KiCad AppImage for Linux


I am new to the group and to the latest version of Kicad. I last used Kicad about 4 years ago and,WOW, have things changed. I realize this thread is over a month old but I have a question about the current AppImage files. I am using Mint 18.1 and Ubuntu 16.04 so can not build nightly builds due to Boost and WxWidgets incompatibilities, so am hoping to use the AppImage of the nightlies. My question is about the fact there are currently 2 AppImage files on the binary site. One is 9 days old and the other is about a month old. Can I assume the 9 day old one is the latest (realize this sounds stupid) but if that’s the case what is the month old one? And, how often do you post the nightly build one? Thanks for any clarification.


Hello @twgray. I build example AppImages whenever I feel like it, and if an upstream application project (e.g., KiCad) likes the AppImage format, then I help them to integrate AppImage generation into their build and release workflow.

Some projects make an AppImage for every commit in the source code control system, others make an AppImage nightly, and others only make an AppImage for each release.

So far, KiCad doesn’t do either yet. But if there is enough interest from users like you, then maybe they’d consider it. :slight_smile:


Yes, I am definitely interested. I am considering working on an implementation of a feature that Altium has, the dbLib, which gives the user the ability to select component/footprints from a central parts inventory database which automatically fills all component data fields as they are added to the board. This is a feature that we use and need if we consider the use of Kicad in-house. I realize that there is a BOM app out there that does something similar after the design is completed but we need this to be done at design time.


This sounds interesting. I have been struggeling with libreoffice calc for the last years and only recently switched to Boms-away, but a method of picking the part numbers when adding values looks like a good idea. Boms-away is missing a database editor at the moment, so management is tricky to say the least. but I like the way it works.


I’ll take a look at Boms-away…I haven’t seen it before.

I thought that the dblib was an incredibly useful tool in Altium, and Cadence, if you have an in-house parts inventory. It saves several steps in ultimately generating a BOM. I created my own front end to the parts inventory which did all the tedious work of updating by scraping various supplier’s, Mouser, Digikey, Allied, etc., websites for the part’s information.

Frankly, I am extremely in the progress in Kicad’s development, I guess since Cern got involved. With the interactive router it is actually becoming a serious tool and I would like to contribute to help improve it even more.



could someone please provide an AppImage for the latest stable KiCad version 4.0.7?

Regards, Bernd.


How is the level of interest from the KiCad project to have an official KiCad AppImage of releases, and potentially also of continuous builds? I’d be happy to help the project make official ones, but I need someone who acually knows the ins and outs of the software to see whether things are working as intended.


For an official statement by the developers you need to ask over at the kicad mailing list.
This is “only” a user forum. (Only a few developers visit from time to time)


Thanks @Rene_Poschl. I’ve openend an issue on as instructed at the bottom of the Linux download section of the KiCad homepage.

Side note, it’s always hard to understand why projects build such high barriers to reach developers - I’d have to sign up for a Canonical Launchpad account and join a mailing list, only to send one message or to participate in one conversation. Using GitHub is so much more convenient for occasional contributions and discussions.


I won’t upload any further AppImages, but I am happy to support the KiCad team to do it.

In the meantime, you can generate your own AppImages on a Debian/Ubuntu system using the pkg2appimage tool that converts the debs from the PPA to an AppImage. To do this, run on a Debian/Ubuntu system:

bash pkg2appimage KiCad

This should produce an AppImage. If you are running into issues, please let us know at

You can also use bash pkg2appimage KiCad-nightly instead. The AppImage for KiCad-201712301944+e062780 is almost 600 MB in size though - I am not sure whether this is correct. How big is the nightly build for macOS and Windows?

Note that if the KiCad team decides to provide official AppImages, these would likely be produced directly as part of the build pipeline rather than by converting from debs in PPAs.


Come on, that would take about 5 minutes of your time, hardly a “high barrier”!


In part these barriers are there to discurage trolls and spammers. But the main reason might just be that it has been always that way. (Never change a running system) All developers have their system setup for this and they don’t want to switch to a new system. (Switching would require work by the people who currently develop kicad. And there would be a quite long time where you need to use both the old and new system in parallel.)

And github issues are not really powerful enough to manage a large project. But using pull requests instead of patches could make it easier to contribute code. (But at the cost that it might get harder for the lead developers. Patches are a lot more powerful than pull requests.) More details about this in this stack exchange post

The kicad webside repo is only the right place to ask if your goal is a link from that webside to your download page. If you want an answer from the lead development team there is no way around the fact that you need to use the mailing list. (Making an account there is not that hard. Normally your request to join the mailing list is approved within a day or so.)

How to install Kicad without network connection in Ubuntu 18.04?

Without suggesting my opinion as being representative, I find it absolutely a nuisance that an open source project has nightly builds for windows and osx, but not linux distros.
So, from my point of view, I am totally in support of your idea.


Did you even check the download page? There are nightly builds for linux distros.


Unfortunately there is no AppImage listed yet.


I absolutely did, multiple times. I even used Google.
Even though, thanks for pointing out that SOME distros do have nightly builds (specifically Ubuntu; I only checked Debian and Gentoo as those are I have around).

Will try and install the PPA debs on my Jessie if I can (have serious doubts though).


I have nothing against having AppImages, on the contrary, I just commented on “an open source project has nightly builds for windows and osx, but not linux distros”. Most major distros (ubuntu, fedora, suse) already have nightly builds of KiCad, so I wondered why “not linux distros”. AppImage would of course work for those distros which don’t benefit from the existing packages.


Kicad nightlies are available on the platforms for which somebody creates and maintains them. In most cases one person takes care of a family of distros.

There was an issue to the webside repo where somebody requested an app image. The answer (understandably) was: If somebody is prepared to maintain it, it will be included on the webside.
And the guy got pointed to the develpers mailing list. (This is the place where something like this needs to be discussed. Not on the repo for the webside.)