Pcbnew external plugin?


Hello Everyone,

I try to find “External Plugin” menu on my Kicad, but I can not find it.
Tools ==> “I can not find External plugin”

How can I activate it ?
I’m using Kicad from Ubuntu repository.

I read about :

requirements: KiCAD pcbnew > 4.0 built with KICAD_SCRIPTING_ACTION_MENU option activated
release “1.5.3”

How can I do that ?

Cannot register external action plugins in Pcbnew?

Please have a look at here


I have installed from Ubuntu repository but there is no external plugin menu. My Ubuntu is 16.04
How can I set it on? Where is the config file?


R you on kicad stable?
This plugins are available only on dev release


I have the feeling people do not read stuff we link to them.
This is literally stated in the first sentence of the post you linked:

A new feature is now available for testing in KiCad daily build (PPA Ubuntu).


I have no idea if it’s stable or not, I did sudo apt-get install kicad, so I need to use kicad-dev from ubuntu
sudo apt-get install kicad-dev ?


Everything is explained over at the kicad homepage: http://kicad-pcb.org/download/ubuntu/


Can I install both version in one computer ? Or only one version?


First google result: (This is not a question about kicad but about if it is possible to have multiple versions of the same program running under your operating system. Disclaimer: not as easy as one might expect)


I have read http://kicad-pcb.org/download/ubuntu/
thank you so much for the info,
I will remove the stable version and replace it with dev version and keep posted,


Just a warning: The nightly version is not guaranteed to produce files that can be opened in the stable version.
There is not even a guarantee that one nightly build can open the files produced by another nightly build. (In most cases there is no problem but you might encounter one. Just know the dangers that come with using a development build.)


How to use this plugin with pcbnew ?


I tried following this :

but no luck after I copy the file to those directories, anything else I should change or fix ?


That only works for scripts designed to work as “action plugin”. For the kicad-bga-tools script, you can run it from the Linux command line or from pcbnew script console. Note you have to edit bga_dogbone.py with the name of your board, and maybe other parameters.


That dogbone script does not have the required code to be a KiCad ActionScript, so will not appear on the External Plugins menu. You must place the script files in plugins directory, then bring up the Scripting Console and type

import bga_dogbone

Be sure to modify the script to load your desired file.


Do you mean running it from here ?

How to call that script from linux command or that console ?


I tried running it by changing the pcb file name with my file but I got :
bianchi@bianchi-HP-Pavilion-dv6-Notebook-PC:~/kicad-bga-tools$ python2 bga_dogbone.py
Traceback (most recent call last):
File “bga_dogbone.py”, line 82, in
data = make_dogbones(my_board, mod, 0, 6)
File “bga_dogbone.py”, line 72, in make_dogbones
info = get_bga_info(mod)
File “/home/bianchi/kicad-bga-tools/bga_utils.py”, line 31, in get_bga_info
info.spacing = detect_spacing(module)
File “/home/bianchi/kicad-bga-tools/bga_utils.py”, line 14, in detect_spacing
for pad in module.Pads():
AttributeError: ‘NoneType’ object has no attribute ‘Pads’

What does it mean ??


Did you modify the following line to point to be a Module with a Reference that exists in your schematic? The error indicates that the following line failed to find a Module.

mod = my_board.FindModuleByReference("t.xc7.inst")


The module is equal to my bga footprint?

Kind regards,


I assume so, based on the name of the script. It should be changed to the Reference of the module/footprint.