← Back to team overview

kicad-developers team mailing list archive

New settings framework merged


Hi everyone who uses nightly builds of KiCad!

For those who don’t follow GitLab that closely, the new settings system got
merged today.

This brings a few user-facing changes that you should be aware of:

First, user settings are now stored in versioned subfolders of the KiCad
config path.  The major and minor versions are used, so currently this
means “5.99”.  When you first launch KiCad, you’ll see a window asking you
where to get the settings from. It will default to using your current KiCad
installation, but you can manually pick a different path to migrate from.

Your settings will be automatically upgraded as you use KiCad the first
time.  All of your settings should be preserved: please report any problems
you notice so that I can investigate.

There is no backwards-compatibility for settings.  Any settings changes you
make after migrating your settings to the new system will only apply to
newer versions of KiCad.  You can continue to run older versions of KiCad
on your system, and they will continue to use the old settings files.

If you have been using the KICAD_CONFIG_HOME environment variable to allow
running multiple versions of KiCad on the same machine, this technique is
still allowed but should no longer be necessary.  If this variable is set,
it will determine the base path for settings (there will still be
version-specific directories created within that base path).  I recommend
that you clear this variable before launching KiCad after this change, and
then when you see the dialog asking where to import settings from, choose
the appropriate path (either the default, or wherever you had set
KICAD_CONFIG_HOME to depending on where you’d like to import from).

Second, settings are now stored in JSON format.  This mostly will only
impact people who are used to manually editing settings files.  I think the
most common reason people do this is to apply color themes.  A real color
theme system is also coming in the V6 development cycle!  For the moment,
this change will break the ability to paste in color settings you find from
other people until those themes are updated to the new format.  I’ll assist
in making a migration script so that those of you who have repositories of
colors (such as https://github.com/pointhi/kicad-color-schemes) can make
versions of these themes that work with the new system.

For the moment, this change only impacts system settings.  A similar change
is coming that will impact project settings (i.e. those that are currently
stored in the KiCad project file and design files).  I’ll make another
announcement when that change is ready with more details.

If you are paranoid, it might be good to back up your settings files before
updating KiCad.  As always, please report any issues on GitLab so that we
can investigate and solve them as soon as possible.


Follow ups