New OS X KiCad build with all the trimmings!

New build uploaded, same download link. Works with OS X 10.8-10.10.2. It’s BZR 5324, built with an unpatched libboost 1.56. It’s by the far the fastest and most stable KiCad build I’ve tried.

I am working on detailed build instructions and a homebrew recipe for KiCad which I will be posting soon. For now though, I have a very unofficial binary build of KiCad for OS X available for download.

Be sure to double click on ‘Upgrade Kicad’ to upgrade (or simply install and populate) all the support files for KiCad. You do not need to copy it off the dmg, and running it once will set up KiCad to pull updates from the official github library repos, so those libraries should stay up to date (as long as you have a working internet connection at least).

Also, if anything seems slow, look under View, and if you see an ‘Use OpenGL’ option, select it. It works great under OS X, but I don’t think it defaults to it yet.

This one is a little different, it has reason to exist as a binary, because it’s somewhat of an involved build:


  • BZR 5324 - latest version as of December 16th, 2014.
  • KiCad scripting is enabled.
  • All scripting modules including the Github plugin are enabled.
  • wxPython scripting support is enabled.
  • Fancy DMG using the developers DMG creation tool and artwork.
  • Script in .app form that allows one-click installation and/or upgrading of all footprints, libraries, models, etc. and sets them up to pull from the official github repos.

It’s looking a bit more polished.

I am working on discussing some of this with the other developers and seeing how they would actually like to handle the KiCad OS X deployment. The single .app, extras folder, and Update script are my own doing and do not repersent the true intentions of the development team. It is likely that future, official releases may differ significantly in installation/presentation. Just letting you know ahead of time.

I think the build should just work.

Word to your mother(boards).


Just to let you know, I triedit and it works. It comes without libraries, so I have to still look for that, but otherwise it works fine. I open project worked on PC and so far it recognized it and opened it.
Thank you!

You’re doing God’s Work, my friend! :slight_smile:

I’ll install and give you feedback ASAP


1 Like

Seems to work just fine on my mac - just the libraries are missing. Has anyone a good guide how to add them to a mac? Possibly so that I can easy update the libraries.

Thanks for working on the mac port of KiCAD!!!


Some feedback:

eeschema seems to work fine, library editor too. Opened all parts of the suite (gerbview etc.).

cvpcb and pcbnew crash the whole of kicad on opening, giving me this error (both alike):

EDIT: it is obviously an issue with 10.8.5. I tried it with 10.10 and it works fine!/EDIT

17:42:55: dlopen(/Applications/, 10): Symbol not found: ___sincos_stret
Referenced from: /Applications/…/Frameworks/libcairo.2.dylib
Expected in: /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
in /Applications/…/Frameworks/libcairo.2.dylib
17:42:55: IO_ERROR: Fatal Installation Bug
missing file:

from /Volumes/Home/Users/collinanderson/kicad/common/kiway.cpp : KiFACE() : line 219

I am still using 10.8.5. Could that be an issue?

Thanks and cheers

D’oh! I accidentally built this such that it will ONLY work with OS X 10.10! :flushed:

Also, I am not actively contributing to the KiCad project (nor have I ever), mac version or otherwise. I’m just taking their hard work and going the grunt work of packaging it, as no one else seems to be, and building it from source code is well and good if you’re a developer, and slightly terrifying to totally insurmountable if you’re not. I just wanted to give the OS X users some love :smiley:

But I certainly don’t deserve any thanks for working on the mac port, because I haven’t. Not yet anyway ;).

Stay tuned, I have a 2 new builds in the oven right now (it takes a while to build even on my 8-core Xeon workstation), one is the latest revision built with a more recent version of wxWidgets/wxpython, and support for OS X 10.7-10.10. The second build will be revision 5042, which is, according to the comments in the linux install script, ‘the best mix of stability and features’. :shipit:

So it’s uh, kind of a new stable build even though they’re not doing stable builds? Maybe? Who knows.

I’m looking into options to make library acquisition easy (or better, automatic). I thought the github plugin did that, but I can’t actually figure out where the hell it is in KiCad. Or if there is even a GUI hook, it might require using it from the scripting console. Someone knows, but at the moment, I don’t hehe.

Build script and homebrew recipe (imagine brew install kicad --like-a-boss). Soon, hopefully.


Well, by compiling a usable version for those who can’t, you definitely do.

I did some KiCad workshops in the past and the most annoying thing is the fact that nobody has the same version installed and each has different bugs. I find it hard to talk people at my hackerspace into using it instead of eagle because installing it is such a pain.

So, if you can provide some ready-to-use versions for newcomers, you actually contribute a great deal to the community and the project. Make sure you let the projects website know. The mdx4 version they link to isn’t working so well…

Thanks again!

Brilliant that someone is working on this!

Any news on a build that would work on 10.8.5?

As to libraries I just posted my work around for setting them up in an other thread:

scroll to the very bottom.

br Kusti

New build up! New dmg! Works with 10.8-10.10. There are some changes, there is a an extra .app called ‘Upgrade KiCad Library’. Launch this and it will automatically install or upgrade your library tables to pull directly from the github repos, and populate them with the latest 3D models, modules, foot prints, and components. If you already have a customized library table, it will rename it with a .backup extension and move it aside, you’ll have to merge them manually for now.

Brilliant, sounds great, I will try it out with in a few hours!

Oops, where can I find it?

