Multiple symbol library paths


I don’t know if this already was asked on this forum and I don’t know if it this feature already implement in the development branch for KiCAD. If this true, you can ignore or delete this post.( Currently I didn’t find the correct post.)

The issue:
On Linux distribution the default symbol library path points to /usr/share/kicad/library on which “normal” users don’t have write permissions.

So my suggestion is to add a new environment variable for a global user symbol directory (KICAD_USER_SYMBOL_DIR as example) in which users can place their own global library.

The current workaround is to copy the library from the system folder to a folder with write permissions.

Welcome to the community…

I can’t speak for the Kicad developers but I know one goal was to make the “built in” libraries not able to be edited. I have windows 10 and full privilege’s to anywhere and Kicad editor will not save changed to the built in libraries.
So I have created personal libraries for symbols, footprints and 3D in another area. And this new area is part of may backup script.

Just a thought.

Thanks for the reply.

Okay, that is plausible.

But I have thought it’s might be useful (for users) if there is an additional search path for global libraries with which there is no need to edit/copy the built-in library. I think it’s useful for all OS’es on which KiCad is ported.

Is it possible without an additional environment variable to set multiple paths? Separated with a semicolon? Like the environment variable PATH on Linux/Unix systems? Haven’t tried that at this time.

Don’t try and add you own assets to the libraries provided by KiCad as they will get clobbered in an update. The recommended solution is to use environmental variables. I suggest you read this FAQ Library management in KiCad version 5

I do have multple environment KiCad variables. I keep a copy of the offcial libraries in my /home/user disk where the standard environment variables point to.
For example: KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR /home/myuser/kicadV5/kicad-symbols

Then I have my custom libraries in a different folder with my own environment variables.
For example: MY_SYMBOL_DIR /home/myuser/AMV/develpment/libraries/my-symbols

Here are my personal libraries (those starting with j_ )


And then I add the above folders and their containing libraries :

Once you get it setup its pretty easy. But I’ll admit the first time through had me scratching my head.

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