KiCad EXE-To-Go?


I have an unusual demand: my employer blocks any SW-installations by the user. Therefore I am restricted to SW that installs by simply downloading the files.
I would like to use KiCad to draw simple schematics and to use the gerber-viewer.
(especially as our suppliers can use KiCad too)

So I would be happy if the KiCad download page would offer a “ready to use” EXE version.
(I know, this means work that someone has to do voluntarily and unfortunately I can not do this - I do not even own a privat ms-win)

Is this something other users would also like ?

Greetings , Chris

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Someone already made this but it’s not official and I’ve never tested it, use at your own risk

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thats right, but it looks a little bit abandoned. :confused:

I haven’t tried for a while, but IIRC KiCad runs pretty well from a USB stick. If you are adventurous you can try to install it to a stick at home and then copy it to another machine. Or just copy your existing installation.

KiCad doesn’t change anything in the OS system folders if it’s installed in a custom location. Unless you install the environment variables when using the installer (which you should never do anyways) it doesn’t even touch the registry. It creates the configuration in your personal %appdata% folder.

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I found an older thread: Can you install Kicad on USB flash-drive.

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Interesting ! But two remarks:

what means IIRC KiCad ?

USB-Sticks are also forbidden :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: and anyway I do not have a win installation to copy.
Thats why I would like to have something on the KiCad download page - I know this seems strange for people who are enjoying normal IT services ! :joy:

“If I Remember Correctly”

Oh, seems I got outed as an old analog-no-chat-experiance-guy :upside_down_face:

This discussion would be much easier if you would descibe all your limitations at once :slight_smile:

For example, do you have an internet connection and computer at home where you could install KiCad, and could you copy it to a file service from where you could download it at work.

BTW, KiCad 5.1.4 isn’t so terribly old, so the kicad-portable project would be OK. The latest 5.1.6 has more bugfixes, but it’s possible that if you use 5.1.4 you don’t bump into anything critical.

Basically I don’t like that the kicad-portable distributes the binaries without the source code. That’s against the licence and illegal. But I understand the good will.

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If you have no Windows at hand, try using a Virtual Machine, install KiCAD, compress the install directory and download it at work. And if you really need the software for productive use, why not ask your IT people to install it for you?

I understand your dislike of binary distribution - its not the way KiCad is meant to be. And you are right: I will possibly be satisfied with a not-so-new Version (I have been using 5.1.4 at home of course)

Situation at work is: I have a win10 laptop with internet access (though some pages like Gitlab are blocked). I can download things and they are automatically checked for malware. I can even start EXE as long as they do not try to really install things.
I can use SW that uses an installation-EXE just to copy files to a location.

So why can’t you install KiCad normally? You can choose a destination folder other than Program Files.

To be honest, I will have to give it a new try. I believe I once tried and a popup window informed me about missing admin rights for installation.

I have similar restrictions - for me, the simplest solution was to bring my own device to work and plug in screen and keyboard. Although you will probably find the next problem is you can’t print anything directly.

Packaging source and patch to kicad source is provided here

I tried again. KiCad is recognized as dangerous stuff that wants to change the system in catastrophic ways :wink:

Only admins can continue the installation.
I think the problem is not what KiCad actually does to the system. The problem is that it comes with an installer that is recognised as such.

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You can get portable 7-zip and then extract files from installer without running the installer. 7-zip can open it as a plain archive



That seems to be a different project than kicad4-portable.

Hm, probably. Well, that’s another source then, it even has 5.1.5.

I have 7zip as an office default. And it opens the downloaded KiCad file !!
Thats fascinating !
I will try to extract and use it and tell you about…