Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

LibreCAD, a 2D CAD drawing tool has reached version 1.0 more than a year of work. LibreCAD, previously known as CADuntu, works natively on Mac OSX, Windows and Linux and is based on the community edition of QCad.

Among the changes between QCad Community Edition and LibreCAD are: up to date Qt4 based user interface (QCAD Community Edition uses Qt3), plug-in system, autosaving and better reading of DXF files. Also, QCAD Community Edition is officially only available for Linux (and QCAD itself is cross-platform, but it's not free), while LibreCAD is cross-platform.

With this release, LibreCAD is finally considered stable, but it still needs a lot of work, so don't expect it to compete with professional applications like AutoCAD.  Further more, LibreCAD doesn't come with documentation - it initially included QCAD's documentation but it had to be removed because it wasn't published under GPL.

Also, the application doesn't support .dwg files yet. There was some work on this, but it hasn't been implemented because of some license issues with LibreDWG.

But the development doesn't stop here. The LibreCAD v2 branch is already work in progress (PPA at the end of the post) and it includes many new features such as:
  • new snapping system
  • isometric grids
  • trisecting an angle
  • drawing inscribed circles and ellipses
  • drawing common tangent lines for two ellipses
  • better international fonts support, including CJK
  • experimental offset support
  • better performance

Install LibreCAD

LibreCAD is available in the official Ubuntu repositories: beta 5 for Ubuntu 11.04 and RC 1 for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and is included by default in Edubuntu starting with 11.04. However, if you want to install the latest 1.0.0 release in Ubuntu Oneiric, you can use the LibreCAD stable PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:librecad-dev/librecad-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install librecad

LibreCAD 1.0.0 final is already available in the official Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin repositories.

If you'd like to try the latest LibreCAD 2.0 alpha under Ubuntu, you can use the LibreCAD daily builds PPA.

For other Linux distributions, Windows and Mac OSX, see the LibreCAD homepage.

Also see: Download DraftSight - Free AutoCAD-Compatible 2D CAD Software For Linux