When will Kicad 5 be available?


I am new to Kicad. After looking at some vids on uTube, I decided to try out Kicad.
Unfortunately the vids covered Kicad 5 and there is some functions there I would like to test out.

How do I get hold of a beta (or similar) for Kicad 5 ??


I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but you can try the nightly builds: http://downloads.kicad.org/windows/nightly/



There is no beta release for v5. There are nightly builds. (Build every night from the current master of the development branch) Warning: These might be unstable, they might produce files that can not be opened in other versions of kicad (JTS edit: that includes other nightlies).

I suspect that the feature freeze for v5 will happen within the next month or so. (Assuming the goal is still to release v5 before FOSDEM 2018)
I think the main hold back are some things with the symbol lib table.


And, I personally think Digikey just threw a monkey wrench into that system.

Why is that?
Their libs will be convertible like the ones KiCAD provides or the ones I have on my disk…

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I do reserve the right to be horribly wrong from time to time; as I have not been replaced by a robot yet.

There was no mentioned indication that the new library re-mapping would also accommodate the Digikey library files.

I typed out a reply to this post before I typed out a reply to that other post. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to connect the dots to see the picture; or not.

From https://kicad.org/libraries/third_party/

While the following links may be useful sources of library packages, they are not maintained or endorsed by the KiCad project.

The Digikey libs are interesting but completely separate from the KiCad project :slight_smile:

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At the moment I assume the conversion/mapping tool will work with my personal libs to the same degree as they work with the KiCAD ones, or the private ones of a dev.
There is nothing special about the Digikey libs, so they should also convert/map fine IMHO.

But same as you, I might be wrong. :neutral_face:


Any news about version 5?
My question is exactly the title of this thread but till now I don’t see any useful response.
I’m a new user of KiCad and I’ve to decide if learn in detail how to use version 4. This depend on how this skill will be useful in using version 5 and on how long I’ve to wait for version 5 too.


No one knows when version 5 will be available, we can only guess. My guess is “sometime in 2018”. That seems to have a wide error margin, but I am 99% confident it will fall in those bounds. :slight_smile:

I think v5 is 95% the same as v4, but the 5% includes symbol library tables, which is a significant difference. You could be waiting for a while for a final release v5, so I would at least make a start with v4. There might be an RC1 build in 2018/Q1.

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Thanks for “real time” answers.
I’d have few more questions.

[quote=“bobc, post:11, topic:8563”]
I think v5 is 95% the same as v4
[/quote]I hope that some “limitation” will disappear. Two examples:

  1. now I’m unable to simply copy a schematic between two project (my fault?) to reuse it. And it will be still impossible in v5?
  2. I’m making new symbol libraries (complying with European Norms) and I would keep them in separate folder but automatically included in new projects. In v4 it seems a bit complicated.

Then where are the differences between v4 and v5? Excluding " symbol library tables".
Graphic interface (icons, menu) will be the same?
Polyline will be only dashed, no solid? No rectangle available?

[quote=“bobc, post:11, topic:8563”]
the 5% includes symbol library tables
[/quote]Could you be a bit more detailed?

v5 brings a lot new features. Some of them hidden from the user. (better algorithms for DRC, polygon filling, …)

The visible features will include (but are not limited to):

  • sym lib table (allows sym lib management similar to fp libs)
  • official libs are now only 3 repos. (This does break the github plugin. But allows for easier version control) There is also a new lib download page included in the kicad webside.
  • new symbol editor (with lots of new features)
    • show electrical type of pins next to the pin
    • easy copy paste of symbols between libs
    • lib tree view included in the editor
  • automatic junction management + better connection algorithm (eeschema)
  • Line styles for graphical polygons in eeschema
  • schematic simulation
  • cleanups of the graphical interface
  • net highlighting in eeschema
  • new component chooser. (adding symbols to a schematic will allow to select footprints at the same time.)
  • one click tool for update pcb from schematic
  • settings for differential pair spacing and with
  • python action plugin (allows adding python scripts to the tool menu)
  • graphic polygons in pcb new and footprint editor (not only for zones)
  • rounded rectangle pads and polygon pads
  • flip board (look at it from the bottom)
  • Better support for OSX (Lots of interface features added to work around the quirks of this operating system. Like having a single button mouse)

It seems a lot of improvements. Thanks to all developers.


I think that is unchanged in v5, there is a sort of workaround procedure (should be FAQ?)

  1. Open destination project
  2. Use “Append sheet” to copy sheet from source project
  3. Copy/paste within project
  4. If no longer needed, delete appended sheet

i think this will be easier in V5, since you can add a symbol library to the global table so it will appear in all projects.

Not really, it is a new feature which I have not tried yet. I believe it is a similar scheme to the footprint library table management.

Here is my strictly unofficial, just for entertainment only, take with pitch of salt guesstimate.


I don’t think v4 up to RC1 was anything like as widely used and tested as Nightlies currently are, so hopefully it won’t be nearly so long


The paradox there is that if you have a faster edit/build cycle, people use that time to put in more code, rather than take more time testing existing code. It’s two years since the last release, which is a lot of code changes. I don’t know of any numbers which indicate the number of users on up to date nightly builds, my guess is that the vast majority of users are on stable release or old nightly builds.

Another effect of announcing a freeze, is a flurry of patches appear as people try to get their favourite fixes in.

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I’ll just point out a couple of issues.

  1. If you don’t have any KiCad project to open or modify starting with nightly version instead with latest stable (4.0.7) is worth considering. As eeschema library management changed quite a bit any project created with 4.0.7 will require a symbol remapping in order to open it with nightly or V5. Starting with current nightlies you would avoid this. But all the warnings when using nightlies still apply.

  2. Even if you go with 4.0.7 I strongly recommend that you don’t install the libraries that come with V4, but use the new ones (available from KiCad website)

There is an update on the mailing list regarding v5 release:

It seems like there are only a few major bugs left until v5 will be branched off. After that there will be a short testing phase until the first v5 release.

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