TL/DR: Some notes and comments on installing KiCad 6 on Debian (and similar) via Flatpak and having multiple version installed at the same time.
so running on Debian, I of course was also very eager to try out the new released KiCad 6 (thanks again to all the developers, looks really nice so far!).
If you know Debian, then you of course also know, that packages are in general not updates to the latest release immediately via the package manager, so installing KiCad 6 via
apt-get (for now) is not an option.
Therefore, as previously proposed on this forum, I went the approach of installing it via Flatpak.
Now, I already had my working version of KiCad (v5.1.10) installed via Flatpak:
So installing KiCad 6 with
flatpak install --from https://flathub.org/repo/appstream/org.kicad.KiCad.flatpakref
did not work, as it would (rightfully) complain, that KiCad is already installed.
One could here do a
flatpak update org.kicad.KiCad
which would update the existing version 5.1.10 to the current stable release version 6.0.0.
But I did not want to do this, as I might still use the 5.1.10 version for existing projects.
So for anybody having a similar issue, here are two (similar) solutions:
Flatpak allows to install packets in user space (which also does not need root / sudo permissions), via the
--user flag. The big advantage here is, that this user installation is completely separate from the default system installation. So two versions of the same package can be installed at the same time, one in the system installation, and one in the user installation.
Assuming, you have a previous installation of KiCad in the system installation, here is how you install KiCad in the user space:
flatpak --user remote-add flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak --user install org.kicad.KiCad
After confirming all questions with
y and doing
flatpak list you will see two versions of KiCad installed:
In this setup, you can then run KiCad 6 via
flatpak --user run org.kicad.KiCad
and the old version of KiCad (in my case 5.1.10) via
flatpak --system run org.kicad.KiCad
This solution is very similar to the previous one, but instead of using the user-installation space, we create a new (non-default) system-installation for Flatpak (also see
On Debian we need to first create a flatpak installation config file:
sudo mkdir -p /etc/flatpak/installations.d/ sudo nano /etc/flatpak/installations.d/KiCad-6.conf sudo mkdir -p /opt/flatpak/KiCad-6
The config file should have the following (similar) content:
[Installation "KiCad-6"] Path=/opt/flatpak/KiCad-6/ DisplayName=Installation for KiCad-6 StorageType=harddisk
This defines a new flatpak-installation (named KiCad-6) which will be located under
/opt/flatpak/KiCad-6/. You can of course change this location to any folder of your choice.
Similar to before, we can now install KiCad 6 in this new installation (which is completely separate from any existing installation):
flatpak --installation=KiCad-6 remote-add flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak --installation=KiCad-6 install org.kicad.KiCad
On my computer, this looks then as follows:
You can see, KiCad is now installed in three different places (and with at least two different versions). On your case, you should probably choose, either a custom system installation or the user installation, but probably not both
Finally to run the KiCad installed here, we can run
flatpak --installation=KiCad-6 run org.kicad.KiCad
Hope this might help some people in the future, who also want to try out KiCad 6!