Still confused on dir structure

Restarting from 0 and am trying to understand the dir structure. Specifically, as I understand symbols (and just the symbols) go in ~/symbols. footprints (and just footprints) go in ~/footprints. have not seen anything on the other directories. Some I can guess. ~/3rdparty are for 3edparty plugins/software. ~/plugins are for plugins released by KiCAD. ~/scripting? ~/template?


If you are on Linux you’ll see that KiCad has created a sample tree in ~/.local/share/kicad/6.0. In fact the directories can go anywhere that you can create files, since one usually uses path variables to point to the respective directories.

As you’re using ~/ format for your path, I assume we’re talking Linux or similar here.

The standard libraries, templates etc. are in:
Don’t modify them (you can’t save them anyway), they’ll be overwritten on an update.
Personal libraries you can place anywhere. I prefer:
$HOME/.local/share/kicad, but that’s just to have the same structure as in /usr.
Sniff around in /usr/share/kicad, then you’ll get a feeling for what belongs where.


Should have included I am on a Win11. I used the ~/ format because have also worked on a Linux and got used to that format.

What I wrote above still apples, but with different directory names.
And yes, it would have been nice of you to mention the OS.

I just cleaned out accumulated (junk and test files) and converted old Symbols (.lib and .dcm) to the newer ‘kicad_sym’ by Importing the Old one’s then deleted the Old one’s. Now, all symbols (and footprints) are clean and waiting for v7 release.

FYI … To the point of Dir/File mgmt:

I started with Kicad v4 and file mgmt has improved - perhaps it’s now wonderful but, the bad taste hasn’t gone away for me so, I manage by Brute-Force (so to speak).

Meaning that I specifically setup folders as I want them and set the Paths to them and set the related panels to point to them.

So, my files (all of them; footprints, symbols, scripting, templates, projects…) are always in-tact, always available, never deleted or modified by Kicad when I Upgrade/Update…

Yes, I needed to reset the Paths after upgrading to v6 but, that required only adding ‘6’ to the KICAD name field (KICAD6). Perhaps going to v7 will require my doing that again… a 30-second tweak.

Also, to help speed loading of Footprints, I unchecked those I don’t use (yes, they are still accessible if wanted)

Thus, Screenshots Snippet’s for reference…

Me too.

I have all my working files at D:\Mm\ and backup this directory each day. So when starting KiCad I made the subdirectory D:\Mm\KiCad\ and there I made directories like PcbLib, SchLib for my libraries.

If remember well I had nothing to do (except a backup copy for save). May be it is because I use direct addressing for everything. For example if I use any KiCad 3D model I copy it to my directories and in footprint write direct address of that file (without using any variable).

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