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KiCad is a cross-platform and open-source electronics design automation (EDA) suite for creation of electronic schematic diagrams and printed circuit board (PCB) artwork. Jean-Pierre Charras began development of the program in 1992[1] in order to have "a tool to teach electronics to his students, and also to learn how to code in C++".[2] CERN has contributed to its development since 2013[3] and KiCad joined the Linux Foundation in 2019.[4] The "Ki" part of the program name was based on a friend's company's name[5] because other options were taken already.


USE flags

USE flags for sci-electronics/kicad Electronic Schematic and PCB design tools

doc Add extra documentation (API, Javadoc, etc). It is recommended to enable per package instead of globally
examples Install examples, usually source code
nls Add Native Language Support (using gettext - GNU locale utilities)
openmp Build support for the OpenMP (support parallel computing), requires >=sys-devel/gcc-4.2 built with USE="openmp"

USE flags for sci-electronics/kicad-meta Electronic Schematic and PCB design tools (meta package)

doc Add extra documentation (API, Javadoc, etc). It is recommended to enable per package instead of globally
minimal Do not install extra data like 3D packages and templates.


Emerging sci-electronics/kicad will install the basic program.

root #emerge --ask sci-electronics/kicad

To install all of:

at once,

root #emerge --ask sci-electronics/kicad-meta

Additional software


Environment variables

  • KICAD6_3DMODEL_DIR: Base path of 3D models used in footprints.
  • KICAD6_3RD_PARTY: Location for plugins, libraries, and color themes installed by the Plugin and Content Manager.
  • KICAD6_FOOTPRINT_DIR: Base path of footprint library files.
  • KICAD6_SYMBOL_DIR: Base path of symbol library files.
  • KICAD6_TEMPLATE_DIR: Location of project templates installed with KiCad.
  • KICAD_USER_TEMPLATE_DIR: Location of personal project templates.


User configuration files are stored in ~/.config/kicad.





root #emerge --ask --depclean --verbose sci-electronics/kicad

See also

External resources