CADuntu compile how-to on Debian 64 bit and Ubuntu

Today I did some testing on Ubuntu and Debian to see what’s needed to compile CADuntu on one of these distributions. As such, I installed Virtualbox on my MacBook and downloaded a fresh version of Debian 5.0.6, 64 bits and Ubuntu 10.10.

Compile Instructions for Ubuntu:

I installed Ubuntu 10.10 myself with default settings. Next thing you need to do is fire up a terminal.

Start terminal in Ubuntu

Once you fired up the terminal, you need to install the qt4 development libraries, tools, compiler and subversion.

Running APT to install software

Commands to run:

sudo apt-get install g++ gcc make git-core subversion libqt4-dev qt4-qmake libqt4-qt3support qt4-dev-tools

Depending on what you already have installed apt will find out the dependencies and install the missing software on your computer.

Once you have a development environment on your computer, it’s time to create a source directory and download CADuntu from SVN.

Create source directory and download CADUbtu from SVN

Checking out CADuntu from SVN

Commands to run:

cd ~
mkdir source
cd source
svn co caduntu

Checking out CADuntu from SVN will take anywhere between 5 seconds to 30 seconds or longer, depending on the speed of sourceforge and your internet connection speed. It should end with something like: Checked out revision 69. For you the number will properly be different and higher. Now you can run qmake (or qmake-qt4) to create a makefile.

Running qmake to make a makefile for CADuntu

Commands to run:

cd caduntu/trunc

Time to compile! Simply run make:

Commands to run:


Compiling CADuntu might take a while, depending on the speed of your computer, but just let it run until it finishes. When it finishes, you will see the very last few lines showing something that translations where copied. See below screenshot.

Starting CADuntu

To start CADuntu run the following commands (see above screenshot):

cd unix

For Debian users the process is exactly the same, except that Debian might not have sudo installed and thus you must install the qt4 libraries using a root account. When the libraries are installed, just quit your root account and login as a normal user, then follow the process from ‘checking out SVN’.


Ries van Twisk

26 thoughts on “CADuntu compile how-to on Debian 64 bit and Ubuntu

  1. Just compiled caduntu on a 64bit debian machine, worked flawlessly! Amazing job you are doing.
    QCad is an excellent base for 2D cad, just its interface system is a bit (very?) sluggish… So my opinion is you’re exactly on the right track. Keep up the good work!

    • hello Yorik,

      thanks for the kind words.
      The interface is at some points indeed a tad odd ­čÖé But it’s fairly easy to get used to.


    • Andr├Ęs,

      I am pretty sure the process is exactly the same for Ubuntu 9.10.
      CADuntu doesn’t require a whole lot of libraries, just qt4 (4.4 or higher I believe).
      Let me know how it goes, I can always take a look at Ubuntu 9.10, the changes between qt4 4.4 and 4.6 are very small, and usually takes one or two small changes to make it compile.


  2. Hai, I think it need a place to develop plugins and all. I think there will be a lot of people who will help in it.

    It need poly line

  3. Ries, do you have any plans for working on real support for codepages, preferably by moving everything to UTF-8? CADuntu inherited all the infamous incorrect handling of international text from QCad. For instance, Cyrillic input is practically broken, and has been broken since forever.

    • Alexandre,

      I found one patch for QCad that allows for a different encoding, but honestly I need to take a look into that still. However any patch from the community will gladly be accepted and put into CADuntu.

      Things do depend on what the DXF format can handle, and that’s something I need to look into still.


  4. First of all, thank you.
    I compiled CADuntu for RPM based distributions (but I only tested on openSUSE 11.3 64 bit), thanks to OpenSuSE build service.
    If anyone is interested, are available for 32 and 64 bits (the documentation in noarch) in:
    Specifically for Fedora 12 and 13, Mandriva 2009.1 and 2010, and OpenSuSE 11.1, 11.2, 11.3 and Factory

  5. Hello:
    Thanks, but i have a trouble because I need open a dwg files is this possible in Caduntu?
    I try to find some answer but I can not fund anything.
    Thanks again

    • Jose,

      opening and saving DWG files is not yet possible.
      it’s on my wish list though.
      There is a project OpenDWG, however, to open it you need to pay some $$$ to be-able to use there library. There are also some OpenSource DWG libs, but simply didn’t had time to look at that.


      • Hello Ries!

        Actually a project for a real free and open source software for the DWG libraries exist, unfortunately they doesn’t have realeses yet but they need support, the project name is LibreDWG and their project are open source DWG libraries written in C… at least they have support for the 2004 DWG format, I hope this information could be of interest and useful for you!


        • Jose,

          I have ben talking to the LibreDWG people and they would see if they can release LibreDWG as GPLv2, currently it’s released as GPLv3 and the licenses of LibreCAD and LibreDWG are not compatible with each other.


          • I’ve been wondering about the GPL2 versus 3 licensing issue too, and found this:


            “Is GPLv3 compatible with GPLv2?

            No. Some of the requirements in GPLv3, such as the requirement to provide Installation Information, do not exist in GPLv2. As a result, the licenses are not compatible: if you tried to combine code released under both these licenses, you would violate section 6 of GPLv2.

            However, if code is released under GPL ÔÇťversion 2 or later,ÔÇŁ that is compatible with GPLv3 because GPLv3 is one of the options it permits.”

            If LibreCAD is “v2 or greater” then you can link with the LibreDWG library – but doing so would effectively make LibreCAD GPLv3 for for those who use the LibreDWG library and GPLv2 for people who want to not include the LibreDWG library.

          • Scott,

            the problem is that I cannot change the license to GPLv2 or greater.
            I can ask Andrew (the original Author) if I can re-license it, not sure if he is willing to co-operate, since he is making a QCad V3 at the moment.

            The only way I can see how LibreCAD can read DWG files is using a interface that calls a shell script that does the work. Something like dwg2dxf and then LibreCAD picks up the DXF again, it’s kinda ugly, but the only way I can see how to make surelicenses are corrected.

            I will also poke the LibreDWG guys again and see what they can do… They where intersted this project using there library.

  6. thanks for your hard work in libreCAD.
    what should say is that we need a professional CAD 2D-3D program that is under GPL.
    when I searched for a cad program to run under Ubuntu, I found a lot, put most most of them are incomplete and commercial. a professional CAD program well be “a small step for a programmer, a great leap for Linux community”. most of my frinds relate leaving windows and go under Linux by the existence of professional cad program that support DWG files, may be different AutoDesk libraries and 2D-3D support.
    wish you the leadership in CAD world!
    community always is the best!

    • Obada,

      thanks for the words!
      For 3D there is heekscad (
      CAD related applications are always hard to implement because ‘we’ try to model the real world, and the real world isn’t as simple as lines, circles and arcs. And we also want to make it easy to program, and the program must be extendible and maintainable.
      So in reality it’s not “a small step for a programmer”, but steps can be made smaller with community support that supplies patches, translations, new features and ‘spread the word’ ­čÖé


  7. Librecad program─▒ bildi─čimiz kadar─▒yla autocad in yerini dolduran bi program.Program─▒n─▒z─▒ daha ├Ânce fuarda g├Ârd├╝m.Bilgilendirmenizi ve ofisimiz i├žin faydal─▒ olup olmad─▒─č─▒n─▒n taraf─▒ma bilgi verilmesini istiyorum, sayg─▒lar.

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