In our office we use Windows 8.1 mostly and some 7. W7s are OK but 8.1s are not yet bought. Let's say we are "trying" them.

I have convinced the buying department to use Ubuntu since they are only using basic functions of Word and Excel and Outlook. They are very much happier with Writer, Calc and Thunderbird.

However, we do very much basic drawing of electrical units, lines, cameras, lambs etc. Using Autocad for this is really overkill. So no one wants to pay for it (it is still wrong though). So they accepted me looking for totally legal and equally usefull alternatives.

I have tried BricsCAD and DraftSight so far with no success.. In Turkey Linux is very little known, so is methods of installing apps on it. They are so used to click on an exe and "next" a few times.. In my unsuccessfull demonstration of installing both apps in 64bit Ubuntu 12.04LTS (and 13.10) they failed and I could not make them work no matter what.

We can not use FreeCAD and LibreCAD since they only work with DXF format and arcitects are sending us the files in DWG format.

Interestingly, they work pretty well when I try them on a Windows environment. But no success on Ubuntu, so this makes them think Ubuntu is not ready as a daily driver.

So basicly, I need to convince them to switch to a Ubuntu system with an easily install-able CAD program which gives us very basic 2D functions like making lines, polylines and stretching them, working with layers, locking layers, making and editing blocks (shaped like bulbs, fuses,..), moving, copying etc..

Could you advise me some solutions? Easy to be installed and similar to Autocad interface if possible. So I can convince everybody. They do NOT have to be free since they will anyway be very much cheaper than a Windows 8.1 + antivirus + Office + AutoCAD system :)

  • Draftsight at least should work on Ubuntu, check this answer. Feb 18, 2014 at 7:06
  • I once again stress the importance of not using DWG. There's no open software without open data formats; yours is a problem of data, not software. Feb 18, 2014 at 7:07

3 Answers 3


VariCAD - 3D / 2D CAD software for mechanical engineering

VariCAD is compact, fast, easy to use, and provides everything necessary for mechanical design. VariCAD is sold "fully loaded", including all features and functions, for one affordable price. The system contains:

  • 3D Modeling
  • 2D Drawing and Editing
  • Optional Support of Parameters
  • Optional Support of Geometrical Constraints
  • Shells Modeling, Pipelines, Wires
  • Crash Tests (Interferences)
  • 3D Assemblies and Groups
  • Surface Development (Sheet Metal Unbending)
  • Mechanical Part Libraries and Symbol Libraries
  • Calculations of 3D Objects or 2D Sections
  • BOM and Title Blocks

Learn more about: https://www.varicad.com/en/home/products/description/

  • Thank you. I tried it but it seems like very very much different than AutoCAD. Still, it is an options.
    – Can
    Feb 17, 2014 at 14:34
  • You can't just find the same as AutoCAD. for me i found varicad the closest software
    – Maythux
    Feb 17, 2014 at 14:37

My first recommendation would be Electric, which is conceived precisely for the design of electrical systems. It can be installed directly from the Software Centre.

For something more akin to AutoCAD, beyond those you refer:

There are many others, but these are the most commonly referenced. I have used mostly QCAD and LibreCAD and never had interoperability problems.

Finally, note that DWG is not an open format and should never be used to transmit information. You should demand your sources data in more digestible formats like DXF.

  • Thank you, Interestingly, I wasn't able to install QCAD either. I don't know why but my luck didn't go well with CAD software. I am not so bad at Ubuntu, actually CAD softwares were my first fail stories on "google-read-learn-install" pattern on Ubuntu.. For the DWG format, I wish we all could get to the DXF however people here are only familiar with what is heard (not learnt)
    – Can
    Feb 19, 2014 at 8:52
  • If you have issues installing QCAD you should open a specific question on it. To use DWG your hands are pretty much tied; this sort of formats are conceived precisely to lock you to software vendors. In any case, you can open another question: "Software to read DWG files in Ubuntu". Feb 19, 2014 at 10:08

If you can't use Bricscad in your linux, you should really change your linux. Because Bricscad is the BEST native CAD in linux. By far.Second best is ARES Commnader and CorelCAD. Third best is DraftSight.

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