Wayne Stambaugh made a presentation of the new features coming to KiCAD version 5 at FOSDEM and it was amazing.
So how do you get it running on Linux right now? I am using Ubuntu for work and the easiest way is to use a ppa. If you head to the KiCAD Ubuntu download webpage you will find the instructions on how to install from a ppa. If you are already using the stable version and Ubuntu has not released the new version yet, you can install the nightly development build via another ppa. The instructions to upgrade to the nightly are:
- Add the nightly ppa[please confirm this ppa from the site as it may change] to your sources with the command:
sudo add-apt-repository --yes ppa:js-reynaud/ppa-kicad
- Update the sources:
sudo apt update
- Upgrade the KiCAD installation in your system:
sudo apt install --only-upgrade kicad
After that, you will have the latest version of KiCAD.
I have tested it and it opens the projects created by the old version pretty well, with a few library swaps. It backs up the old project without any changes in the same folder, just in case you want to roll back to the stable version.
One of the reasons I decided to risk and upgrade was because of the embedded simulator. I could already export netlists from KiCAD schematic editor and use ngspice to do AC and DC simulations and draw graphs pretty well, but an embedded simulator would be even better for my students as they do not like working in the terminal that much. I quickly tested it with a voltage divider and it works OOTB.