Master SIAME | Université Toulouse 3

Internet of things and System on Chip

Master SIAME | Université Toulouse 3

Internet of things and System on Chip

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PCB toolchain: KiCAD

A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is a tailored electronic board you design to best match your needs. We won't delve here within the reasons that will (or not) lead you to start to make your own board, but hey … it's fun and you will probably learn something ;-)

Why KiCAD ?
Since there exists some cheap and very well-known PCB toolchains used for tenth years by hobbists all around the world (Eagle PCB), why should you use KiCAD ? what are the KiCAD characteristics that matter ?

  • 100% open-source,
  • Professional grade,
  • no limitations (unlike Eagle),
  • Targets both MAC, Windows and (of course) Linux users,
  • Supported by CERN,
  • Growing popularity alongst the Open-Hardware community :-),

Installing KiCAD @ Fedora & RHEL clones

Okay, if you are using Fedora 21 or latest Ubuntu … this is just a matter of package install like
root@fc21 [~] yum -y install kicad
However, you won't grab all of the innovative features since the compiled package are always min. 6 months away from so the current version so that's why I would recommand building KiCAD from source.

[1] retrieve the installation script
This script provided by the KiCAD team will take care of everything ranging from installing dependencies to building and installing the software along with its libraries.
To retrieve this script, go directly to the KiCAD website download zone.

[2] KiCAD install script customization
Being now more confident and having some background, yes I have spent hours recompiling KiCAD because of an annoying bug … that was in fact coming from a mismatch between latest KiCAD and wxWidgets-3.0 libraries.

At this time of writing (2014,Dec.), you have to modify the install script to change dependencies from wxWidget-3.0 to wxWidget (2.8 in fact).
To do this, you just have to replace all of the wxGTK3* to wxGTK*, like this sed -i 's/GTK3/GTK/g'

Others modifications are described below:
1   #!/bin/bash -e
2   # Install KiCad from source onto either:
3   #  -> a Ubuntu/Debian/Mint or
4   #  -> a Red Hat
5   # compatible linux system.
38 STABLE=5054             # a sensible mix of features and stability
39 TESTING=last:1          # the most recent
41 # Set this to STABLE or TESTING or other known revision number:
136         prerequisite_list="
149             wxGTK-devel
150         "

Now you've reached this point, compiling and installing KiCAD is just a matter of launching the script as root:

root@fc21 [~] ./kicad-install --install-or-update


[3] Setup KiCAD
Using KiCAD you'll need both libraries coming from your current installation of KiCAD and from GIT repository.
To add libs from GIT repo, you must add the following environment variable to your ~/.bashrc

export KIGITHUB=""