How to Install FreeCAD on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

FreeCAD is a powerful parametric 3D modeler for various uses, from product design to mechanical engineering and architecture. With parametric modeling, you can easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters. This makes FreeCAD an ideal tool for exploring different design options and iterating on your ideas. It is very versatile, offering its users a wide range of features and tools. One of the most notable features of FreeCAD is its ability to create geometry-constrained 2D shapes. This means you can sketch your design on paper or in a vector graphics program and then use FreeCAD to turn it into a fully-fledged 3D model. This is extremely useful for designers who want to create accurate models without spending hours tweaking dimensions.

Additionally, FreeCAD can be used to extract design details from existing 3D models. This is perfect for engineers who need to reverse-engineer a part or object. And because FreeCAD is multiplatform (Windows, Mac, and Linux), it can be used by anyone, regardless of their operating system. Finally, FreeCAD is highly customizable, thanks to its Python programming language. This makes it easy for developers to create new features and tools or to tailor the program to their specific needs.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install FreeCAD on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish desktop with APT, Snap, or Flatpak method using the command line terminal and instructions on how to update and remove the software in the future if required.

Update Ubuntu

First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date to avoid conflicts.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install FreeCAD – APT Method (2 Methods Available)

The first and easiest method to install FreeCAD is to use the APT package manager. This is available with the standard Ubuntu repository or using the PPA, which has a stable or daily version available


Install FreeCAD – Ubuntu Repository Method

For users that prefer using the Ubuntu repository for all software applications when available, use the following command to install the software.

sudo apt install freecad -y

Install FreeCAD – LaunchPAD PPA Method

The second option is to install FreeCAD from the LaunchPAD PPA maintained by the “FreeCAD maintainers” team. This method would be best for users preferring the most up-to-date version while not using snap or flatpak.

First, install the required packages.

sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https -y

Next, import the PPA using the following command.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freecad-maintainers/freecad-daily -y

Run a quick APT update to reflect the newly added APT source.

sudo apt update

Lastly, install FreeCAD using the following command.


sudo apt install freecad-daily -y

Note, this is the upstream version, so do not use the same “apt install freecad” command as you would with the Ubuntu repository method, or else you will install the incorrect version.

Install FreeCAD – Snapcraft Method

The second option is to install FreeCAD as a snap. The Snapcraft package manager should be installed on your Ubuntu desktop unless you have removed it previously and is often the easiest solution to install packages quickly on Ubuntu systems.

For users that removed snapd, re-run the following command.

sudo apt install snapd -y

Once installed, you will need to restart your system, or else the icons may not appear; if you skip a repeat and notice any issues, reboot.

reboot

Snap installed? Skip the following few lines and proceed straight to the installation with Snap

Next, some packages come in classic, so you need to create a symlink to enable classic snap support, so it is best to run this command for the best snap compatibility.


sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

Install the core files to avoid conflicting issues.

sudo snap install core

Next, enter the following snap command to install.

sudo snap install freecad

Install FreeCAD – Flatpak Method

The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager. Flatpak is not installed natively on Ubuntu 22.04, given Canonical is behind both Ubuntu and Snaps, but it is available to install if you so wish.

First, install the Flatpak manager if it was removed previously.

sudo apt install flatpak -y

For users installing Flatpak for the first time, it is often recommended to reboot your system. Failure to do this can occur with odd issues, such as paths not being generated for icons.

sudo reboot

SKIP THE REBOOT IF FLATPAK IS INSTALLED.


Next, you need to enable Flatpack using the following command in your terminal.

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Next, you can install the software with the following command.

flatpak install flathub org.freecadweb.FreeCAD -y

Once installed, you can proceed to launch.

How to Launch FreeCAD

Now, the best method to launch FreeCAD is using the application icon.

Activities > Show Applications > FreeCAD

Example:


How to Install FreeCAD on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Alternatively, you may want to use it for applications quite frequently. Right-click the icon and add it to favorites, making the icons appear on the taskbar.

Once open, you will land at the default application start screen. From here, you can begin creating new documents and designs. For first-time users, I would strongly recommend visiting the FreeCAD Free Wiki, which has many free resources that will help you.

Example:

Example about:

How to Install FreeCAD on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

How to Update/Upgrade FreeCAD

Next are the commands to run in your terminal to check for updates. These commands will blanket check all installed packages on your system that match the installation package manager. Ideally, you should run this regardless, even if auto-updates are set up to ensure your system is up-to-date, and no update errors occur for newer users.

Update FreeCAD APT Method

sudo apt update

Update FreeCAD Snapcraft Method

sudo snap refresh

Update FreeCAD Flatpak Method

flatpak update

How to Remove (Uninstall) FreeCAD

Remove FreeCAD APT Method

For users that installed the APT version, remove the application as follows.


sudo apt autoremove freecad --purge -y

PPA users with daily versions use the following command.

sudo apt autoremove freecad-daily --purge -y

Users that will no longer require the APT import repository since you will not use it again can safely remove it, which is good housekeeping and security best practices.

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:freecad-maintainers/freecad-daily -y

Remove FreeCAD Snapcraft Method

sudo snap remove --purge freecad

Remove FreeCAD Flatpak Method

To remove the Flatpack version, run the following command.

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.freecadweb.FreeCAD -y

Another handy hint can be to use the following command to ensure Flatpak has not left behind any unnecessary packages as it is known to sometimes.

flatpak remove --unused

Comments and Conclusion

If you’re looking for a parametric 3D modeler that is free and open-source, FreeCAD is an excellent option. It’s easy to learn and can be used for various purposes, from product design to architecture.


Not what you were looking for? Try searching for additional tutorials.

Leave a Comment