Kicad 6 ... How do I create a user directory and make it Global in Linux

Hi I have spent 5 hours searching the internet, trying to find out how to do this ?
I have a folder with a few old lib files and a few old mod files.

Configure paths
I have tried adding KICAD6_USER_SYMBOL_DIR or KICAD_USER_SYMBOL_DIR then added my user directory.

But my files do not exist when i try and place them in the schematic or Board editor.
How do I add my user Symbols and Footprints ?

Thank you


Application: KiCad Schematic Editor

Version: 6.0.1-79c1e3a40b~116~ubuntu21.04.1, release build

wxWidgets 3.0.5
libcurl/7.74.0 OpenSSL/1.1.1j zlib/1.2.11 brotli/1.0.9 libidn2/2.3.0 libpsl/0.21.0 (+libidn2/2.3.0) libssh/0.9.5/openssl/zlib nghttp2/1.43.0 librtmp/2.3

Platform: Linux 5.11.0-49-generic x86_64, 64 bit, Little endian, wxGTK, KDE, x11

Build Info:
Date: Jan 15 2022 20:28:15
wxWidgets: 3.0.5 (wchar_t,wx containers,compatible with 2.8) GTK+ 3.24
Boost: 1.74.0
OCC: 7.5.2
Curl: 7.81.0
ngspice: 34
Compiler: GCC 10.3.0 with C++ ABI 1014

Build settings:

Have you been to Preferences / Manage Symbol Libraries?

HI jmk,

Yes I have tried that.

Thank you Gaz

So you went into the Manage Symbol Libraries / Global / added your library to the bottom of the list / then migrated the symbols to Kicad 6?

Alternatively, open a Schematic project (any project), go to Create, Delete and Edit Symbols, click File /Add library / click OK to Global then navigate to your folder through the “Select Library” screen.

After that go to Preferences / Manage Symbols Libraries and find your library at the bottom of the list in Global, give it a nickname and migrate it to 6

HI jmk,

Yes this is what I tried yesterday, when I add them, it will only let me add one lib at a time.

  • Image marked 1 … is the original folder which contains 2 libs.
  • Image marked 2 … is how they are after adding from the above folder

I then have 2 libraries, one for each component library.
I want them both to be in one library ?

Thanks Gaz

Make a new empty folder and put it in your global library. The same procedure as you did with your two symbols.
You should now have three global libraries one empty, the other two each with one symbol.

Next; in the schematic editor go to Create, Delete & Edit Symbols.
Highlight one of your library parts from the list on the left then right click. Up will come a menu.
Click Copy.
Scroll down the library list to find your new empty library.
Highlight your new empty library, Right click and Paste.
Do the same for the part in the other library.
Confirm both parts are in your new library, then delete the two redundant libraries with your Symbol Library Manager.

Back again,
In case you have forgotten how you created an empty personal library, here is a complete method:
Create a personal library.
One method is:
Minimize or close Kicad.
Using your OS find a suitable place and create a folder. Name that folder. Remember where you created it.
Open Kicad, open your schematic project, go to Create, Delete & Edit Symbols which brings you into symbol editor.
Click File/New Library
Click OK to global in pop-up.
Navigate with the new window to the folder you created.
Highlight your folder and give the file up top a name, click save and you have a library in the folder you created.
Place newly created symbols in that library in that folder.

Repeat the same performance for a footprint library but use the PCB editor.

HI jmk,

Thanks for that,
Success … I now have a folder with my libs in it.
I can only add one lib at a time is that correct ?
I would like to do select multiple libs, but i do not think that is possible ?

On a side note can I upload a video on this site or animated GIF to help anyone else with the problem ?
As to add a user folder does not seem very intuitive.

Anyway great software and thanks to the developers fro making it.



1 Like

I don’t understand. could you explain a bit more.


I hope this makes it clearer to understand ?

I use Kubuntu and I can select multiple file items in the file selector dialog using Shift+mouse click or Ctrl+mouse click, just like on Windows.

Hi @questuk
You should be able to see all your libraries in the “Browse Library Symbols”.
You should also be able to see your libraries at the bottom of the Global list in Manage Symbol Libraries.


I am using import to insert libs into my TEST folder … is the correct ?


It is easier to just cut from one and paste into another.

I think there is a problem with our nomenclature.

You have a folder and in that folder are libraries and in those libraries are symbols.
You are inserting symbols into your test library… correct. Not libraries into folders.

OK thanks for all your help, very much appreciated.


Way past my bed time.

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