KiCad Winbuilder

I am liking the site and everything Chris is doing. By making the videos freely available I think new and un-expected opportunities will present themselves.

I wanted to ask about people experiences with the windows answer to building/running KiCad “WinBuilder”, how people are getting on with it, and to generally start a conversation about the subject.

Personally I think it’s great and have had a few teething troubles getting started but now I think I am getting to grips with it, slowly.

The only downside, is that as it is usually building the latest version and I am never too sure about how that would compare to a “vanilla” build (if there is such a thing).

Anyway I just wanted to see what people thought, and get some reactions.


I am currently evaluating new versions of Kicad (while still using 2013 “stable”, and have run Winbuilder half-a dozen times. The first ones (maybe couple months ago) were rather successful, however the builds I’ve ran this week are failing for some cryptic reason I cannon understand yet. Maybe it is related to changes in sources.
More on this later.

I re-build my KiCad every week or so with WinBuilder. (Just click on the make.bat file and it’s done.) I like to keep up with the new stuff being added by CERN and others. I haven’t noticed any substantive bugs, but I also haven’t been using KiCad intensively for the past few months.

Talking of failure to build. I have just tried to build the latest version (BZR5039) and found that it was having problems finding the .h files under the GL folder. Checking the bug tracker it looks like the problem has been there for only a day or so, and is probably just a case of the development getting ahead of us mere mortals.

Simply fixed by copying the whole “GL” folder from “C:\kicad-winbuilder-3.4\src\glew-cmake\include” to “C:\kicad-winbuilder-3.4\src\kicad\3d-viewer”

and it all seems to be fine now =)

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I regularly update my KiCAD build using the WinBuilder script. Once the first build has finished updating goes rather quickly. I decided to use WinBuilder because I like to see the new features being added by CERN and to get around using the last official (ancient) binary.

I’ve started using it since version 3 and after a couple of issues that were quickly fixed by the maintainer it runs perfectly fine.

For some strange reason I’ve noticed more problems with nightly KiCAD builds for Linux rather than Win builds using WinBuilder.

Does Windbuilder install it’s self?

Thank you Blaklite for the tip! My builds started to fail recently too, for the same reason. Will try to proceed with your fix this evening.

James, you just download and unpack the folder from .7z file (you’ll need a 7zip archiver to do so)

Good question James.

Winbuilder allows you to run a copy of KiCad, but does not necessarily perform an “install”. This is something that I have been asking myself, ie what files/folders are to be considered part of the “install” and those needed to build.
It would be great that if after completing a build, WinBuilder actually copied (or better, moved) all of the files required out of its own directory, into a more separate set of folders, which could then be considered an “installed” version. Perhaps by having an environment variable like “KICAD_HOME” or similar, so you would then know that would be the place to find a complete install, along with any documentation or demo/startup files, and then could be deleted or copied as required.

Dolganoff, Thanks for the info. I have 7zip so will give it a go.

Thanks, I will need to do some reading to figure it out.
I do appreciate your response.
love your picture.

Just a random thought about the winbuilder: be sure to have at least 4 or 5 Gig free on the hard drive where you install it…

A follow-up to blaklite’s workaround: after copying the GL folder to src\kicad\3d-viewer" I was able to build successfully! I have the BZR5042 now, it seems to work fine.

As a first time user it took a while to get it working. Had some errors running Make. Then realised that I needed to create the folder on my C drive - error seemed to be linked to me having initially placed folder on my D drive.

Also on first run, make sure you have loads of time… I’m running a dinosaur quad-core and at least 2hrs to get made

Mine builds on D drive…

Hmm. Is it linked to the folder name I wonder? Installed mine in a renamed folder in the root of D. Logged as a bug anyway, will see what the clever folks come back with

I’ve unzipped the winbuilder directly into the D:\ root, didn’t change the folder name (so it lives in d:\kicad-winbuilder-3.4).
But I did the builds with different folder names too, I don’t remember having issues because of that. Just avoid putting it in subfolders or having spaces in the folder name…
And yes, check available space, damn thing grows a lot during the build process.

Where did you download it from. I use Bitdefinder and said it had Trojan.Arcbomb.bzip virus in it.

I got it from here, although I seem to be cursed - it didn’t work on first or second go. Eventually, I edited the KiCadWinbuilder.cmake file, changing the line:

I was getting the error:
– Installing KiCad locally. Use RunKiCad.bat to run this version
CMake Error at KiCadWinbuilder.cmake:1051 (file):
  file COPY cannot find “C:/kicad-winbuilder-3.4/src/doc/doc/help”.

Then it worked like a dream, but no documentation which I was ok with.

Good luck, and let me know if you win

I downloaded it still had the trojan so I will just wait until comes out in an installed version.
thanks for the help