Kicad 6.0.4 cannot open kicad 6.99 files

KICAD6.99 is not a stable version, it is recommended that KICAD6.99 add the function of exporting the old version, which can transfer the design to KICAD 6.04

This is by design.
File formats change as KiCad evolves and old KiCad versions can not be compatible with feature versions. Developer hours are a very precious asset for the KiCad project and they have to make choices of what parts of KiCad they work on. There are currently 1467 open issues on Gitlab and back porting file format changes is not a priority.

KiCad V6.99 is also an unstable development version and you are supposed to know what you are doing before you even install it. It is not fit for current real-life use. File formats may change weekly as new features are added and not much testing is done until those features become fairly stable. Such features simply have no place in a stable KiCad version.

Even when KiCad V5.99 was fairly stable around the end of 2021, an update to the file format was made about once a month on average.

Stable Kicad versions do not get new features, but they only get bug fixes. (a bump in the 3rd number).
I think KiCad V5.1 was an exception. It did get some back-ported new features from the development branch, but there is 3 years of development in KiCad V6.0. The current plans are for a new KiCad release to happen once a year, so there is much less incentive to back-port anything.

I added a dot in the title to make it it an existing KiCad version.

Don’t use KiCad 6.99 in the first place?

The disclaimer about nightly builds has been in place for years

I see quite a lot of inexperienced KiCad users working with KiCad V5.99 on this forum.

Maybe a part of the reason for this is that V5.99 was quite stable for a long time and therefore users got used to using the nightlies.

Maybe a part of the reason is unfamiliarity with Open Source projects and the primary use of Nightly versions is to catch bugs early and help developers develop a better version.

KiCad is also gaining a lot of popularity in the last few years, and this attracts a lot of less experienced people.

Maybe it’s time to change the disclaimers, or even move the nightlies to another location.


thanks for the reply. Just want to migrate to 6.04, the library files need to be remade, which is a big project.

It’s possible some people may have been caught by subscribing to the development channel where 5.99 auto-upgraded to 6.99. I commented on this suggesting separate channels for x.99 and x+1.99 but the devs said people should know what they are getting into. I suggested a popup in the pre-install script to warn of major version change. I didn’t pursue this as I have no skin in the game.

Can you tell us why you started with KiCad V6.99 and whether you saw or ignored the warning, which is quite clear in itself.

The software is downloaded from a mirror site, and the download speed will be much faster. Did not see the warning.

Using kicad6.99 is that the new version has more powerful functions. No bugs were found during use, but there is no way to open the design to friends of KICAD 6.05. I will use KICAD6.05 for future designs, and the library files will be migrated slowly.

Altium designer22 can import kicad files, I try to transfer it.

We really don’t want 6.99 on mirrors. They should only carry official releases

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We can’t stop what mirrors do. We don’t control any of the Chinese ones in particular even though we list them on the kicad site too.

Hello, I must confess to me as a non-native-english-speaker “Nightly” sounds more like “especially up to date” or “enhanced”.
Maybe something more threatening like “experimental” would give a better understanding ?
And I agree, the Open ource concept of showing the user everything as early as possible can be confusing too. The Nightlies could display a permanent warning bar across the screen :no_entry:?

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Not really, but maybe a warning dialog in the first time start.

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The Nightlies could display a permanent warning bar across the screen?

Definitely against this:

  • it will bother all serious nightly-testers
  • as this would have an impact on the kicad-canvas it introduces an additional stage for possible mistakes/bugs

I can think of an compromise: simple additional string-displayed at kicad manager with no additional gui-interaction and without translation. Or a splash-screen after installation.

But to be honest: I think the current solution on the original kicad-website is already a good solution. I expect a little bit responsibility from every user, and especially from a user which uses a technically CAD-program.


Agree, users need to scroll past the stable version AND the warning in pink that states 6.99 is not only unstable but projects made may not open in the stable version, before it can be installed.
There is really no excuse for complaints.

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It’s not about excuse or responsibility. It’s about what happens – seems to happen, which I can see by reading this forum – to relatively many new users, and what can be easily done to remove that problem. Recurring usability problems can’t be located in end users.


Yea but you also have things like the Raspberry Pi foundation encouraging users to use the nightly 5.99 at one point which we had no control in stopping.


Except when they don’t have to on mirror sites

I think KiCad’s… unique version numbering is a factor. I’ve been in the computer industry for 34 years. This is the first project I’ve seen that does not use standard alpha, beta, gamma, and RC nomenclature for development versions.

Like many new users to KiCad, I was bewildered by the choice of “5.99” instead of “6.0 alpha” and later “6.0 beta” for the year of rapid development and breaking changes prior to 6.0’s release. Fortunately I read the details or I might have trusted file changes to it.

I recall there were some nightly 6.99 builds tagged with “RC” which had breaking changes. I’ve typically seen RC used as a word of art in the development world to suggest “We’re ready for lots of testers – you can start to TRUST your work with this version”.

I love KiCad. It’s development version numbering certainly marches to the beat of a different drummer. :slight_smile: