V6.0 Library Symbol and Footprint development for releases

I have noticed that KiCad 6.0 has a few new directories for libraries,
Specifically "KICAD6_3RD_PARTY C:\Users\billy\Documents\KiCad\6.0\3rdparty "

What I am wondering is what would be the best way to setup a git repository for developing libraries for this folder?

I was able to find this KiCad Addons | Developer Documentation | KiCad which helps me with the folder structure, but doesn’t give me a good way to integrate git in my development of the library.

Sort of the same question. Should I use these new directories for my stuff or are they special? What are the pros and cons?


Why do only a few have Environment variable set for them?

thanks, oh I’m on MacOS 10.15.7

This also confuses me.

Some of the environment variables are peppered throughout this document…

But I have yet to find a definitive and complete table of all active environment variables for 6.0.

Here’s what I’ve dug out from that file…

KIPRJMOD (not user-definable)

So now there’s some that are prefixed “KICAD6”, some are still “KICAD” as before, and some are “KI”, hard to know which from the older “KICAD” and “KI” eras still do anything at all.

KICAD6_3RD_PARTY is for things installed by the Plugin and Content Manager (PCM)

KICAD6_*_DIR variables are for the official KiCad libraries and templates shipped with KiCad 6 – these are supposed to be read-only, and it’s not a good idea to place your own libraries in these folders as they can be overwritten when installing new versions of KiCad.

There is no default environment variable set up for you to put your own user libraries in. Using environment variables as part of library paths is not required. You can do this if you choose, and you can call the variable whatever you’d like. You can also just put a direct path to your user libraries.


These paths (and the equivalents on Windows or Linux in the user Documents folder) are provided as an suggested location for your user libraries. You can put your user libraries here, or anywhere else that you have write access to. The KICAD_DOCUMENTS_HOME variable (not defined by default) can be used to change where KiCad looks for this default Documents path.

KICAD_CONFIG_HOME can be used to change the location KiCad looks for configuration files. This is an advanced thing that most people should not do. If you aren’t sure what this means, just ignore it.

KICAD_USER_TEMPLATE_DIR controls where KiCad looks for project templates defined by you (the user).