KiCad has renamed its System variables in use for nightly builds that will carry into KiCad 6. This has become necessary to allow concurrent versions of KiCad to more easily co-exist on platforms in the future.
Windows Installer Change
The Windows installer for new KiCad nightly builds from today onwards will now install into a versioned path.
Previously, KiCad would be installed into
Now KiCad nightly will install into
No more excuses for not installing 5.99 and testing it!
EDIT: There’s some problem in the latest nightly build installer ATM, see the linked thread. I suggest avoiding it until it’s fixed.
EDITEDIT: The latest nightly build works.
EDITEDITEDIT: I added instructions for easy safe installation procedure unless you want to wait for the official instructions. Just start from scratch. Because we are talking about nightly builds for testing, it may not be worth trying to keep old settings. (4th edit: read the post linked to below if you use 3D models.)
The working solution for 5.99 until JLCPCB gerber processing is changed
This change is relatively new in 5.99. It is possible that there are other manufacturers who have problems with gerber X2 + aperture macro combination.
EDIT: It’s not necessarily the combination of these two, but JLCPCB has had some problems with X2, and now has with the new aperture macros produced by KiCad even though aperture macro itself is an old feature of X1. In any case disabling both should always work.
This comes a bit late, but for those who use python plugins:
Because of KiCad code API changes v5 plugins don’t necessarily work with 5.99 (or later v6). It depends on each plugin developer how they handle this. For example Interactive HTML BOM by @qu1ck has been updated in git master but some other plugins don’t work as of now.
The plugin search path has changed. The safest way to add plugins for 5.99 is probably to use <user configuration dir>/scripting/plugins/, i.e.
~/.config/kicad/5.99/scripting/plugins/ on Linux
%appdata%\kicad\5.99\scripting\plugins\ on Windows
~/Library/Preferences/kicad/5.99/scripting/plugins/ on Mac (untested by me).
Author: jean-pierre charras <email@example.com>
Date: Sat Jan 30 09:59:53 2021 +0100
Use aperture macro for custom pads. Optimize aperture macros for free polygons.
These aperture macros were previously used but only for chamfered round rect.
They are now also used for custom pads (previously drawn as regions).
They are also optimized, i.e. only one aperture macro is created for a given shape.
(previously, one aperture macro was created for each chamfered round rect pad.)
So now all pads are flashed.
Some other changes to pads caused problems with 3rd party software (most notably JLCPB CAM), so you should be aware of this one, too. It depends on the features used on the footprints/layout whether some problems are triggered in other software or not. If you have access to some 3rd party software which reads and and interprets gerbers, please test, or send gerbers with all kinds of pads in several rotated positions to your manufacturer. (Do not disable aperture macros for these tests.)
For new installs (or for when you wipe out your config directory), the hotkey Ctrl+H is changed from the legacy “high contrast” toggle to the new 3-state layer display mode toggle. This will cycle through showing inactive layers normally, dimmed, and off (the old hotkey just toggled between normal and dimmed).
If you don’t erase your config, this change won’t affect you, so I encourage you to consider making this switch yourself in your hotkey preferences:
If you haven’t tried this feature, it’s like the old “hide all layers but active” action available from right-clicking the list of layers, but better: unlike that one, this will keep working as you change layers.