Footprint visibility

Jan 13/23
Hi All

New Kicad user here.
After installing Kicad most recent version on a Linux Mint 20 laptop the device footprints won’t show up in the editor. I’ve read a couple of posts about this problem and tried a few fixes but made it worse. Using the nightly build now - no difference.
I’ve used Eagle for years and milled double sided boards on a reworked Ttech 5000 router, so am somewhat experienced with EDA. I’d appreciate any help or advice so that I can become productive with Kicad.

Here’s the ’ about Kicad ’ information from the help tab:


KiCad

Version: 6.0.10-86aedd382b~118~ubuntu22.04.1, release build

Libraries:
wxWidgets 3.0.5
libcurl/7.81.0 OpenSSL/3.0.2 zlib/1.2.11 brotli/1.0.9 zstd/1.4.8 libidn2/2.3.2 libpsl/0.21.0 (+libidn2/2.3.2) libssh/0.9.6/openssl/zlib nghttp2/1.43.0 librtmp/2.3 OpenLDAP/2.5.13

Platform: Linux 5.15.0-56-generic x86_64, 64 bit, Little endian, wxGTK, cinnamon, x11

Build Info:
Date: Dec 18 2022 19:39:39
wxWidgets: 3.0.5 (wchar_t,wx containers,compatible with 2.8) GTK+ 3.24
Boost: 1.74.0
OCC: 7.5.2
Curl: 7.86.0
ngspice: 36
Compiler: GCC 11.3.0 with C++ ABI 1016

Build settings:
KICAD_USE_OCC=ON
KICAD_SPICE=ON
Application: KiCad

Version: 6.0.10-86aedd382b~118~ubuntu22.04.1, release build

Libraries:
wxWidgets 3.0.5
libcurl/7.81.0 OpenSSL/3.0.2 zlib/1.2.11 brotli/1.0.9 zstd/1.4.8 libidn2/2.3.2 libpsl/0.21.0 (+libidn2/2.3.2) libssh/0.9.6/openssl/zlib nghttp2/1.43.0 librtmp/2.3 OpenLDAP/2.5.13

Platform: Linux 5.15.0-56-generic x86_64, 64 bit, Little endian, wxGTK, cinnamon, x11

Build Info:
Date: Dec 18 2022 19:39:39
wxWidgets: 3.0.5 (wchar_t,wx containers,compatible with 2.8) GTK+ 3.24
Boost: 1.74.0
OCC: 7.5.2
Curl: 7.86.0
ngspice: 36
Compiler: GCC 11.3.0 with C++ ABI 1016

Build settings:
KICAD_USE_OCC=ON
KICAD_SPICE=ON


Thanks for your time reading this and
cheers,
Denis

I use KiCad at Windows PC,
I have read that for Linux you separately install software itself and libraries.
Know nothing more.

Can you describe the steps you did leading to seeing no footprints?

Did you install the library packages at the same time? If you followed the instructions at:

you should have them. The --install-recommends is the key option to this.

The catch is if you forgot to install the library packages before first run, then your library tables are not populated and this sticks. To revert to the situation before first run, remove the directory ~/.config/kicad/6.0. Actually it suffices to remove sym-lib-table and fp-lib-table there, but since you are starting off, you might as well get a fresh start.

Hi Piotr,
thanks for the response, and the suggestion.
cheers,
Denis

thanks for the reply retiredfeline, and the howto link.
You are correct, I didn’t know about separate installs of program and libraries
and specific installation sequences.

I suppose the next step to becoming productive is to delete the Kicad program and all it’s libraries, then re install according to the link details.

I’ll give it a try over the weekend.

cheers,
Denis

Even if you reinstall, you should still remove your personal config directory before the first run or the libraries won’t be registered.

