Building KiCad on Linux

To perform a full build on Linux, run the following commands:

cd <your kicad source mirror>
mkdir -p build/release
mkdir build/debug               # Optional for debug build.
cd build/release
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo \
sudo make install

If the CMake configuration fails, determine the missing dependencies and install them on your system. By default, CMake sets the install path on Linux to /usr/local. Use the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX option to specify a different install path.

We recommend using the RelWithDebInfo build type for personal release builds, as this will include debugging symbols that will give you more useful stack traces in case you encounter a crash.

Replace RelWithDebInfo with Debug for debug builds.

Tips and Tricks


KiCad builds faster using the Ninja build system in place of make. To use Ninja, you can specify Ninja output on your CMake command line:

cmake -G Ninja -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo ../../
sudo ninja install

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