Ideas where to build kicad on remote linux server


Building kicad on my Laptop take ages, therefore I thought I could rent a build server an do build the code for linux somewhere on a server and connect via ssh-X for testing.

Does anyone has experience whit such a setup?

I already tried they over a lot of powerful setups.

Maybe I could also reuse the docker container from and start from there and extend it with a ssh-X config.

I hope whit such a setup to be able to compile kicad whenever I like from where ever I am with my Laptop.

And as this is not something I do daily it might be cheaper than buying a fast tower pc.

I played around with once which allows you to build on their servers for free and even run gui apps with web vnc.
It’s slow to spin up but you can let it build and come back in couple of hours and have a ready remote dev environment.

See this commit for configs, you may have to tweak them

I don’t think using rented host will be cost efficient. You can try some cloud providers like aws or gce as they can bill you by minute which will be more efficient than monthly cost for at least somewhat powerful machine.

How long does it take now and how fast would be fast enough?

Currently it’s more than half an hour (laptop) I though about a couple of minutes…

Half on hour is incredibly fast to build KiCad from scratch.

Building KiCad likes cores. You will also want to allow about 500MB of free RAM per core.

I have a fast machine at home for development, but one strategy I know people use is renting Amazon EC2 servers like @qu1ck. These can be started up and shut down quickly if you set it up correctly, and since the billing is done by small units of time, you can just be billed for the time you use it to compile KiCad, rather than paying for a server dedicated to you for the whole month.

You will have a happier time if you are paying for an hour on a machine with 16 cores than if you rent a machine with one or two cores for the whole month.

Fast is relative, though – The fastest build times I’ve heard about (with a high-end Ryzen CPU and no RAM limits) is about 5 minutes.

Some other things that can help for free:

  • Make sure you are using ninja and not make
  • Use ccache to speed up incremental builds if you are pulling from Git regularly

If you want couple minute build times be prepared to fork over $1000 for a threadripper with 24 or more cores.

I have a 12 core Ryzen 3900x and it takes 5-6 minutes for a clean build.

Btw I updated my gitpod configs, they work again, fork this if you want to try it

thanks for all your input’s and Ideas

Aren’t 5-6 minutes “a couple of minutes”? No need for 24 cores or more apparently :slight_smile:

I knew someone would say that :slight_smile: In my lingo “couple” is 2-3

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couple is 2 :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m hoping to buy a Ryzen 5950x for KiCad builds but at the moment they are at scalper prices or out of stock…

And five to six is definitely at least a ‘few minutes’ - if not ‘many minutes’!

Last build of 5.99 on my superannuated High Sierra 27" iMac was many, many minutes! (~120). Time flies when you just leave it overnight :slight_smile:

Yeah there’s a chipageddon on at the moment. I’m glad I upgraded my workhorse a year ago.

4 minutes, 0 to 100% on my Ryzen 5900X Windows machine and using MSVC instead of GCC which takes 10 minutes :wink: Technically I also gimped it by turning off the processor’s ability to boost even higher because I didn’t like the resulting fan performance.

I’m waiting for the next x570 bios which should improve L3 cache performance and potentially some build time

These processors should be becoming more avaliable in the next few months. The 5600 and 5800x are in extremely plentiful stock now and it’s just the higher bin 5900x and 5950x that are behind. The 5900x shortage is ridiculous too because some gamerbois ran some performance/price/core numbers and are all getting 5900s they will never need because the 5800x is slightly higher on that number.