reading
10:20:24: Error occurred loading symbol library 4xxx_IEEE.

Unable to open filename “/usr/share/kicad/library/4xxx_IEEE.lib” for reading
10:20:24: Error occurred loading symbol library 74xGxx.

The errors are legitimate, as there is no /usr/share/kicad/library directory. Do I have to create and populate it somehow?

You need to install the library packages.


I cloned the libraries into ~/kicad directory:

├── kicad-footprints
├── kicad-i18n
├── kicad-packages3D
├── kicad-symbols
└── kicad-templates

And changed KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR to kicad-symbols accordingly. Much better!

Certain questions remain: (1) it still complains about the lack of MCU_ST_STM32 and some other MCU libraries (STM32 I actually do need); (2) I can’t see environment variables for footprints; (3) I see KIGITHUB variable. What can I do with it?

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