KiCad How-to: Import ‘.pretty’ footprint library from GitHub

After someone had some difficulty importing one of my KiCad libraries from GitHub, I decided to make a quick little how-to guide for the process. Importing a library directly from GitHub is a really neat KiCad feature, so I hope this video helps! Leave a comment if you like the video, have a question, or just have ideas for other KiCad videos you’d like me to do.

5 thoughts on “KiCad How-to: Import ‘.pretty’ footprint library from GitHub

  1. Some random thoughts:

    * This is your first post in almost 2.5 years.
    * The right side of the site is doing something weird.
    * There’s a smiley face making the bottom weird too.
    * You took 3 minutes.
    * Why is it GitHub-specific? Can this be done for non-GitHub repos?
    * Can this be done for private GitHub repos?
    * What would be the worst case scenario imaginable for adding and frequently using a global library that’s under the control of someone with malicious intent?

    1. Hey Chris!

      It has been a while since I’ve done anything with the site, and since I created the video to help someone out, I decided that I might as well post it here and get back to keeping the site updated with projects I’ve worked on.

      As for the weird formatting, can you send/post a screenshot of some of the parts? I’m not seeing anything on my end in Firefox or Chrome, but there are always a billion combinations of browser/os/fonts/resolution that can make a mess of things.

      Three minutes is probably a bit long for such a singular, simple feature, so I’ll definitely try to keep them shorter and more concise in the future.

      As far as I can tell, the feature is definitely targeted at GitHub repos specifically, although I have not yet tried it against a Gitlab or Gogs repo. I don’t think it will work with a private repo either, but I haven’t had a chance to try it. I’ll definitely give both of those a shot and report back!

      Regarding the use-cases of an automatically updating global library, I think it has a few places where it could be useful, but I wouldn’t try to rely on someone else’s library in any sort of production environment. Even without malicious intent, someone can update a silkscreen that makes your board un-manufacturable, or implement a fix that actually breaks something you were using. I think they are useful for test-driving footprints, which you can then pull down into your own libraries, and it can be useful for keeping your own library sync’ed up and shareable between people and systems. I still use Git submodules for that for the most part, though, since you can tag certain versions or commits of the library and always be able to go back and use a previous version even after the library updates.

      Thanks for the comments, and I hope to keep updating the blog!

      (You comment also let me know that my comment emailer is broken, since I didn’t see it until now, when I logged in…)

  2. Thank you for posting how this works. I am running the OS X version on a mac and do not have a way for a library to connect to any internet location. I may be missing something but Preferences > Component Library files or > User Defined search path and below is > current search path. You can add a user path but it is not able to pull from the internet. In current search path you cannot edit to add a url.

    If anyone know how to add a URL to get libraries that would really help to get GETHUB working.

    1. Hi Tim,

      If your pop up box labeled Path Configuration does not show the “OK, Cancel, & Help” buttons, grab the lower right corner and pull down. Then you can finally hit OK.

      I don’t know if this will be fixed in version 5, but once I fixed it, it has keep showing up correctly ever since.
      (I’m using nightlies on Win10)

      Hope it helps,

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