Released kicad6.0

I think kicad 5.1.10 is stable, so I have continued to use 5.1.10. However, on December 25, 2021, kicad 6.0 was released.
Is it better to change to kicad6.0 from now on?

There was 5.1.11 then 5.1.12, now 6.0.0

There are lots of new features and a bit of a learning curve and there is very little documentation at present.
Only one real problem: if you convert your projects to 6 you can’t return them to 5, however there will be virtually no more support for 5.1.12 and none for 5.1.10.

Having written that: Yes, it is better to change to 6.0.0 and if you have problems, you know how to find this forum


Although the upgraded files have new extensions, so the V5 files remain in case something goes wrong in the upgrade.
see @eelik comment below, the PCB file is overwritten, so make a backup

The schematic file has completely new file format and the old one is kept, but the pcb file is actually changed and must be backed up separately.

Another problem is 6 overrides 5.whatever, so to revert to 5.x.x, 6 has to be un-installed and 5.x.x has to be found and re-installed.
For @ojj , they are all here:

On Windows, I run 5.1.12 and 6.0 side by side, no problem

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One of the great enhancements in v5.99/6.0 was to make it easy to have parallel installations for different versions. The official Windows installer does this automatically. On different Linux distros you mileage may vary, depending on how it has been packaged.

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I didn’t know that.

Linux Mint killed 5.1.12.
I’ll have to explore to see if I can resurrect 5.1.12 from the grave. :slightly_smiling_face:

A question for @ojj … What OS are you running? Beware if it is Linux.

I took mine from

Thanks for your good reply. I am using windows. I quit kicad 5.1.10 and now I start with kicad 6.0.

I highly recommend 6.0. I am running it under Win10 in my office computer. I like it much better than 5.1X

But I have Linux Mint in my old lab computer. As a Linux newbie, I wonder why it was decided to install based on “nightly” versus “stable” instead of using the version number. (A little bit of gymnastics would be required so that 6.0 replaces 5.99 but neither of those should replace 5.1X.) I have 6.0 nightly installed in my Linux machine. As I understand it, if I were to update that nightly tomorrow, my 6.0 would be replaced by 6.99 and that would not be fully compatible with the 6.0 on my office computer.

I guess I could simply install 6.00 stable but I think I am happy with 6.00 nightly for now, and I am reluctant to disturb what seems to work. I am not sure what sort of trouble I would make for myself, and I am not aware of any compelling reason to do it.

Is the idea of updating based upon “nightly” versus “stable” due to some rules in Linux or is this just a KiCad packaging decision?

I believe that what you would get is the precursor to 6.0.1, not 6.99. Nothing should upgrade to 6.99, it would have to be a deliberate decision to install it.

Nightlies are from “Master” and already tagged 6.99
There is a 6.0 branch, which will lead to 6.0.1 and so on. There are no builds of this yet. Previously the 5.1 branch was built as “Testing”

I think the use of the word nightly only to talk about versions leads to confusion. Nightly means that some automated build process is happening so that the packages reflect the most recent changes instead of having to wait for a release. So there should be:

6.0 stable series which will have .0.0, .0.1 and so forth
6.0 nightly which are the precursors to the next release in the above series
6.99 nightly which are to test features that are slated for 7 or later

Bobz, if you indeed have 6.99 nightly maybe that’s not what you want, as it will diverge from your 6.0 stable installation.

6.0 nightlies, which davidsrb points out hasn’t started yet, are a much smaller risk. There may be regressions, but more likely it will fix small bugs until the next 6.0 stable catches up.

I installed 6.99. It replaced my 6.0.0 rc. The new nightly installed over the top of the old nightly, that I can understand.
I installed 6.0.0. It replaced 5.1.12. The new stable installed over the top of the old stable.

Seems to be a problem with Linux Mint (or the person installing :slightly_smiling_face:).
I read the instructions to re-install 5.1.12, but to do that I have to remove 6.0.0. If I want 6.0.0 back after I have re-installed 5.1.12, it will just install over 5.1.12 again…circles?

This problem I had previously mentioned to @BobZ , who is also running Mint.

Maybe @paulvdh may shed some light on this. He also runs Mint.

Sure, that’s as it should be because 6.99 > 6.0.0. What I said was that if you install 6.0 nightly (the one that hasn’t started yet), it should not upgrade you to 6.99.

From the experiences I have read I suspect that this confusion came about because of the reuse of the “nightly” repo to distribute 6.99 after having distributed 5.99. Suddenly people who were on 5.99 got upgraded to 6.99, even if they have 6.0 installed. This reuse should not have been done. A new 6.99 nightly repo should have been started. It’s not as if repos are in short supply. I don’t know if this is due to the packagers or what.

The other thing is it seems that only the Windows packages allow the 5.1 stable and 6.0 stable releases to co-exist. This is generally not the case in Linux unless the packager anticipated supporting multiple versions. For some software, like the Python system, it is crucial as there is a cutover period. For most other software, only one version can be installed because the directories used are not version specific. If you want another version you have to resort to a pack, or a VM.

@BobZ was concerned with his Mint laptop… he is brand new to Linux.
At the moment he has the same very late nightly on both computers which suits him.

I’ve already said farewell to 5.1.12. It is in the ground and I’m chiselling out the gravestone while thinking of a suitable epitaph.

For KiCad “nightly” means the builds made from the “master” branch which is the ongoing development branch. Just before a new stable x.y.0 (major.minor) release the development slows down for RC and the final release. Right after the release, development continues directly from where it was left for the final release. Bugfix development for the new x.y.z series is branched from there and is called “testing” in the build repository. The development “master” branch is always called “nightly” in the build repository.

Thanks no I don’t. I want to defer updating now, and I have read the warnings and communicated with @jmk about his experience.

Just for my own endarkenment; what is a “repo”? Is it something like a suppository but different? Or more like “the repo man?” Kidding aside…I really do not know.

BTW I think @jmk and I are both labeled as “aficionados.” I figure that is a good name for a sandwich of halibut and avocado?

In that case, it was the packager’s responsibility to ensure that updates of that repo were discontinued at that point and a new repo started for 6.99. While it’s a continuation of development, most users who registered for that repo would have wanted to stop at the release. The hardcore testers are a different audience.