Question about the environment variables

Are they all capitalized?
Does the _DIR really have to be appended everywhere?

It’s just a convention. The KiCad GUI doesn’t let you define path names with lower case, but KiCad understand lower case if you edit the configuration manually.

For most of the default path names (those which are used in the official libraries etc.) KiCad uses _DIR for some reason. You don’t have to use it if you define new path variables.

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