I do DUAL BOOT from time to time. Am I better off running a KiCad nightly on Linux?


Question is in the title.

I’m forced to use Windows for several things. My friend does not have my same limitations and uses Linux nearly exclusively; running Virtual Box when he can’t quite get around the MS world.

For KiCad, should I run Linux on newer nightlies?



That seems like a good question, but the more fundamental question is,

It’s more than simply, “Will my schematic and PCB files open with KiCAD under different OS’s?”. It includes considerations ranging from “Can I freely exchange libraries and FP_Lib tables?”, down to “Will the custom track widths and layer colors stay the same?”

I’d like to see this information find its way into the KiCAD Manual.



A few things to set with library locations. Windows and Linux have totally different directory structures.
The actual symbol and footprint libraries are portable


@Sprig : use the operating system you want.
I use Linux, but I exchange projects with people using Windows and Mac without any problems.

@dchisholm : I include my libraries when I send a project to other people. To avoid FP_lib_tables issues, the paths are relative to $(KIPRJMOD), the project folder.


Depends on your linux distribution. I use fedora and there are no new nightly builds since 7 or 8 month. (There is a problem with a few very old libraries used by kicad. Or better the problem is that debian based systems are very slow to adapt new stuff)

Under ubuntu you should not have any problems.

For compatibility: Sometimes new features are added to the nightly build version that makes it impossible to open files with older nightly build versions. Sometimes a day difference is enough. (Which means if one of your systems gets the nightly updates earlier it can be that the other system can not open them.)
Don’t forget that under windows you can’t just simply say: sudo [package manager of your choice] update
Which means it is quite easy for a windows user to fall behind. (Or is there a simple update tool i don’t know.)


The nightlies are compiled into self extracting installation packages automatically afaik… just download the latest and install.
But I don’t know if I would want to try to coop with nightlies, with stables sure… :wink:


I don’t understand why the question about nightlies is related to dual boot, it doesn’t matter how you boot.

The implication is that your friend is running nightly builds on his Linux. For maximum compatibility, it is best to run the same point release on all platforms, and also use the same set of local footprints. The more you diverge from that ideal, the more likely you will run into compatibility problems.


Right now there is a lot going on in the software development, not the best time to snatch random Nightly builds. Almost anything late last year is pretty stable