Newbie question. Does it make sense to start to learn with KiCad 5 (on linux)


Ah, of course, openGL
PCBnew -> View -> “Switch canvas to openGL [F11]”.
I believe that has become the default for V5 and the other’s are (almost?) obsolete?

Apart from the Canvas & OpenGL, what are the biggest changes between V4 and V5?
Idea is to give Ionox some idea on where to put his focus and on which parts to shrug his shoulders, and don’t dive in too deep.


I start to be interested KiCad when I sow manual router demos in OpenGL. I have designed one PCB working in OpenGL. Some my questions comed from that I really forgot there is also Default and coudn’t do something beeing in OpenGL.Now I have only to finish the doccumentation of my PCB and next one I believe to do in V5. I have installed today nightly on second computer just to look around in it.

  • Sym-lib-table (Symbol lib management now works similar to footprint lib management)
  • Completely new symbol editor
  • Automatic junction management in eeschema
  • New component chooser (with an experimental option to select the footprint already when placing the symbol.)
  • update pcb from schematic (no need to manually export the netlist any more)
  • courtyard and edge cut support for DRC
  • graphical polygons
  • custom and rounded rectangle pads
  • net highlighting in both pcb_new and eeschema (cross highlighting possible)
  • Stitching via support (vias do no longer need to be connected to a trace to be connected to a net)
  • Flip board view (look at pcb from the bottom directly in pcb_new)
  • In pcb_new the render management (right side next to layer selection) got a massive overhaul.
  • Massive overhaul of the official library (Reorganized by function, new unified naming convention, nearly all footprints got an overhaul to fulfill KLC, …)


And don’t forget the menu structure overhaul, it’s not about functionality but requires a bit re-learning. Also there shouldn’t be so many functions which can be reached only by the toolbar buttons.

There are many, many small changes which can be huge time savers for the user, but it’s highly a personal matter. All in all v4 and v5 are quite different experiences.

  • step 3D format support


The situation with the documentation isn’t still very good, I’m afraid. Newcomers need a tutorial rather than a reference manual. The Getting Started Guide isn’t in good shape, it can’t be followed with nightly builds, there are just too many minor and even major changes in KiCad. Actually majority of the UI strings in the Guide have been changed. I’m going through the Guide, editing it and making pull requests.

I don’t know if there are any video tutorials using pre-5, I would believe that those made with v4 are as confusing for v5 as text-based tutorials - or even more so, because you can’t easily follow on-the-fly what they are doing because the menu structures are different. In text you at least have opportunity to go with your own pace…


Newbie here can someone please share a link for V5RC2 nightly builds. I did a bit of searching around and couldn’t find it.



Here is the main Kicad download area.

Go to your OS and you will find a link to download the nightly development build.

See this FAQ

If you read the previous posts of this thread carefully you will understand what rc2 means.