New to Kicad, have just installed via the new 6.0 release.

When I try and add a symbol, I get a "load error" pop-up with the following (heavily truncated):

Errors loading symbols:
Error loading symbol library 74xx.
Library file '${KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR}/74xx.lib' not found.
Error loading symbol library 4xxx_IEEE.
Library file '${KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR}/4xxx_IEEE.lib' not found.
Error loading symbol library 4xxx.
Library file '${KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR}/4xxx.lib' not found.
Error loading symbol library Amplifier_Audio.
Library file '${KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR}/Amplifier_Audio.lib' not found.
Error loading symbol library 74xGxx.
Library file '${KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR}/74xGxx.lib' not found.
Error loading symbol library Amplifier_Current.
Library file '${KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR}/Amplifier_Current.lib' not found.
Error loading symbol library Amplifier_Difference.

All the files are have been installed in the default directory - /usr/share/kicad/library and are there.

When I open an open source design, all the included components are present there, as in the design specific ones, but I have the same problem: I can't add to it.

I'm sure this is an easy fix, I just have no idea what that is.

Ubuntu 20.04 Kicad 6.0.0

pop up


8 Answers 8


Had the same issue going from 5.9 to 6.0. I used 'purge' command to remove 5.9, and installed 6.0 You have to remove the old config files / folders (KiCAD 5.9).

Step 1: In terminal, type: dpkg --list

Step 2: remove all these folders that have 5.9:

sudo apt-get remove kicad-doc-en
sudo apt-get remove kicad-footprints
sudo apt-get remove kicad-libraries
sudo apt-get remove kicad-packages3d
sudo apt-get remove kicad-symbols
sudo apt-get remove kicad-templates

Step 3: Do a new clean install. After the install, dpkg --list command should give you this: enter image description here

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Took some time off this one for a while, but your solution is the most comprehensive. For future readers, quickest way - sudo apt-get remove kicad* sudo rm -r -f ~/.config/kicad sudo add-apt-repository --yes ppa:kicad/kicad-6.0-releases sudo apt update sudo apt install --install-recommends kicad # If you want demo projects sudo apt install kicad-demos \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Bird
    Jan 14, 2022 at 11:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ sudo rm -r -f ~/.config/kicad actually sudo not required on that command. I only mention that because using sudo and ~ in the same command is a bit confusing. Also if you have multiple users you need to do this to all of their home directories. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rodney
    May 27, 2022 at 9:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oof. Please do not delete other users' config files \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22, 2022 at 18:08

just to add to @Seth response... Ubuntu appears to be suffering from this a fair amount


We are currently unaware of any root cause of this happening on any platform, however we have had several Ubuntu users report that the default library tables (for example /usr/share/kicad/template/sym-lib-table) did not get updated to the 6.0 version when they updated the kicad package from 5.1 to 6.0. This results in the above problem, and can be fixed by completely uninstalling kicad (check that there is nothing left in /usr/share/kicad) and reinstalling it, and then removing the symbol/footprint library tables from your preferences folder (~/.config/kicad/6.0/) in order to get prompted to copy the global defaults again.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The part of the fix that fixes the problem is redoing the user config. Reinstalling the software does nothing. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22, 2022 at 18:13

Looks like you have an old config file that was migrated.

You can remove ~/.config/kicad and then rerun KiCad, accepting the defaults.


Same issue here, removing .config/kicad have no effect, I get asked the config questions, I chose the default everywhere but no symbol is present. ${KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR} is not set

adding an environment variable KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR to /usr/share/kicad/library works for me (I'm on ubuntu)

I later found out KISYSMOD is also necessary so

export KICAD_SYMBOL_DIR=/usr/share/kicad/library
export KISYSMOD=/usr/share/kicad/modules   
  • \$\begingroup\$ This isn't the correct way to fully migrate and only mitigates a partially migrated settings. By removing the settings directory as @Seth mentioned you should be fine. Ubuntu however appears to have a slight packaging issue so you might need to also do what Iwrote \$\endgroup\$
    – user16222
    Jan 5, 2022 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did what you say... Not working... sudo apt-get remove kicad; sudo rm -rf /usr/share/kicad/; sudo apt-get update; sudo apt install --install-recommends kicad; rm -rf ~/.config/kicad/6.0; If I launch kicad I chose start with default settings, when I go to symbol editor, the copy default global is grayed... \$\endgroup\$
    – Frol
    Jan 6, 2022 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ seems like I had to reinstall kicad-footprints symbols libraries packages3d too \$\endgroup\$
    – Frol
    Jan 6, 2022 at 22:21

In Ubuntu, removing the config files from ~/.config/kicad/6.0/ was enough to get mine restored also. I accepted the defaults and the symbols were restored.


Purging my old KiCAD version and installing KiCAD 6 again helped when I had had the same issue with the symbols library in Kicad_6.0.5 (Ubuntu 20.04LTS).

After this, I deleted the ~/.config/kicad file and starte KiCAD.

This solved the issue.


Make sure that the environment variables (Preferences > Configure Paths...) are set correctly. I previously had a nightly version installed and even after uninstalling the nightly packages, the environment variables were still set:



Just (re)add them manually. This was the only working solution for me:

  1. Go to Preferences/Manage Symbol Libraries...
  2. ...Global libraries
  3. Click the Folder icon and browse to the system directory (defined in KICAD6_SYMBOL_DIR) /usr/share/kicad/symbols/
  4. Select all (ctrl-a) all .kicad_sym files, apply

All Symbols are now enlisted in Global Library and my schema finds the symbols again.

Purge and reinstall nor removing .config/kicad did not resolve the issue for me.


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