Pcbnew netlist footprint library names


I have a few “footprint not found” type errors that I am confused about. First of all does it match the entire string that seems to consist of “library
name”:”footprint name” in the netlist ?
In the cases concerning me the library name is different.

When I set-up the project I imported a schematic from a project completed last year, then I updated KiCad, unknown to me and unexpectedly some components have been removed from the libraries (extremely unhelpful).

So I made a footprint archive of the old project and added it to the libraries in the new project but that does not solve the problem and I think that is because it expects both the footprint name and library name fields to match, am I right ?

So how am I going to fix the components missing from your libraries since the last update, for example “Connectors_Terminal_Blocks:TerminalBlock_Pheonix_MKDS1.5-2pol” ?

Update was from 4.0.5 to 4.0.7



Well the footprint libs in a default kicad 4 setup are not locally installed. They are downloaded on demand directly from github. (and track the head of the repo)

You can locally install the library version you originally used. Have a look at this faq post for more details How can i install a specific version of the footprint library?


OK thank you for your reply at least I understand what it is doing!
This makes it very difficult to re-use lumps of past projects IF someone deletes footprints from the repository, I cannot understand why this happened, is there some process for pruning libraries we should be aware of ?


Don’t use the github plugin if you want stable libs.


Sorry I didnt see the other links :slight_smile:

I remain concerned that foorprints disapear from this repository


Even if i delete everything right now. They will forever stay in the git history. There are tagged releases for a reason.


Not sure what that means but in one small project 4 footprints went missing in a year and that to me is annoying and timewasting and makes me feel KiCad is not to be relied upon.

Obviosly having had my fingers burnt in this way I shall now ONLY rely on frozen libraries and I will not be able to update them in future for fear of more losses.

I see in your forthcoming release 5 things will be re-organised, let’s hope together with some better revison control!


Unfortunately the user expectation of the part libraries and what is possible either technically or from an effort point of view is very different. I think this is partly due to a difference in the type of users coming to KiCad, as well as the fact KiCad has evolved over 20 years or more, and doesn’t have the luxury of starting from a blank sheet.

I’ve just been watching the FOSDEM talks, it’s notable that not one but two new FOSS tools have been developed, and the #1 reason for starting afresh is to rewrite the part management - “it should just work”. One example is to use UUID instead of names, then a part variant could be preserved forever. That might change in KiCad, but not soon.

Anyway, the advice is to always take a local snapshot of the libraries (or maybe create a own fork) at the time so designs can be reproduced.


I am sorry I probably got a bit mad, TBH every CAD system I have used in over 40years has suffered from library problems of one kind or another. On the whole I have been amazed at how good KiCad is in all respects but surely it’s not to much to ask that footprints that have been lovingly created are not lost due to poor data base management ?

In the meantime I have a bug ? (to me) to report whilst installing my frozen libraries and it concerns pcbnew/preferences/footprint libraries manager when selecting local files to add say from the 4.0.7 download and that is if the selection includes an empty folder the NEXT button is not available, for example in that download folder “Relays_SMD.pretty” this means block selections are often impossible adding to the frustration as there are many mysteriously empty folders in many downloads!


As was already said, KiCad symbol and footprint repositories are in a CVS, namely git, not in a database. You can use git and go back in time, restoring exactly the state the libraries were in when your design was made.


You seem to be missing my point and I have no doubt you think I am also missing yours but what possible reason could there be for deleting information once entered cvs or not ?
I dont want to have to go on a hunting mission when something goes missing, it should not have gone missing in the first place IMOP.


The footprints have not been deleted. Either the footprints have been renamed or they have been moved to a different lib. (Libs have been split up as they have been grown too large to handle.)

The connectors terminal blocks libs have been split (after the v4.0.7 release) into separate libs per manufacturer. (We increased the number of footprints for terminal blocks by a factor of 10. The old organization method just could not handle this any more.)

The only time we really deleted stuff is when we reorganized the lib for the v5 release and where unable to verify some of the more esoteric footprints in for example the connectors lib. But even this only affects the version 5 lib not the version 4 lib.


Lets just call it confusion and be done with it then!

Hope you still look at the bug to make it easier to import your library downloads :slight_smile:


Well i posted my faq article above that details how it will be handled in v5. Have a look at that.


To be clear, this is primarily a user forum. We can provide tea and sympathy, and offer practical advice and help, but we cannot wave a magic wand and make KiCad meet everyone’s expectations.

It’s kind of like the The Hitchiker’s Guide to KiCad. We can’t rid the world of Vogons, nor stop them demolishing planets, but we can help you to hitch a lift…


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