Which version of Kicad to use to open an old project


If not then the user should have included a self made one. At least if they wanted to have the project useable anytime in the future. (Yes early versions of kicad required much deeper knowlede of the software. It is kind of amazing how far KiCad has come. And even more amazing that people seem to have been prepared to use it in its early days with so many key features seemingly missing.)


Yes, the cache.lib file is there since the very beginning.

Not fully lost. The list of libraries is saved into the schematic file. Although the libraries are old, they can be found in the old repositories.


Edit: old repositories @notthetup


It would be good if someone with spare time put these fragments of history together into a few pages of “official history” to go into the KiCad website. I have seen a code size graph, but little else


This comment raises an issue that occasionally appears on this Forum: archives and portability. I’d like to have a simple, one-click menu item that produces a compressed file of reasonable size, containing all the essential information from a KiCAD project. Something I could pass on to any other person, knowing there is a high probability he can open the project with his KiCAD installation. At the very least, it should be opened by any version of KiCAD with the same major release number. Better yet, the current major release plus the immediately previous major release. And . . . . expected future major releases.

I know, that last requirement is somewhat demanding, since it forces the developers to predict the future. But let’s make a good-faith guess at what information a future release will need to open a project. If the old project requires file-format conversions, library remapping, etc, that’s OK - as long as the future release can perform the task using only the information within the archive, and without resorting to clunky scripts, add-ons, extensions, supplementary tools, etc.



This already exists. And you can even zip the project your self. As long as you include the cache lib everything except 3d model stuff will work years down the line.
The rescue dialog will take care of symbol libs that have changed between the installation of the reader and the one by the original designer.

If you want 3d model stuff to be included then you need to use scripts right now. You might also choose to use scripts to extract symbols from their libraries and place them in a local lib if you do not trust the rescue stuff or want to hide it from future readers. (After all it might seem strange to a future reader that they are presented with the rescue stuff when reading the project.)

I think such a script is flying around somewhere on the forum.

I still hope the cache library stuff will go away with version 6 and the symbols will finally be included in the schematic file similarly how footprints are included in the pcb file. But until then the cache library is simply one of the most important files of your project. (The same holds true for the rescue library should it exist.)


Here it is. It can also copy all the symbols from cache library to project local ‘archive’ library, so that the person opening the project does not see the rescue dialog. If I have the time I might add the option to create a .zip file though if somebody beats me to it, I’ll gladly accept a PR.


Do you mean this button?

It seems to zip most project files including the cache library.
I added some dummy text files, they get also zipped.
These files (and others) without an extension do not get zipped:


.bak files are also excluded from the archive (as expected).

Then I added a subdirectory with 2 pdf files as documentation and these also get zipped.
Other files in the “doc” subdirectory do not get zipped.
Files with the extension “txt” in the doc subdir do get zipped, but with extension “.doc” not.

To me it seems a bit too arbitrary to rely on for backups and archiving.
Some day I will have my own server in the air (on the wire?) to host my public git repositories…

[quote=“Rene_Poschl, post:25, topic:15122”]
I still hope the cache library stuff will go away with version 6
[/quote] Same here. The Cache lib is an intrinsic part of the schematic and I do not see a valid reason to keep it as a separate file.


Hi Dale-

I won’t pile on here but I’ll just note that the file was posted here two days ago and JP fixed the issue within 12 hours. It probably would have been fixed sooner if the project were posted to the bug tracker. We take longevity seriously and fix (with high priority) any issues like this that are identified.

In the case of this specific board, it appears that it was hand-modified, so it only opened correctly where the hand modification worked. The fix prevents a crash with this sort of malformation but can’t keep the old segment fills.