Windows 7 soon to be no longer functional for 6.0

Just a heads up. Soon (hopefully) we will be switching Windows nightly builds to Python 3

Python 3.8+ and above use api that requires a minimum of Windows 8 and can crash attempting to run on Windows 7.
We will not be working around this due to the obsolete and discontinued status of Windows 7 and a check has been added to gracefully refuse to run KiCad in this situation. This check also goes backwards and will reject operation on Vista and XP.

Users are encouraged to switch to any up to date operating system of their choosing.


Wow, that’s a bold move :slight_smile:

I’ve never worked for an organisation that has anything later than Win7. I think that would rule out KiCad v6 for a lot of employees.

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Bold? Python forces our hand.

I can’t even run a Windows 7 VM anymore (properly) because Windows Update rejects it so I can’t update a fresh install to the “last good base”.

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Does this mean switching to vcpkg and msvc based build? Or is msys still an option?

We are shifting to MSVC yes. The faith of msys2 is unknown but I don’t see us removing support for it intentionally.

Putting aside the fact that any Windows-based organization that hasn’t yet phased out Windows 7 is going to be in a world of IT pain the longer they wait, no matter what KiCad does…

People will always be able to build KiCad with Python disabled if they really need to get it up and running on an obsolete system. We just don’t want to support that officially.

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Yep, the check is put into the kicad codebase for the compilation of kicad + python3.8 or above.

If somebody wants to put in their free time to maintain builds of kicad with python < 3.8 or python 2.7, they will be more than able to.

It’s worse than that really, it shows they have deep corporate rot affecting IT that extends beyond Windows 7 and if their company isn’t already one giant botnet, they will get hit by ransomware into bankruptcy one day instead.


Very predictable responses.

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Also, note that Windows 7 has not been supported by KiCad for a while now (we don’t support any operating systems that have been EOL’d by their vendor). It just happened to still work, despite our lack of support, until now.

There is just software and hardware that does not run on/with newer version of Windows, many companies are forced to still use obsolete OSs on some systems or in VMs.
We still have PCs with Windows 98, ME and XP. They are not connected to the internet for obvious reasons.

If an organization needs KiCad 6 on their Windows 7 setups, they should be paying for support from KiPro rather than depending on the official builds maintained by volunteers in their own personal free time.


A good IT department will isolate and sandbox those systems to provide as much protection as possible, and will provide employees with modern machines to do their day-to-day work on rather than allowing them to install arbitrary software on those obsolete machines.

KiCad is not some ancient machine control software that cannot be upgraded. It’s general-purpose software designed to be run on internet-connected workstations.


Any company that is still using Win7 for real work had better have those machines totally locked down and very strict process for installing new software.Care and maintenance of insecure machines costs far more than buying a modern PC and should only be done for exceptional reasons


Each one of us has our own predictable responses.


Let it never be said that the KiCad developers are anything less than bold. And daring.


In this case, what exactly wouldn’t work? Just asking for a friend …

Scripting and Footprint Wizards

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Is it possible to make Python support an optional install, so Win7 users could do “feature limited install” using standard installer? Win7 still have relatively huge user base, still plenty probably could live without goodies like Interactive HTML BOM… (don’t count me, by the way)

No, it has to be done at compile time.

We do not have the interest and resources to maintain another separate build.

If that requires code branching, I agree that resources spent on supporting obsolete system are not spent well. Anyway, KiCad itself is worth upgrading the OS IMO. Even if need to purchase a new workstation machine, one can buy working Win10 machine for the price of 1yr Eagle subscription (maybe not the crippled one) so there’s no good reason not to upgrade.