Kicad 5.99: can it be tested


I read a few times about Kicad 5.99. Can it be downloaded somewhere for test?
Is it worth testing it now, or is it way too early?
Can I have 2 versions on the same machine?



Been using it with the 28th of feb nightly. New stuff is added but be aware your projects may not open with older versions once migrated to the nightly.

5.0.X and 5.99 seem to not want to play nicely as there is a warning at installation but pretty sure installing to another folder keeps it seperate.

I would say that if you need to ask, it’s way too early for you.

Even if you can live with general unstableness - crashes and unreliable new or recently changed features - the file formats aren’t fixed. There will be completely new formats for symbols and schematic. Settings have been migrated to new format and the project format will change later. Theoretically it’s even possible that a certain nightly version saves a project which can’t be opened with an earlier or later version, although generally speaking newer versions should be able to handle older files (not vice versa).

All this makes it difficult to use it if you know nothing about inner workings of KiCad and aren’t prepared for some extra work.

All this said, if you want to help KiCad development and are willing to learn and get your hands dirty, why not try it with non-critical projects. If you write high quality bug reports for the latest nightlies, the developers will be glad. See How can I help improve KiCad? and I found a bug. What now?.

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Is this similar to AutoCAD? what is its advantage over AutoCAD? Thanks

Holy smokes. I used to use Autocad (DOS version) during 25 - 30 years ago, and in fact I designed and made a pcb with it. But I would say that Autocad and KiCad are completely different. Unless Autocad has changed its focus dramatically in 25 years.

I sure hope I will be able to open my 5.99 files with newer versions of KiCad. :frowning:

I am a non-KiCad expert who is using 5.99 for a few projects. I do enjoy some added features along with occasional unintended surprises. One of the most useful added features is the highlighting of selected wires and symbols in the schematic when I want to move, drag, duplicate, etc. I am not being paid to produce so if my efforts get thwarted by incompatibility it will not cause the end of life as I know it.

Do you know how this will affect existing custom libraries? I have spent a great deal of time creating symbols with fields such as stock numbers in my them. It would be a major pain if I had to redo all of them.

A migration path will be provided, you will not have to recreate all your symbols.

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AutoCAD is a normal mechanical CAD system. KiCad is an electronic CAD system. The usecases are completely different.
If you are looking for a free alternative to AutoCAD then i suggest to look into LibreCAD.

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