Linux default library paths

I have tried using Kicad on Linux many times over the past few years but usually been beaten by the library management systems and given up with it.
This time I have stuck with it and actually designed a whole board which has been successfully manufactured by a board house.

Is it possible to disable the default eeschema component search paths that point to ‘/usr/share’ and ‘/usr/local/share’.

I have not used any of the default components or footprints and these seemingly hard coded paths are a nuisance.


Edit : oops forgot to add

Application: kicad
Version: 4.1.0-alpha+201605051001+6774~44~ubuntu16.04.1-product, release build
Libraries: wxWidgets 3.0.2
libcurl/7.47.0 OpenSSL/1.0.2g zlib/1.2.8 libidn/1.32 librtmp/2.3
Platform: Linux 4.4.0-21-generic x86_64, 64 bit, Little endian, wxGTK

  • Build Info -
    wxWidgets: 3.0.2 (wchar_t,wx containers,compatible with 2.8)
    Boost: 1.58.0
    Curl: 7.47.0
    KiCad - Compiler: GCC 5.3.1 with C++ ABI 1009

I’m new to Kicad and ask a similar question.
Perhaps some of the information will be helpful…

If you edit
and delete the list of libraries when you create a new project it will come just with power library.

1 Like

If you edit
and delete the list of libraries when you create a new project it will come just with power library.

Yes, I have done this, but when I start a new design and go to preferences>Component libraries the search path still defaults to /usr/local

What is needed is a simple config file somewhere in my home directory with the lines
‘path to schematic symbols=’
‘path to footprints=’
‘path to 3d models=’

and have this override all the other paths, no hard coded paths, no wizards, no github and no %KISYS whatever.

eh, you will not be happy about this bit then:

The paths for the symbol libraries are stored in a file in the template folder (for whole kicad, but with a caveat). Those paths are being copied when you create a new project into the .pro file in the project folder and remain there (they become project specific).
If you want any changes to those you have to either use the GUI or edit the .pro file.
That is the old system and 12+ months away from (don’t hold your breath) being obsolete. The GUI is pretty confusing. Once it changes it will be working in the new system…

The path for the footprints is handled in the fp-lib-table file in the folder were all the other program setting files reside. This file is relevant to your whole installation and not project specific.
This is the new system. There is also a wizard that helps you set up those pretty easily.

The path for the 3d shapes is being handled via the footprint files.

The new system also allows you to have parts of those paths handled via environmental variables (nice for relative paths if you work on different systems etc. pp)… namely KISYSMOD and KISYS3DMOD.

There you have it - please don’t get a fit now.

PS: what you get once all work is done is essentially the following (IMHO):

KISYSSYM = path to symbols
KISYSMOD = path to footprints
KISYS3DMOD = path to 3d shapes

sym-lib-table = contains symbol folder list + meta info (folders contain the symbol files)
fp-lib-table = contains footprint folder list + meta info (contain the footprint files)

You can opt to use the above path variables to keep stuff easy to manage or use absolute paths in those -lib-table files. The choice is yours.

It doesn’t bother me, It is a decision for the developers to make, and I do appreciate all the hard work being done to improve the software, but if the library system becomes any more cryptic, this will be the biggest reason for people to abandon the software after trying it for the first time.