How to Install KiCad on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

KiCad is a free software suite that makes it easy to design and simulate electronic hardware. It has an integrated environment for schematic capture, PCB layout (including 3D rendering), manufacturing file viewing, and SPICE simulation all in one place! The software is a powerful tool for both experienced engineers and beginners alike. Developed over 25 years ago, this program has been continuously improved upon by its dedicated team of developers who work around the clock to ensure that every user can get something out of their time spent using it!

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install KiCad on your Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish system by importing the official LaunchPAD PPA and installing the most up-to-date version using the command line terminal.

Update Ubuntu

First, before you begin, perform a quick update to your system to ensure all existing packages are up-to-date to avoid any conflicts during the installation.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install Required Packages

The following dependencies will need to be installed to install KiCad successfully. Most of these packages would already be present on your system, but running the command can help ensure they are installed.

sudo apt install software-properties-common -y

If you skip and encounter issues, return and just run the command.

Import KiCad PPA

The first step is to import that KiCad PPA maintained by the “KiCad” team. Currently, you can import one of three PPAS, the 5.1 release, 6.0 release, or the 6.0 release nightly build for those that want the latest development upstream version.

Note that you cannot install KiCad 5.1 and 6.0. You can only choose one version, and the nightly version has its own installation so that it can be installed. Besides whatever release version you require, it is recommended to install the 6.0 release.

Import one of the following options.

Import KiCad 5.1 Release

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kicad/kicad-5.1-releases -y

Import KiCad 6.0 Release

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kicad/kicad-6.0-releases -y

Import KiCad Nightly

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kicad/kicad-dev-nightly -y

Now, update your repository list to reflect the new additions.

sudo apt update

With the setup complete, execute the installation command to install.

Install Stable Release

sudo apt install kicad -y

Install Nightly Release

sudo apt install kicad-nightly -y

How to Launch KiCad

The best method is to use the following desktop path to launch KiCad.

Acitivities > Show Applications > KiCad {application type}

Example:

How to Install KiCad on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Once you open KiCad you can begin with your projects. For users new to KiCad, their documentation page contains multiple PDF documents for each version and is recommended to download and keep handy.

Example:

How to Install KiCad on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
How to Install KiCad on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

How to Update/Upgrade KiCad

Updating KiCad can be done using the command line terminal with the following standard commands you would have used at the start of the tutorial to check your system for updates.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Most newer Linux users usually set up some automatic updates or rely on the notifications from their desktop especially coming from a Windows-type background. You should always check using the terminal at a minimum once a week to ensure you are not missing any updates. The terminal method will grab all available updates, ensuring your system is up-to-date.

How to Remove/Uninstall KiCad

The removal of KiCad is straightforward. For users that want to remove the software entirely, use the following command.

sudo apt autoremove kicad* --purge -y

Note that this will delete all data, including all database data added with the –purge flag. Do not use the purge end flag if you wish to keep the data.

Next, remove the PPA that you used originally to import KiCad.

Remove KiCad 5.1 Release

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kicad/kicad-5.1-releases -y

Remove KiCad 6.0 Release

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kicad/kicad-6.0-releases -y

Remove KiCad Nightly

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kicad/kicad-dev-nightly -y

Comments and Conclusion

KiCad is an open source software suite that can help you design and simulate electronic hardware. It has a wide variety of features, including an integrated environment for schematic capture, PCB layout, manufacturing file viewing, SPICE simulation, and engineering calculation. If you’re looking for a powerful and free design automation tool, KiCad is definitely worth checking out.



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