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DraftSight 2D CAD For Linux Beta Available

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-not-in-stereo dept.

Graphics 100

crypton writes "Dassault Systems, (Solidworks) has released their promised Linux version of DraftSight, their free 2D AutoCAD work-alike drafting program (deb and rpm files available). Right now it appears to be 32-bit only but it looks like one of the best Linux CAD alternatives (paid or unpaid) right out of the gate. Also available for PC and Mac."

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my cock available for sucking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450216)

first post, biatches. #gnaa

Re:my cock available for sucking (-1, Offtopic)

segin (883667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450240)

If they are so desperate for the frist psot, why don't we let them have it and let their childless stand out on top as a warning of what not to do on Slashdot.

Cue GIMP-style questions (2)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450234)

"Can I use this to create an animation of, say, a 3D car jumping off a ramp through a ring of fire? If not, can somebody explain what this software is good for???"

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (2)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450244)

you could draw a pizza box.

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450282)

Perhaps because everything that is made in reality in actuality generally requires plane to be drawn and followed. So a FOSS 2d CAD package can be used by anyone that would also use a spread sheet and word processor, whether it is to draw plane of the future home or changes to their kitchen cupboards.

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (5, Insightful)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450346)

FOSS 2d CAD package
This isn't a FOSS 2d CAD package. It's a proprietary program that you can download at no charge but it requires "activation" within 30 days and once per year thereafter. (I just read the FAQ on their website.)

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (2)

jackbird (721605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452374)

To firms accustomed to licking ADSK's boots on command, that probably sounds like software freedom...

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455832)

No joke about AutoCad...

Now, I'll pay attention when there is a FOSS program for linux that can do what Dassault Systeme's Catia (Not solid works, Catia.) can do.

Amusingly, Dassault used to release a version of catia for use on Caldera Unix, but they stopped doing so in favor of win32 and win64. A version intended for running on linux should be pretty trivial to cook up then, considering it already has unix-awareness.

*Professional note: I am a professional CAD/CAM draftsman, and use this software every day. It would be VERY nice if I could get away from the Microsoft feature creep bloating on my professional workstation, and at the same time cut down on operating and deployment costs by using Linux.

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (2)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450396)

Free as in Beer CAD package until the manufacturer decides it's not making any money and pulls support. PTC did a similar thing with ProDesktop Express. It could have killed the low end 3D design market (their competition) and used a similar key every year system.

Read the FAQ (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451222)

The standalone version is free. There is a supported commercial version that looks interesting. This is Dassault; if you look at what they do you will see why they might want to have a CAD system that they own. Pendant plusieurs d'années, la France ne voudrait pas etre membre d'OTAN: faut pas chercher pour comprendre.

Re:Read the FAQ (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455914)

They already do, and it is one of the leading software packages used in Aerospace.


I know, because I use it daily as a CAD operator, and can attest that BOEING/SPIRIT aerosystems uses it exclusively for their avionics designs, as to Gulfstream, Bell helicopter, and a number of others.

Catia is the SHIT.

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453178)


I still have some extensive drawings that I did while out of work (didn't have hundreds to spend on a commercial package...'cause I was out of work). ProDesktop pulled their license, and I'm left with a bunch of useless random bits. Complicated packages like these take months to learn effectively, and that learning curve has also been wasted.

I still have the drawings, but haven't found a way to convert them to something useful. I won't be touching this package.

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455944)

If these are simple 2D drawings, but in some arbitrary format, it might be possible to convert the data...

What extension do the files have?

(Note, I am a professional CAD operator.)

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35519634)

There are quite a few 3D drawings, some containing quite a few of the others. I literally built the airplane from the plans piece by piece. I also probably did it very poorly; but, then again, I was doing it to learn 3D CAD drawing in my spare time.

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (4, Insightful)

aklinux (1318095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450304)

I have a good friend, and Linux supporter, that is an Electrical Engineer. He does things like lay out the wiring for new subdivisions and commercial buildings. He does not have use for 3D doing what he does, but has been using 3D on Suse and Debian for years. Al the while lamenting the lack of availability of some decent 2D CAD under Linux, or anything else for that matter. Game design is not the only reason around for decent CAD software. A lot of real work in the real world is done with it.

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (2)

crimperman (225941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451020)

Game design is not the only reason around for decent CAD software. A lot of real work in the real world is done with it.

Agreed. The D in CAD can stand for design or draughting/drafting. Civil, Structural and HVAC engineers for example will make heavy use of the latter for plans (what most lay-people call "Blue prints").

