Set up KiCAD for offline work

Some time ago I decided to give KiCAD a shoot, actually it was a second attempt. For a long time I have been using Eagle CadSoft but now the disadvantages tip the scale. Also now, KiCAD has a crazy new feature which is called interactive routing. However, KiCAD is not quite straightforward and it requires some getting use to. One thing that struck me was the necessity of Internet connection. When you want to connect components with appropriate footprints using CvPcb it scans the library paths. And it is here where the problem starts…

By default KiCAD is connecting with github for libraries every time when you match the components and footprints. You can change this by modifying settings or editing the configuration file.

First of all, you will need to download library repos. The most recent version can be found on official KiCAD website. Extract the archive on a local hard drive.

After downloading repositories you have to open KiCAD and navigate to the footprint editor and then select Preferences and Footprint Libraries Manager. Then you have to modify the KIGITHUB environmental variable and set it with path where you stored your footprints.

Now you can either change each library by hand or edit all of them at once. What you need to do is to change the type of each library from Github to KiCAD. I preferred to change the type of all  libraries with one click. To do this you have to open and edit fp-lib-table file.

In Windows you can find it under


and in Linux go to


Using any editor and Find&Replace functionality change Github phrase to KiCAD. Now restart KiCAD and you will find out that it does not require Internet connection to function properly.

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