Footprint libraries

Is there a list of repositories? I have found freetronics, but I am constantly making my own footprints for relatively basic components (like fuses) and would like to install more.

Where do I find all the footprints possible?

Is there a plugin for kicad that can find footprints?

I don’t know about third party libs. (I think there is a post on this somewhere where a user advertised a huge unsorted lib. Maybe this is what you are looking for.)

Maybe give some information about what you are looking for. This helps us narrow down how we can help.

I can help you with the official lib. You might not have all available libs in your fp-lib-table. Below i give details of how to update the list of footprint libs.

In kicad you have two options where your libs live.
Either you get them directly from github or you use a local setup.
(The only difference in the workflow is if you select save local copy. And in the first time setup of local libs you need to delete the online libs first from your fp-lib-table)

For updating the list, open the lib wizard, select github as source and press next. An updated list of available repos will be loaded. Select all (or only the once you need. Depends on you) and finish the dialog. (At the end select add to global list.)

Additional information not directly answering your current question:
Something similar is true with symbol libs. Here not all libs you get with your installation are added automatically to new projects. If you want i can go into details of how to add them.

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I was using an older (2014) version of kicad but my old computer is not working anymore. I recently have upgraded. Hopefully the libraries are more complete. I built from source because there were no ubuntu packages for my platform (arm64)

It takes 3.5gb of ram to link pcbnew?? Why? I think linking is O(n log n) not to mention ram usage. Could this be broken up? I had to plug in an external hd and make a swap file.

I am still attempting to download kicad-library (it takes many hours and about 100 resume download attempts it’s at 36%). I think github is not an option as a source for me, because I don’t always have internet, and when I do it is very unreliable and slow. I typically cannot clone repositories that are more than a few megabytes because it will time out.

I think the library is twice as big from 4.0.5 to 4.0.6 because of 3d models?? Could this be a separate package? I don’t even have hardware opengl (it’s software rendered) my platform only has opengles.

I think I am looking for the huge unsorted list if possible. It would be interesting to look through. Do you know which post?


Have a look at the download page:
As far as i know ubuntu is quite well supported.

partly i think

We started separating the 3d files from the main lib. I don’t know if kicad v5 will use the separated repo or if we need to stick with the current repo.

I can’t find the post i had in mind. This is the best post i found.

@seandepagnier said arm64, not amd64. Is there an “official” arm64 release of KiCad yet?

So is there a solution for a big repository of library foot prints and symbols?

Not really.

The official libs are as big as possible and as vetted as possible.
Everything else you come across will be less usable.

The KiCAD devs and librarians work on getting the symbols into the same system as the footprints, while also bringing the github can-of-worms under control, but it’s not here yet.

Still it seems like my installations are not that good Yes I get some default libraries but for all my project 95% of the IC’s schematic symbols are not available (again maybe it’s my deafult installation and I missed a step to add every single library) such as MDBT42Q(nrf52832 bluetooth mcu SOC) AP2112K, MCP73831T, OVC3860,lm2591, and many more…

I guess this is the #1 FAQ. KiCad doesn’t have a lot of components in the official libraries… if they are not there, you have to make them.

MCP73831 is in battery_management.lib

Don’t have that library.

But these are pretty known components and I don’t wanna waste all of my time designing some foot prints and symbol schematics when It’s already done by someone else thick of it as if you have to make a computer only having basic molecular elements…

Ah, make sure you have all the libraries added…sorry forgot that. See Kicad Libraries Problems

There are literally millions of components on the market, what you regard as “common” is quite likely not shared by other people. Regardless, KiCad doesn’t have a lot of components in the official libraries… if they are not there, you have to make them.

It’s common practice in the industry to make all symbols etc in house, to make sure they follow all house rules, are under change control etc. (and also save some money by not paying third parties). I’m not sure really where the idea that most components should be readily available to download for free comes from.

About every day, we get people asking for components, and every time we give the same advice.


Followed that post you did there and still nothing I’m running windows 10 64 bit

To confirm, after running through the steps suggested by @bobc, what do you see if you do the following?

  • Close and restart KiCad
  • EDIT create a new empty project.
  • Launch Eeschema
  • Click on Preferences - Component Libraries

What libraries are listed in the top window in the dialog box?

EDIT Forgot to ask, what version of KiCad are you running?

Warning: This topic has been diverted from the original question which was about footprints only. This post only handles symbols
For everyone unsure what that means (short version):

  • Symbols are used in eeschema and are the abstraction of the function of a component.
  • Footprints describe the physical landing pattern. They are used in pcb_new
  • Linking symbols to footprints is done via the footprint field of a symbol. In kicad there is no such concept as “component” or “part” as one might know from other cad programs.

Now for the real content with more details as compared to the post by @hackscribble

The post linked to by @bobc explains how you can setup kicad to add installed libs to every new project. It does not explain how you get them into your current project.:

Open kicad main window -> preferences -> configure paths. You want to know what the variable KISYSMOD is set to.
It will be kicad_system_path\modules. (we want the kicad_system_path part of it. For windows it should be C:\Program Files\KiCad\share\kicad\.)
Open the directory kicad_system_path\library in any file browser and note what is in there. There should be about 180 files in there. Give or take a few. (This is where the kicad installer copies the official symbol library. How many files you have depends on your kicad version. The number i state should be what you find for kicad 4.0.6)

You can add these libs to your current project in eeschema -> component library.
Use the top add button. A browser will open. Navigate to kicad_system_path\library and select all files you want to add. If you do not start with zero libs in the project kicad might complain that you try to add duplicates. Just ignore this warning this just means that the lib in question is already active in the project.

If you want the libraries automatically added for every new project you create, you need to edit the main kicad template file found under kicad_system_path\template\
This is what is described in great detail in the post linked by @bobc

If these 90 libs are not enough for you, you need to search for third party libs. (You can also download the current lib directly from github. A lot of stuff has been added since the last release. You can also wait for 4.0.7 which might be released soon.)

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Well thanks that helped complete what @bobc told me to do but still the added libraries weren’t enough so I’m going to make my own for now and try out your advice of downloading the 4.0.7 version though would the library size increase significantly after that? also isn’t the default library thing being updated automatically directly from GitHub?

Only the footprint libs that are in your fp-lib-table as github plugin are updated automatically.
If we librarieans create a new lib, users don’t get the footprints that are located within this lib without updating the list of footprint libraries.

Just a warning: It might not be the best idea to use online libs because you do not have control over when you get new footprints. For details on how to setup local libs have a look at this tutorial created by @bobc.

Now to the how to get the footprint lib list updated:

  1. Open the footprint library wizart (pcb_new->preferences->footprint library wizard)
  2. Select github as source (make sure the path is set to
  3. If you want the local setup select save copy to (but read the full tutorial by @bobc to get this right)
  4. Press next
  5. Now you should get all footprint libs listed. Either select all or only the once you need. (Your decision.)
  6. Press next until you get the question if you want to add the libs to the global or local fp-lib-table. Choose global.
  7. Finish the dialog.
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