Circuit Design and Automation

What is EDA - Electronic Design Automation?

Alternatives to LTspice for Linux with Open Source License


A Comparison of EDA software - Free_and_open-source_software_(FOSS)


Name Architecture License Autorouter Comment
Electric BSD,Java GPL Yes VLSI, circuit design tool with connectivity at all levels. Can also be used for schematic entry and PCB design.
FreePCB w32 GPL Yes A printed circuit board design program for Microsoft Windows. FreePCB allows for up to 16 copper layers, both metric and US customaryunits, and export of designs in Gerber format. Boards can be partially or fully autorouted with the FreeRouting autorouter by using the FpcROUTE Specctra DSN design file translator.
Fritzing Windows,Mac,Linux GPL Yes Protoboard view, schematic view, PCB view, Code (firmware) view. Includes customizable design rule checker. Includes common shaped boards like Arduino and Raspberry Pi shields. Allows spline curve traces. Only two layers (top and bottom). Outputs gerbers. Actively updated.
BSD,Linux,Mac GPL Yes schematic, simulation, PCB editor, gerber view
Gnucap Unix GPL3 Mixed-signal circuit simulator
Icarus Verilog Linux, Mac GPL Verilog simulator
KiCad BSD, Windows,
Linux, Mac
GPL Built-in or
Full package for schematic and board design, etc. Design rule checking. User-defined symbols and footprints. Gerber/ drill file creation. Graphic interface. Active user community.
KTechLab Linux GPL n/a KTechLab is a schematic capture and simulator. It is specifically geared toward mixed signal simulation of analog components and small digital processors.
LibrePCB Windows,Linux,Mac GPL3 Built-in Full package for schematic and board design, etc. Design rule checking. User-defined symbols and footprints. Gerber/drill file creation. Graphic interface. Active user community.
Magic Linux BSD no A popular very-large-scale integration layout tool
Ngspice Linux,Solaris,Mac,
Oregano GPL no Schematic capture + spice simulation
Pad2Pad GPL Yes A PCB design program for Windows featuring auto-routing, error checking, and DXF import/export.
Quite Universal Circuit Simulator (QUCS) Solaris,Mac, NetBSD,FreeBSD,w32 GPL Schematic capture + Verilog + VHDL + simulation
Verilator Posix GPL Verilator is the fastest free Verilog HDL simulator. It compiles synthesizable Verilog into cycle accurate C++ or SystemC code following 2-state synthesis (zero delay) semantics. Benchmarks reported on its website suggest it is several times faster than commercial event driven simulators such as ModelSim, NC-Verilog and VCS, while not quite as fast as commercial cycle accurate modeling tools such as Carbon ModelStudio and ARC VTOC.
XCircuit Unix GPL Used to produce netlists and publish high-quality drawings.
Xyce Linux GPL A commercial grade parallel-processing analog simulator - engineered to replace SPICE simulators, and provide better performance (on compute farms).




Available from the ubuntu repositary

Fritzing is an open source initiative to develop amateur or hobby CAD software for the design of electronics hardware, to support designers and artists ready to move from experimenting with a prototype to building a more permanent circuit.">Fritzing on Wikipedia



Available from the ubuntu repositary

Wikipedia - KiCad

KiCad Tutorial 1/5 – Getting Started with KiCad :

Getting Started in KiCad:

Bob VK4YA's presentation:

splat'S KiCad Files:



The gEDA project has produced and continues working on a full GPL'd suite and toolkit of Electronic Design Automation tools.:



Available from the ubuntu repositary

History of Spice - A Spice Derivities

I believe the first versions of SPICE could not have been developed on Unix.
According to Wikipedia, SPICE1 was first presented by Berkeley researchers in 1973,
but in the article on BSD Unix, it says "The first Unix system at Berkeley was a
PDP-11 installed in 1974". So the earliest versions of SPICE actually predate the
availability of Unix at Berkeley.

From a historical article in IEEE. SPICE 1 came from CANCER.
Nagel developed SPICE I on a CDC 6400 mainframe (probably NOT UNIX) and released
it on April 12,1973. Spice 2 came out in 1975 (using vi and EMACS - so UNIX then)

Ngspice is a mixed-level/mixed-signal circuit simulator. Its code is based on three open source software packages: Spice3f5, Cider1b1 and Xspice. Ngspice is part of gEDA...
Free Open Source  Mac OS X Windows Linux


Quite Universal Circuit Simulator (QUCS)

The Quite Universal Circuit Simulator (QUCS) is an integrated circuit simulator allowing the simulation and graphical presentation of results of large-signal. Qucs-S is a spin-off of the Qucs cross-platform circuit simulator. "S" letter indicates SPICE. The purpose of the Qucs-S subproject is to use free SPICE.


gerbv - a Gerber (RS-274X) viewer

GitHub - gerbv
Youtube - gerbv

Gerbv is an open source Gerber file (RS-274X only) viewer. Gerbv lets you load several files on top of each other, do measurements on the displayed image, etc. Besides viewing Gerbers, you may also view Excellon drill files as well as pick-place file


Schematic Design Online

Glenn Lyons VK4PK
Ver:gnl20182018 - pre published v0.9