Re:Cue GIMP-style questions (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35456338)

Pass. I downloaded it last month to avoid paying about two grand to Autocad for their latest lite version. It's decent but they would need to improve the block library for me to really love it. It's pretty much an Autocad clone if you're a serious keyboard shortcut user but the look and feel isn't quite there. For free, it's astounding.

slashvertisement (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450236)

Let's see, free as in "activation required" (their words). "Runs on multiple operating systems" - I guess that means java. Not impressed.

Re:slashvertisement (5, Insightful)

theskipper (461997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450286)

I downloaded it then realized it's weird installing something in a linux distro that requires activation. Especially knowing no source code is available. It just feels...slimy and scary all at once.

Like taking a shortcut through that dark alleyway with the bum standing in the shadows. He's probably harmless but hey, why take a chance.

But it's their code so it's their perogative. I'll pass.

Re:slashvertisement (4, Insightful)

kaka.mala.vachva (1164605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450326)

You realize stuff like this is the only way Linux may become popular on the desktop? We can't really expect everything to be FOSS. Support this if its useful to you, and look past the activation - more companies may start developing for Linux then. Would hate to see the Loki story all over again.

Re:slashvertisement (2)

theskipper (461997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450492)

Ok, that's true and I wish them well. But my post was coming from the "scratch an itch" user perspective rather than "change the world". And since my low risk tolerance doesn't mesh very well with the whole closed source+activation thing, it just won't work in my case. There's plenty of businesses that don't care about that sort of thing so they'll probably do well.

Re:slashvertisement (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35463256)

Well, those are reasonable (and reasoned) responses.

Question : given that the learning-curve investment in Package X is done and gone and won't come back, how reliable are the non-AutoCAD (ADSK? ; I am not a CAD user) versions of the 2-d file format ".DWG" (or is it ".DXF" ; it's so long since I looked at this product area)? i.e., could you reasonably be aggrieved if a .DWG created on one package opened wrongly on a different company's equivalent product?

The area I work in has 3 or 4 major software contenders, all of them with major differences in work-flow, and no interoperability between file formats. (I have seen people using 2-d CAD programs for producing our sort of product too, but not for a decade or so.) But on those not-uncommon occasions when I am hired to do my job, but to use a competitor's product, I generally find that the learning curve is steep, but not overwhelming. At the end of the day, to get from the data that yet-other companies produce (generally in ASCII files) to the sort of drawings that present the data to the client the way they want to see it, the general processes are similar, even if different packages handle the details differently.

Learning curves are significant. But the same applies to a different continent's law systems and working practices. Dealing with a different software package is just one more part of the learning curve.

Re:slashvertisement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450766)

We can't really expect everything to be FOSS.

Actually, we can. Continuing to tolerate personal freedom destroying system of "IP" will only escalate the vicious circle of piracy, guilt, detriment to competition and so on. We need to base economy of information on sound foundations, one that doesn't require tutelage from state authority. Make every software FOSS but not ("free beer") costless and let producers recuperate their expenses at the point of exchange - no valuable information is conveyed from those who have it to those who haven't until equivalent monetary compensation is transferred in opposite direction! If that information is something for mass consuming, having a potential for great profit, then a scheme of voluntary participative support or plain subscription is in order to acquire expected huge amount of money to pay the information provider. There, it isn't that complicated, and then we could have our freedom back!

Re:slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35470032)

I use two different 3D cad programs and one 2D. The two 3D programs up front cost right at $15,000.00 and each year I stay current with them costs another $3,000.00 to get real person tech support and the yearly improvements and bug fixes. I live about 67 miles from the headquarters of one of these companies and I am down there a few times a year. I see the size of the effort in dedicated year round manpower required to do this and I will tell you flat out that if there is no money to be made there would be no significant design programs available. Linux is as a community incapable of developing software like this because it is done by those who also have a job in the real world. Linux will be crippled forever with few significant software programs available as long as the obsession with not having to pay anything exists. That there are a number of free 2D programs out there is a result of those who pay their way as this is nowadays being offered primarily as an incentive to have a look at the 3D programs therse same companies offer. I do not personaly know of one individual who makes a living in the CAD world with Linux. If you want this to change you are all going to have to start spending money or just forget it.

Re:slashvertisement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450330)

While I agree, you seem to miss the most important part:

Business just want to get work done. Now, as a business, it is reasonable to finally ditch autoCAD and windows and switch to linux.
Business switch to linux? AMD may start to feel the pressure to get good working drivers for linux...

Re:slashvertisement (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450608)

Isn't the AMD driver thing the fault of the community itself since AMD did what you told them to do? I mean how many times have we heard "If you'll just release the specs we'll take care of the rest" well guess what? They did [] exactly [] that [] .

