Known System Related Issues

This page is just a small note on some "weird" issues that have been experienced with KiCad in relation to the systems that it runs on. This means that this page does not describe KiCad functional bugs.

All Platforms

Legacy Canvas and wxGTK

The legacy canvas has problems with wxWidgets 3.0 built with GTK3, this combination is usually called wxGTK on various package distributions. Don’t be confused when you see wxGTK 3.0.0 in your package manager, this is usually referring to the wxWidgets version, and not whether or not it is built against GTK3.

It has been seen that Fedora 20, 21 and 22, builds against GTK3. The problem manifests in eeschema with slow zooming, and the graphics are not quite exact (try looking at the grid dots). And in pcbnew, the canvas does not really draw properly at all.

On newer fedora builds they ship a wxwidgets compatability package, it is called wxGTK in contrast to wxGTK3 which uses GTK3. The same applies for archlinux, there you need the package wxgtk2. The packages can coexist.

Bad Graphics Cards

There are a few older cards that seem to not behave properly with the OpenGL canvas used in the new GAL canvas. The list below includes the faulty cards identified thus far:

Boost minimum version

There have previously been problems with bugs in the boost libraries. A minimum version of boost 1.56 is currently required as it has fixes the majority of bugs previously encountered.

Linux

Radeon Graphics

Some users with Radeon graphics have been experiencing problems with slow rendering in gerbview and eeschema. Some bugs have been opened related to Radeon cards. The solution seems to be require changing an Xorg setting which is either Option "EXAPixmaps" "off" or Option "ShadowPrimary" (see the bug reports for details).

Intel Graphics

Some users with Intel HD Graphics are having rendering problems with the legacy canvas (and eeschema). It has been reported on at least a laptop with a Intel Pentium P6000 processor and integrated graphics.

A solution is to configure Xorg. Create a Xorg configuration file /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf, with the follow information:

Section "Device"
  Identifier  "Intel Graphics"
  Driver      "intel"
EndSection

wxGTK 3.0.1

Version 3.0.1 of wxWidgets for Linux (with GTK) can crash when running DRC. This is an issue not seen in wxGTK 3.0.2, so it seems to be fixed upstream. More details can be found in Bug# 1442909.

Wayland

It is known that KiCad does not work well under Wayland, see this bug Bug# 1725920. Feel free to give useful input to mitigate this issue. It is not yet known if it is a bug in KiCad, WxWidgets or Wayland.

This affects recent desktops that have started to default to Wayland as their desktop e.g. Ubuntu 17.10. A workaround is to choose X11 when logging in to the desktop.

Windows

wxWidgets 3.0.2

Mirror printing can be broken because of a bug in wxWidgets version 3.0.2, see Bug# 1463406.

Boost 1.59

On 64-bit Windows, KiCad’s usage of the boost context library is currently broken due to changes in the library. This causes pcbnew to crash on start. The only workaround is to use boost 1.56 or 1.57 which are known to work.

macOS

Poor performance on Retina displays

On macOS machines with a retina display (aka. HiDPI display) you might have trouble with rendering lag because of the high resolution. The rendering speed can be improved by adjusting the KiCad.app startup options to force low resolution. You can do that by setting the "Open in Low Resolution" checkbox in the app "Get Info" dialog. For a step by step description refer to the "I’m noticing functional or visual issues with an application. How can I make it work better?" section in the macOS support article.