Installing plugins on Mac OS (Big Sur)

I’m having trouble installing a plug-in and having Kicad find it. Based on searches, I’ve put the plugin folder in ~/Library/Application Support/kicad/scripting/plugins (see below).

But the Tools->External Plugins list is still empty. What am I doing wrong? How does Kicad find plugins on MacOS?

I don’t have a slightest clue regarding mac issues, but I would:

  1. start KiCad, run pcbnew, open scripting console and run
    import pcbnew
  2. If you put the plugin where KiCad is expecting them (make sure that you restart KiCad completely) then also run

Excellent. It turns out that the other posts I found did not give the right folder. Here are the relevant results of the inquiry.


I used the last one in the list. I didn’t need to restart KiCAD, but I did need to “Refresh Plugins”


Apparently there is currently a “packaging” bug for Linux, and the whole “Python Scripting Console” can not be started.

Thanks for posting and resolving this! Have been looking for a few hours!

Just upgraded to Big Sur and updated to 5.1.9 after being unable to get plugins to work on 5.1.5, and have followed all instructions here (found the folder and dragged my plugin in, refreshed plugins, restarted Kicad) but it’s not finding anything. What else should I try if nothing here is working?

You can start by reading instructions because you didn’t put it in the right directory

I put it in the * ~/Library/Preferences/kicad/scripting/plugins directory, just as the installation instructions say, unless I’m mistaken?

Your screenshot shows that it’s in ‘kicad’ directory, possibly ~/Library/Preferences/kicad but not ~/Library/Preferences/kicad/scripting/plugins

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Ah, right you are! I created those folders within the ‘kicad’ directory, restarted pcbnew, and voila. Thanks for the help.

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