So you just gotta love the hypocrisy here. you tell companies to open the specs, you say you'll support them if they'll support FOSS, and what happens? Nearly every post that has ANYTHING to do with Linux and GPUs has post after post saying "You should buy Nvidia" the company that doesn't open shit.

So I'd say the ball is in your court now. If AMD drivers tank you only have yourselves to blame, if AMD doesn't see any increased sales and therefor stops supporting FOSS because everyone on the forums say buy Nvidia again your fault, why the hell should ANY company support you if that is the thanks they get?

As for TFA the fact that it has activation means it'll be DOA on Linux, the thought of activation or lack of source code will turn off too many true believers, which ironically probably all have Nvidia cards running closed source drivers.

Re:slashvertisement (2)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450854)

None of those links are a year old. One of them is from two weeks ago. If you want an overnight revolution you're in the wrong place; software is hard.

In time, we can probably clean up the half-ass trash that ATI released. I'm not ragging on them -- big props for releasing the stuff at all, and we can, in time, take care of the rest. But it's still half-ass buggy trash *grin* there's a lot of cleaning to do.

Re:slashvertisement (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452120)

There's no hypocrisy here. It's simply diversity.

ATI drivers have always sucked. It didn't matter who made them. The fact that you can "blame the community" rather than the card vendor really doesn't change anything. Although there is some fleeting hope that some one that doesn't work for ATI can make things better.

People buy nvidia gear because their drivers aren't crap. This is probably true of people that use "that other OS" too.

Mandatory license management is annoying on ANY platform. The fact that it is so much more unusual on Linux will probably hinder adoption.

Oracle may cost 60K per CPU but at least they don't subject you to this sort of VMS style license shenangian.

Re:slashvertisement (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453134)

You DO realize there is a reason why people use phrases like "freetard" and completely ignore everything you say when you insist on acting like a loonie [] yes?

Repeat after me: Microsoft is NOT Sauron, and Redmond is NOT in Mordor...see how easy that was? I mean do you really want to come off in conversations as this guy [] after you've gone to all the trouble to actually type a thoughtful reply?

Now as for your replay simply realize you now have NO RIGHT to complain when companies refuse to give you specs or drivers since you have just admitted the Linux community doesn't "vote with their dollars" but instead strictly based on convenience, which if that is all you wanted, why not run Windows where all the games are?

It is really simple: if a company does everything the community asks and you still refuse to buy even after they went to all the trouble and expense to do what you asked, why bother? They can stick with Windows and have ZERO hoop jumping as well as writing a single driver that'll work for a decade without fiddling. And why should Nvidia give you source or specs if you'll buy from them even when they ignore your philosophy? Answer: they shouldn't as the increased costs don't return increased sales. It really is business 101 friend and a good reason why so few bother with Linux support, the effort just doesn't see returns worth bothering with.

Re:slashvertisement (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453850)

Well, they can't please all of the people all of the time. It will never happen. I know that since AMD has started releasing docs, I have seen more posts, and more statements of support for them. Before they started releasing docs, It was starting to look like Intel would be the GPU of choice, since it was 'good enough' for most uses, and had open docs. AMD seems to be turning that around. It takes time, but it seems to be happening.

Re:slashvertisement (4, Interesting)

NtwoO (517588) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450682)

Your discomfort is understandable. Even such, I am very glad that QCad now has an alternative. QCad has no active development on the free version and still runs on KDE3. It is my weapon of choice when doing 2D CAD work. Whether DraftSight will replace it, is still an open point and the final choice is not as important as the fact that I have a choice. For doing electrical circuits in Linux one has very little choice but using Eagle. Also a commercial product. It is a very decent package and most definitely made my life a lot simpler. I'd love to have everything FOSS for my work and home environment, but often need goes ahead of want.

Re:slashvertisement (3, Informative)

ancienthart (924862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451156)

Ries van Twisk has forked the free version of QCAD to produce librecad. []

Re:slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452486)

KiCad (monolithic schematic/pcb design structure) and gEDA (non-monolithic loose collection of schematic/design apps) are two alternatives to Eagle under linux.

Re:slashvertisement (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451746)

Because, of course, you have personally tested every single piece of software on your machine back down to the source code to make sure it's OK.

Re:slashvertisement (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451958)

Transparency in the software is sufficient. All it takes is for one person to find any malware lurking in the code, and at that point (under the FOSS model) anyone can fork it with the offending code removed. It does a remarkably good job of keeping the swimming hole clean.