I also have Mint 20.
Open a terminal window [Ctrl + Alt +t] and type: apt search kicad. This shows whether the libraries are installed. (They should have an i in the first column). I think the A in the second column is for “Automatic”, when they are installed as a dependency from another package

paul@cezanne:~$ apt search kicad
i   kicad                                     - Electronic schematic and PCB design software        
p   kicad-common                              - Old common files used by kicad - Transitional Packag
p   kicad-dbg                                 - Debug symbols for kicad                             
i A kicad-demos                               - Common files used by kicad                          
p   kicad-doc-ca                              - Kicad help files (Catalan)                          
p   kicad-doc-de                              - Kicad help files (German)                           
i A kicad-doc-en                              - Kicad help files (English)                          
p   kicad-doc-es                              - Kicad help files (Spanish)                          
p   kicad-doc-fr                              - Kicad help files (French)                           
p   kicad-doc-id                              - Kicad help files (Indonesian)                       
p   kicad-doc-it                              - Kicad help files (Italian)                          
p   kicad-doc-ja                              - Kicad help files (Japanese)                         
p   kicad-doc-pl                              - Kicad help files (Polish)                           
p   kicad-doc-ru                              - Kicad help files (Russian)                          
p   kicad-doc-zh                              - Kicad help files (Chinese)                          
i A kicad-footprints                          - Kicad footprints (modules)                          
p   kicad-its-files                           - Its file used to build KiCad on old distros         
i A kicad-libraries                           - KiCad meta-package for deps to all libraries        
i   kicad-nightly                             - Electronic schematic and PCB design software        
p   kicad-nightly-dbg                         - Debug symbols for kicad                             
i   kicad-nightly-demos                       - Kicad demo projects                                 
i   kicad-nightly-footprints                  - Kicad footprints (modules)                          
i A kicad-nightly-libraries                   - KiCad meta-package for deps to all libraries        
i   kicad-nightly-packages3d                  - Kicad packages3d (3d models for footprints)         
i   kicad-nightly-symbols                     - Kicad symbols (schematic)                           
i A kicad-nightly-templates                   - Kicad templates                                     
i A kicad-packages3d                          - Kicad packages3d (3d models for footprints)         
i A kicad-symbols                             - Kicad symbols (schematic)                           
i A kicad-templates                           - Kicad templates                                     
p   libglm-kicad-dev                          - C++ library for OpenGL GLSL type-based mathematics  
p   libglm-kicad-doc                          - documentation for the OpenGL Mathematics (GLM) libra
p   libngspice-kicad                          - Library (shared) for ngspice. Used by kicad         
p   libngspice-kicad-doc                      - Doc for library (shared) for ngspice. Used by kicad 

If the libraries are not installed, you can add them manually.
If the libraries are installed, then rename the config directory, for example with:

mv ~/.config/kicad/6.0 ~/.config/kicad/2023-01-14_6.0

When this config directory is deleted (or renamed so KiCad can’t find it, then it thinks it’s started for the first time and it generates a default configuration, which includes the library tables (the “sym-lib-table” and “fp-lib-table” files.)

1 Like

Thanks for all that information, and glad to hear you’re on the same linux distro.
Will report back when it’s done
cheers,
Denis

Hi Paul
good news so far.
I found that the libraries were installed and renamed them with the mv instruction:
mv ~/.config/kicad/6.0 ~/.config/kicad/2023-01-14_6.0

I haven’t restarted Kicad yet because I’m not sure if I should install new libraries first.

Should I install new libraries before starting Kicad or will Kicad sort out what it needs for libraries and carry on. If I need to install new libraries, would you be able to describe howto and their location.

thanks
cheers,
Denis

Those are not the libraries. Those are the user configuration for KiCad. The libraries themselves should be at /usr/share/kicad

The move command above moves the configuration files to another directory, and if you start KiCad after that, then it recreates the directory and puts default values in it.

1 Like

Hi Paul
and thanks for the information on the config files.
My thinking is that I have to restart Kicad and it will recreate and populate the directory it needs to run.
I’ll give it a try and report back
cheers,
Denis

For such things it’s better to first do it and then report back (reporting back is always appreciated, it adds value to this forum because others can learn from previously found solutions). But it does not matter whether you respond in 15 hours or in 17 hours.

no problem, I’ll try and report back.
cheers,
Denis