KiCad V5 install flowchart - windows only

As Kicad V5 installation is not an easy one (especially since one is usually not installing only binaries, but also libraries) I’ve created a flowchart to help with procedure. Any comments are welcome.

svg source


I would like to add that this environment variable nonsense is a windows only problem. Linux installers do not do this. (They use the kicad config files to setup the paths for the libraries.)

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In the “Do you still want to use V4? / Yes” branch, you don’t mention every time that v5 must be installed in a separate folder. It seems obvious, but still…

Thanks. I’ve corrected this.

@MitjaN [quote=“MitjaN, post:1, topic:11522”]
Any comments are welcome.

Do I still want to use V4? No.
Do you have your own libraries? Yes.

Break in the logic. I do still want to be able to also use the new libraries.

… still thinking about this…

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That flowchart is generally missing the path for “I have my own libs in addition to the official libs”

In that case the fp lib table and sym lib table need manual work after you updated the libraries.


Can you elaborate more on this, I can not tell precisely what are you thinking about.

I think Sprig and Rene may mean the same thing. The global fp-lib-table may have both the official libraries and the user’s own libraries. The official libraries need the official variables (KISYSMOD etc.). So, what happens if the user has added their own libraries to the global fp-lib-table? Changing the variables isn’t enough.

So there are at least 3 things to take care of:

  • User’s own libraries in the global fp-lib-table
  • Official libraries installed in the standard location
  • Official libraries installed in a nonstandard location

And the latter two are multiplied by selection of v4 and v5 libraries - whether to have both or only one to be used with KiCad 5.


Luckily some of the mess shall be resolved in 5.1.

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Maybe, but explaining the process clearly for 5.0 is very valuable for now.

I hope so, but I’m not sure how. If KiCad 5.1 installs into kicad5, then the user will have 5.0 and 5.1 installed. If 5.1 uses config/kicad5 instead of config/kicad, then the user loses all config from 5.0 setup!

While the issue has the attention of the devs, now is the time to improve the user experience, but it might not be until 6.0.

I occasionally beat the drum for a proper package installer which I prototyped with kipi, but despite all the difficulties users have installing stuff, it gets little interest. Something like kipi would make upgrading to 5, 5.1, 6.0 libraries etc really easy.

I also have a patch I am working on for KiCad that would allow the config path to be specified on the command line, this would make launching KiCad with a specific config a hell of a lot easier than obscure messing with env vars.

Very cool! I did think of doing something like that but I balked at the complexity.

Now if we could get that into an easy to use wizard that would be even more awesome…

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