Well, I'm a newby for KiCad too (using 4.0.5 on W10), and could not use any of the suggestions I found anywhere to make it work. I also could not really follow the first suggestion on this post, so tried a few things, and ended up making it work for me. It's not obvious for newbies like myself, so maybe this helps others.
So yes, I did manage it, but with a twist. Not sure if it's the right way, but at least its relatively effortless. This is what I did:
- Go to PCBnew and select from the Preferences menu, the Footprint Libraries Wizzard. Select Github Repository, and then browse to a common place on your PC. I selected C:\Users\Public\Public KiCad\LocalModules Hit Next, then Select all libraries, and click Next. After validating all the libraries, it will start to download all of them to the directory you just selected. This may take a while.
Here is the problem:
To force KiCad to select the data from the local libraries, I understand you have to put the local libs above those with the Github libs. Makes sense. However, this is excruciatingly difficult, because you can only do that one lib at a time, and you have to hit the "Move Up" key 90 times, for each lib. I also suspect that this list cannot be larger than about 100 entries, because if you try to append your 90 local libraries (next step), this does not get all the local libraries added, only 7. I tried various ways to no avail.
2. Make a copy of the fp-lib-table that is located here
Call the file something like fp-lib-table-git. While you're at it, have a look. It's a text file (I suggest you use Notepad++) And yes, I tried adding the local lib references to this file, still no deal. It shows only about 100 entries.
In any case, this file contains a reference for all libraries and their source(s).
It should have been easy to just add the local library names and their location to this list, but I only managed to get 7 of the files I downloaded locally at the end of the list. As I said, also manually editing this file did not work.
After you have made a copy of the fp-lib-table, we're simply going to remove all references to the github list. Select from the Preferences Menu The Footprint Library Manager. You will see all libraries with their (Github) destination path. Delete all these libraries. Leave the dialog box open.
Now we're going to import the local libs. Select Append with Wizzard. Select Files on my computer. Hit Next, locate the libs, select all of them, etc. and off you go. All local libs are now in the KiCad system. Click OK and you're done.
To be on the safe side, make another copy of the updated fp-lib-table file, and call it something like fp-lib-table-local.
Note If libraries change online, you need to probably go through the same exercise to get your local libs updated.
If there is a better way, please make sure people can find it !