KiCad 5 on my Mac can't find footprints

Hi All…

I have been trying to get KiCad to work on my Mac for several hours now. I downloaded 5 and installed it per the instructions. macOS is 10.13.6 “High Sierra.” For the most part it worked, until I got the the assign footprints task. Then I try to do that, it complains that it can;t find the footprint libraries. The directory prefix specified in the environment variable (‘Library/Application/modules’) does not exist (no /Library/Applications just /Library/Application Support’).

So I cloned the footprint lib repo and stuck it somewhere, but I could not figure out how to change the environment variable. So, I created the path where it thought they should be and stuck them there. Still no joy.

At this point it’s 1:30AM and I’m giving up, for now. I have to think this is a known issue, so any assistance would be appreciated.

Thank you.

“Why are there no libs installed?”:

The installers for most other operating systems have the option not to install the libraries. This could very well be the case for mac as well. (In linux the libs are separate packages and are therefore only downloaded if you want to install them. In windows you always download them as there is only one installer but you can select if you want to install them during the installation process.)

Another option is that you had version 4 installed in the past. If this is the case then your personal (global) library table will still point to your version 4 setup. To fix this you would either need to “install” v4 libs and set them up or set up the library table to point to the already installed v5 libs. More details see: I had KiCad 4 installed previosly. Now i updated to v5. Now i have some problems with the library setup

“How do i setup libraries?”
The environment variables are only half of the equation. (If you do not use 3d models then they are really not needed.) The real setup for which libs are used is made in library tables. These can use environment variables to make a setup portable. (This is the reason why to official library tables contain environment variables.)
More details see: Library management in KiCad version 5

Hello Rene and thanks for your response. I have never had any version of KiCad installed until yesterday when I installed v5. On the Mac, the installer simply had me drag the KiCad folders into the “applications” and “application support” folders. there are no options whatsoever. This is typical for a Mac installer.

I’ll review the links you posted, thank you.

This still won’t work on my Mac, although it works fine on my Windows 7 machine.

The footprint libraries are installed, in:

/Library/Application Support/kicad/modules

I noticed that the KISYSMOD env variable was set to a non-existing path. Also, it was prepended with a ’ but not closed with one. If I try to set it by browsing, the code can’t see the folder so I had to type it. At this point, the schematic editor can now see them, so I’m able to set the footprints for the components. So that’s fixed. However, launching pcbnew shows still shows an empty page.

Is this known to work with a Mac?

You need to use the update pcb from schematic tool found in the tools menu (KiCad does not update the pcb automatically like some other tools. This has its pros and cons.)

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