I'm looking for a utility or a program for Ubuntu, and possibly even for Windows that is able to convert a CAD file format .DWG to PDF.

My need is to provide a preview of CAD files, and I thought that the easiest way is to convert them into PDF format, but I'm open to suggestions, even if there is only the possibility to convert them to JPG image file type or PNG would be fine.

What interests me is only to find some solution, no matter if it is commercial or free


You can use QCAD, an open source AutoCAD replacement or the community fork LibreCAD made to work using the newer Qt4 framework. You can install LibreCAD from the Ubuntu Software Center. Using one of these two programs you import DWG files, edit the drawing and export it to PDF.

LibreCAD screenshot

QCad offered a command line tool to convert DWG to PDF directly - I'm guessing it's also available in LibreCAD.

./dwg2pdf.sh drawing.dwg
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  • Many thanks @kermit666, this is particularly useful to me, in fact my specific interest is in finding a tool that can be invoked from the command line and that simply performs the conversion. – Marcello Picchi Jan 25 '14 at 18:13
  • np. Yes, I also like command-line access to such tasks :) – metakermit Jan 26 '14 at 14:07
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    LibreCad don't give me a Import DWG option, but qCad opens it by default, thanks – Ademir Nuno Apr 8 '15 at 19:01

Best linux-native solution for dwg should be TeighaViewer. Teigha technologies are used by hundreds of companies around the world. Teigha is for dwg what LibreOffice is for office files (doc, xls, etc). Teigha is basically a Design Alliance, a common effort around the world to break the dictatorship of Adsk's dwg. Bricscad, DraftSight, Ares Commander, CorelCAD, Intellicad and many others are members of teigha.

Inkscape can also open .dwg files. But it doesn't always read them right (display errors and scale errors), depending on what app generated the dwg file. Inkscape deals better with .dxf files, because dxfs can't contain advanced entities, just basic entities like lines, arcs, splines, points and dimensions.

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  • I have installed Teigha Viewer in many Ubuntus, and it always crashed when trying to open any DWG file. Do you have any advice to make it work? – chronos00 Mar 22 '18 at 0:06
  • I created the following question to try to solve the problem: askubuntu.com/questions/1018121/… – chronos00 Mar 22 '18 at 2:03

I used FreeCad.

sudo apt install freecad

If you are using Ubuntu 18.04, you could get the error No module named WebGui. In that case install it from the another repository as follows.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freecad-maintainers/freecad-stable
sudo apt-get update

Also, you need to install a third-party plugin ODA File Converter from https://www.opendesign.com/guestfiles/oda_file_converter to support import of DWG formats.

And set the path to the converter executable manually. open Edit → Preferences → Import-Export → DWG and fill "Path to Teigha File Converter" appropriately.

After installing the .deb package on Ubuntu, the executable's path is /usr/bin/ODAFileConverter. Looking at the extracted RPM file, it seems to be installed under /usr/local/bin/ODAFileConverter.

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Lx-viewer do the job since its pretty easy to use and offers what you looking for, you should give it a try enter image description here for more info check this link

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I used in past Draftsight to convert dwg to PDF

Drafsight its a complete free CAD program that has a export to PDF function. Cross platform but not foss and free with on-line activation for Linux. I didn't used it for a time now but back in time was an amazing piece of software. Consider to read this guide how to install it.

More dwg viewers and software recommendations you can find here on Ask Ubuntu by following software that can view dwg files link

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Qcad works, of course you have to pay for it. Varicad was a last resource but it crashes reading new files (autocad 2017).Same with Teighaviewer.Lx-viewer do es not exist.

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Try bricscad, is the best software out there for linux, it has the same features as autocad and more, its much better and low resources.


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    Looks great but for the sake of full disclosure, you should add that this is not FOSS & that it costs over $1000 USD (cheapest option). – arielf Feb 8 '18 at 21:09

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