Schematic symbols from GIT

I’ve configured KiCad to use the footprints from git…is there a way to do this for the schematic symbols as well? The symbol libraries on Git ( are far more comprehensive than the defaults in KiCad and I’d like to take advantage of them.

What is the process to do so…I can’t seem to find what I’m looking for in the documentation.

I’m using the latest release for Windows (4.0.4?)


You can download it from Github and add new library with a relative path.

Library Editor > preferences > component library.


Not yet. But it will be developed soon.

This is not implemented yet. (in version 5 symbol libraries will be handled similar to the current footprint libraries.)

You can do it manually by checking them out somewhere on your computer.
I’m not sure if this different location can be added to the standard search path.
You could try to edit the path variable (main kicad window->preferences->configure path)
Also edit the template project to get all libs included for new projects. (This template is stored under the modules folder where your current libraries live.)

But be aware that everyone who wants to use your project has to do this aswell.

That status presentation did say version 5 for this, didn’t it? I’m not 100% sure when the 5.0 release is planned, but I will say - unless someone is sitting on a trove of unannounced code, either 5.0 will be delayed significantly in order to add this, or it won’t happen until 6.0.

That said I can’t discount the possibility that someone is sitting on a trove of unannounced code.

Lets just say a future release of kicad will do this. (I always assumed it will be in version 5 but never checked this for myself.)

I guess I’m more of a noob than I thought…

In Pcbnew under Preferences->Footprint Library Manager I set the plugin type to GitHub and the KGITHUB environmental variable points to Are you saying that the footprint libraries are not actually being pulled from GitHub?

I’m very confused now…

I’ve used SVN but I’m totally new to GitHub…do I need to do a Git Clone somewhere on my PC and then add that relative path into my schematic symbol library…and this will keep everything automatically synced?

PCBnew handles the libraries differently than EEschema, their format is also completely different.
EEschema will converge to that same system with KiCAD v5 afaik (or not if the newest rumor is true :cry:).

With that being said, current state of affairs in KiCAD v4…


  • libraries are .sweet .pretty folders
  • footprints are .kicad_mod files
  • .kicad_mod files contain all information for that footprint, even the link for the 3D model
  • configuration is stored in fp-lib-table file in your KiCAD settings folder
  • fp-lib-table can be modified using the Footprint Library Manager (via CvPCB or PCBnew)
  • fp-lib-table can handle environment variables, to make library management easier
  • is able to load libraries from github


  • libraries are .lib files
  • symbols (components) are entries in that file
  • additional info is stored in .dcm/etc. files
  • library configuration is stored in the projects .pro file (and globally in the template file, located in the KiCAD program folder in /share/kicad/template)
  • the project libraries settings can be modified via the Component Libraries dialog (from EEschema)
  • to change global settings (for projects you start new only, as they load the file to start, existing projects don’t do that) you have to locate & load the template file (, adjust it’s library settings and then save it
  • can’t load libraries from github

Also of note a quirk for loading symbols:

  • if you have symbols with the same name in different libraries, EEschema will always and only load the one that is in the library that comes first in the list of libraries

Sorry Joan_Sparky, typing error

libraries are .sweet folders

Pcbnew libraries are .pretty

1 Like

Thanks for catching. :+1: