Install KiCad on Arch Linux

I’ve been using KiCad on and off for a few years now. I like KiCad reasonably well but it doesn’t always play well with Mac OS X so I usually run it in a Linux Virtual Machine. Here are the install steps for Arch Linux assuming that the X Windows System, graphical interface environment, is already installed.

Screen capture of KiCad running on Arch Linux inside Virtual Box on Mac OS X

KiCad running on Arch Linux inside Virtual Box on Mac OS X

Install Instructions

# Update Pacman and download dependencies
sudo pacman -Syy
sudo pacman -S cmake bzr wxgtk glew

# Configure bzr username... 
# Even though I would prefer not to...
bzr whoami paretech

# Change into Arch User Repository download directory 
# or wherever the download should go.
cd ~/aur

# Download Bzr Tools (includes the necessary Bzr Patch plugin)
curl https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/bz/bzrtools/bzrtools.tar.gz --remote-name

tar -xzvf bzrtools.tar.gz

cd bzrtools

# Inspect PKGBUILD first!
makepkg

sudo pacman -U bzrtools*.xz

# Download Kicad AUR and name file same as remote name
curl https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/ki/kicad-bzr/kicad-bzr.tar.gz --remote-name

tar -xzvf kicad-bzr.tar.gz

cd kicad-bzr

# Inspect PKGBUILD first!
makepkg

sudo pacman -U kicad-bzr*.xz

That’s all there is to it on Arch. Good luck on your next PCB and Happy Hacking!

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Mounting a USB thumb drive in Linux

At one point I was trying to install linux wireless drivers and since I didn’t have access to an ethernet connection I decided to transfer my driver to the computer in question via a USB thumb drive. But what do you need to do after plugging in the USB disk drive to the Linux machine in order to access the data?

Before connecting your USB device, execute the list block devices “lsblk -f” command. Then, connect your USB storage device and execute an “lsblk -f” command again. Notice anything different?

In my case I observed a new block device filesystem named “sdb1” and its own UUID. Using the UUID, one can mount the USB device by executing “mkdir /mnt/usbdrive && mount -U YOUR_USB_DEVICE_UUID /mnt/usbdrive” as root. Take care when typing these commands, unlike most Windows/Microsoft systems I have used, *nix systems are case sensitive.

When you are finished with the device, you may “un-mount” it by executing “unmount /mnt/usbdrive” as root.

That was easy!