KiCad 7 vs 8

Hello everyone,

I am getting into learning KiCAD. I would like to start to create my parts library and adding a few components in. Before I get started, I would like to make a decision on KiCAD 7 or 8.

I would imagine there are not too many changes between the versions. But regarding parts library, should I wait to start adding my parts in until 8 is officially released? Or are the library versions compatible between major releases?

I know KiCAD 7 files can be opened with v8. Is this the same for library files?

You can always open files in a later version (both design files and library files). If you start with the last stable version v7.0.11, you’ll be able to migrate everything to v8.0.0 (or v8.0.1 when it comes out) without any issues. If you start with v8.0.0 and encounter issues, there is no way to bring your data back to v7.0.11.

My personal take is just go for v8 and enjoy the latest features (simple BOM, much improved simulation, amongst others), but there are still some lingering crash bugs (nothing I’ve encountered corrupts or loses data) so if you want to play it safe, v7.0.11 is the way to go for now.

Hello @philm001

What is your Operating System?

Think again, use more imagination. There is an overview of the new features for V8 in the thread below, and it’s a quite long list.

Also, I just noticed:

With Previous KiCad versions, it took a few months for things to stabilize, but V8 has had 3 release candidates and some more (hopefully enough) testing. But time will tell… I do expect there will be some issues with plugins. If and how fast these get updated depends on the maintainers of those plugins, but I guess this is not very important for you. You will probably have your hands full with KiCad itself for the foreseeable future, and by the time you want to look into plugins, issues have probably already been fixed.

There are very likely no tutorials specifically for KiCad V8 yet, but I guess that is not much of an issue either. The user interface itself has not changed much, and tutorials for older versions should still be usable for V8.

Hello, I am running Windows

Oh wow, I did not notice that they literally released v8

One of the main deciders is that should you get unlucky and find a bug, are you willing/permitted to share your project with a developer? Reproducible bugs caused by KiCad code and not some external library get fixed very quickly.

I was interested because some OSs will not allow both 7.0.11 and 8.0.0 together.

I just tried creating a symbol in 8.99 and found it can be opened in 8.0.0; but I would assume they are both currently very similar.
I cannot test creating a symbol in 8.0.0 and then backward using that symbol in 7.0.11 as my OS doesn’t allow both stable programs.

It is probably best to start creating your Personal Library components in the lower version of Kicad (if you are intending to have both for comparisons or whatever); then create copies of those components/libraries to use in the higher version of Kicad. This will always work.

Others may comment.


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.