Contents:

Introduction
Install QCAD on CentOS 7
Enable the Community Edition of QCAD
Start using QCAD



Introduction


If you plan on using a CAD software on your instance of CentOS, I would advice you to use QCAD, as I find it a great peace of software, that is light and easy to use. As you know already, I am an architect, and I have been using Linux on my systems since 2007. During all this time, besides learning about Linux system administration, I was also doing creative work and architectural projects using free software like QCAD for computer aided designs, GIMP for photo editing and retouch, Inkscape for vectorial graphics, Blender for 3D renderings. This gave me the opportunity to dive into the free and open-source software usage, to learn how things work and to be able to open and free my mind from all the clutter that Windows and proprietary software was emposing on me as an architect. It was not easy, as I had to re-learn how all those free software work and quite often to deal with the lack of particular features that I got used to with other proprietary software. But in the end, I must tell you, it was worth it. Thus, here is a small article on how to install QCAD on CentOS 7.

Now, I must tell you that, if you use Fedora 27 or 28 (which is in beta at the time of the writing) you will have QCAD Community Edition available in the official repositories right from the start. But if you plan on using CentOS 7, you will have to use a different way.

I have Fedora 28 beta on one of my laptops, but I run CentOS 7 on my main desktop and on my office desktop from the University. Thus, As I wanted to be able to work on the same projects as I did on my laptop during the Easter Holidays, I needed to install QCAD on my desktops too. Here is the process of installing it.

 

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Install QCAD on CentOS 7


The first thing you have to do in order to install QCAD is to download the run file from the official website. To do this, use the command:

cd Downloads/
wget -c http://www.qcad.org/archives/qcad/qcad-3.19.2-trial-linux-x86_64.run

Now that the file is inside your Downloads directory, you can start installing it. First, you will need to make it executable, and for this you will use the chmod command.

chmod a+x qcad-3.19.2-trial-linux-x86_64.run

After making it executable, you will execute it:

./qcad-3.19.2-trial-linux-x86_64.run

This command will create a new opt directory inside your home directory, which will contain all the files of the newly installed QCAD.

 

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Enable the Community Edition of QCAD

Now, after installation, you have the trial version available, which will have certain functionalities disabled by default. Our purpose is to enable the community edition which is free and open-source. To do this, first go to the installation directory, inside the plugins directory:

cd opt/qcad-3.19.2-trial-linux-x86_64/
ls -la
cd plugins
ls -la
#this will show you a list of the available plugins

From the list of the plugins, you will need to remove the following:

rm -rf libqcaddwg.so libqcadpolygon.so libqcadproscripts.so libqcadtriangulation.so

After you remove those files, you will need to create a valid desktop entry for the QCAD application to start right from the GNOME Shell. For this, you will copy the Ribbonsoft-qcad.desktop file from the ~/opt/qcad-3.19.2-trial-linux-x86_64 directory to the /usr/share/applications directory, using sudo:

sudo cp Ribbonsoft-qcad.desktop /usr/share/applications/

 

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Start using QCAD

After all the setup, you are now ready to use QCAD on CentOS 7. For this, go to the GNOME Shell using the Windows key and type qcad. This will show you the available QCAD application icon. Clicking on it will open the application.

qcad-icon The QCAD icon inside GNOME Shell

qcad-startup Starting QCAD

qcad-app The QCAD application

This is it. You can now start using QCAD. If you want an easy way to learn QCAD, you can buy the official ebook from their website. Here is a link to the free preview of the book.

Enjoy using a great tool for CAD development!

 

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