I have edited the first post with updated information. :smile:

I am really going to focus on the build quirks and see if I can’t make it a bit more user-friendly on the mac side. The big reason the OS X side of KiCad seems so far behind, and with no official builds, is not due to neglect or lack of interest. In fact, Adam Wolf (Wayne) has been doing a ton to get a really polished OS X version done. That’s what took so long: there was a lot of work to do. Cross platform code will get you a command line executable, but the KiCad developers are opting for a much better experience and have gone through a ton of work to make a native .app bundle for us OS X users.

I’m going to do my best to contribute some ease-ifying scripts to the main repo to make building all that hard work as simple as the cmake && make install two step automagic that is the norm for building command line tools. I’d also like to eliminate the user having to manually setup libraries/application support, and I’ve made a modest first stab at this with the ‘Upgrade Kicad’ addition.

I have zero influence, because, uh, I haven’t done anything yet (but that might change once I finish some stuff up) so I don’t know how much what I say will matter, but I figure at worst I can link this thread to the KiCad devs. So they can see answers to this question:

How would you prefer KiCad be presented in OS X? Do you prefer a single .app, but manual library management, or a …dmg with a installer .pkg that installs a single .app and deals with librariy/etc. stuff for you, or either of those but with a KiCad folder with every component broken out into its own .app? (I.e. Kicad, pcbnew, eeschema, all having their own icon). I am not endorsing any particular way, they all are possibilities. I just wanted to hear from some other OS X users what they thought and what would feel the most ‘mac-like’ for them. And if you have your own idea, definitely tell usreaders what it is too! :slight_smile:

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Hi I found it (I hope) it is 2014-12-13 BZR 5321, right?

but the pcbnew still fails with:

23:31:20: dlopen(/Applications/, 10): Symbol not found: ___sincos_stret
Referenced from: /Applications/…/Frameworks/libcairo.2.dylib
Expected in: /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
in /Applications/…/Frameworks/libcairo.2.dylib
23:31:20: IO_ERROR: Fatal Installation Bug
missing file:

from /Volumes/Home/KiCad/kicad/common/kiway.cpp : KiFACE() : line 219

this is on 10.8.5

br Kusti

Same here. I get the error opening pcbnew, module editor and cvpcb.

The most ‘mac-like’ would be a ‘fire and forget’ installer that does all the work for you, including installing the libraries, in a single .app. The includes it’s libraries inside the package, for example.
I don’t know if that is the right approach on a complex suite such as KiCad though. At least updating the fp-lib-table should be optional so advanced users can keep their libraries in a seperate place and don’t have to worry about loosing it to a fresh install.


Sorry about that, I’m on it. Expect a fixed build later tonight. I don’t have anything besides a Yosemite system to test it on, it worked fine for me. Fortunately it looks like it’s just a linking error, which is a quick fix. Should have something for you guys in a few.


RE feedback about KiCad on Mac OS X.

This is just MHO.

Most Mac users, like me, expect rather polished out-of-the box experience. So your work on this is more than welcome.

A good set of libraries that work out of the box to start with is essential for good experience when starting with KiCad and more than anything KiCad needs at the moment is more users and more momentum. Any user lost is most likely lost forever because of the time invested in learning any CAD system not to mention actual cash.

As to packaging, a single .app bundle is best I think. No installer (.pkg), just drag and drop to your Applications folder or where ever and forget it. That’s Mac style.

Libraries should work out of the box, that is given. If I got this correctly KiCad is moving to a github based library distribution. Thats fine but it should not be necessary for the first time user to download the libraries from github.

I don’t think it is acceptable to keep the libraries inside .app bundle as the user can and will overwrite that anytime with a new build.

Also I don’t think Application Support folder is good for libraries because it is hidden by default (at least on some Mac OS X versions) and even when not hidden it is different from ordinary folders because you can’t double click to open it. Libraries should be visible in the file system so that users can manipulate them as necessary. Basically they are just any other design file. Or they should be completely invisible and KiCad should provide all the tools necessary to manage them.

Ideally I think that KiCad, on startup, should ask “where do you want to keep your libraries” and the copy a default library there. If a library exists in that location it should ask weather to overwrite it, use it or use some other location. On subsequent runs it should remember where the library. This gets more complicated with per project libraries. I realise I maybe talking through my hat as my KiCad experience is minimal so far and may people must be well ahead of me in their thinking. Just thought I’d share my 2 snt worth.

I realize that at this point what I wrote above about libraries maybe too much to ask for so a script/app that set the libraries up sounds like good mid term solution.

Keep up the good work!

br Kusti

Yay! Let us know when it’s done :smile:

Hello metacollin,

first of all - thanks for the great work! KiCAD runs without any issues. But I think I found a little bug in your library-update-app. It was basivcally not working for me. In the embedded script are the following two lines:

INSTALL_DIR="$HOME/Library/Application Support/kicad"

and a little bit later

touch "$INSTALL_DIR"

Is it supposed to create a file called kicad in the folder $HOME/Library/Application Support and not a folder? After the update process, the file kicad still had a size of 0 bytes. I decided to delete it and create a folder called kicad instead. I ran the script again an am now having all the libraries in this folder. KiCAD is now recognizing all the libraries and I can start working.

I guess the line

touch "$INSTALL_DIR"

should be changed to

mkdir "$INSTALL_DIR"

Thx & Cheers,