Re:slashvertisement (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450294)

Avast is a free antivirus that does the same thing. It's free for personal use (both this and Avast).

Re:slashvertisement (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451354)

It's Qt, you dumbass!

(same toolkit as QCad).

Re:slashvertisement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35453336)

Not java, Qt which rocks!

Bad Title (0)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450290)

Can we get this application for Linux stable, or do you mean DraftSight 2D CAD Beta for Linux available.

We need this because...? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450324)

We already have a 2D cad package for linux: qcad
this would only be of interest if it was 3D

Re:We need this because...? (2)

AeiwiMaster (20560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450674)

Check out OpenSCAD

Re:We need this because...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452226)

hehe, sounds like Open Scat. For those that don't know, "scat" is sex with feces. poop. shit.

Re:We need this because...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452482)

Ski ba bop ba-da bop,
ba bop ba-da bop.
Ski ba bop ba-da bop,
ba bop ba-da be-dubbie-dubbie.

Re:We need this because...? (1)

ZFox (860519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454620)

Scat is just animal dung, not some sick act with it.

Re:We need this because...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35455756)

OpenSCAD is 3D, right? Different animal. In the 3D space, I'm watching FreeCAD, which is making *huge* progress very quickly.

Re:We need this because...? (3, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450880)

qcad is *very* low-end.

I've done a fair bit of CAD work, and am pretty fluent in AutoCAD. I tried to use qcad for some simple things, but it's *really* lacking in basic functionality. Things like: Create a block. Assign layers to elements of a block. Set certain line colors to specific values, some to bylayer. Give the layer a color. Insert the block into a drawing. Change its color. The elements on a layer within the block inherit the attributes from the BLOCK's layer.

It's so wrong on such a simple bit of functionality that I couldn't take it seriously for anything more than arranging the furniture in my room, and even for that I felt like its limits were sometimes exceeded.

We really need more 2D CAD options in Linux.

Re:We need this because...? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453884)

Do any of these do easy floor plans? Where you pick from common configurations, and can draw walls where you want them? I know that a full true CAD application has it's uses for many many things. Right now, I am looking for something where I can quickly and easily sketch my house so I can plan out various renovation projects.

Re:We need this because...? (1)

luca (6883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454228)

Try Sweet Home 3d [] .

Re:We need this because...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454504)

Try Cycas, They have a free version, which has a couple of minor restrictions. They are: the size of prints is limited, the prints are watermarked, and a few others. I found it easy to learn, it can lay out walls, doors and windows, etc. If you really like it you can buy the full version for only a hundred bucks or so, or if you have a kid, you can buy a student version for about $75, and it is a full version. The website is

Re:We need this because...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466690)

Dee DoubleU Gee

PC and Mac (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450402)

Also available for PC and Mac. What's everyone else running Linux on?

Re:PC and Mac (2)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450440)

My fridge. Why do you ask?

This is so useful. I've always wanted to do a little CAD work while grabbing a snack.

Re:PC and Mac (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453898)

My Phone, TV, wireless router. Probably a few other things in the house that I'm not aware of....

There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there... (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450414)

... for "mere human" price.


It does do everything. It's not as polished as ProE or SolidWorks, and definitely not UG/NX, but it's something you can use if you're a small one-person shop.

If we're doing slashvertisement for Dassault, we may as well mention alternatives, no?


Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (1)

AeiwiMaster (20560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450684)

There is also OpenSCAD

Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (1)

jerryluc (1536513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450778)

UG/NX is also for Linux and Mac. The Linux version is only said to be supported on Suse Linux, but I think with some tweaking you should manage to run it on any Linux flavor. All though the Mac and Linux versions doesn't look as polished as the Windows version, both Mac and Linux versions are full featured UG/NX software. NX on Wikipedia [] Also ProE seems to have a UNIX version, according to wikipedia.

Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (1)

crimperman (225941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451008)

If we're doing slashvertisement for Dassault, we may as well mention alternatives, no?

agreed and while we're at it, there's BRL-CAD (3D modelling) and QCAD (2D Drafting) as well. QCAD has a dual licencing model and has been around for some time.

Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451036)

I downloaded BRL-CAD when it was first released for Linux, but I had no idea what to do with it. It was just an engine. No UI to speak of at all. I would love to see a decent UI for BRL-CAD. BRL-CAD with one would be spectacular.

I've tried QCAD. I really just can't go back to pure 2D CAD anymore. Drawing the part and generating the views from the part makes so much more sense. I remember in school doing a 6 view isometric block rotation on paper (turning it 15 degrees each time). What a pain in the ass. After learning how to draw in 3D, there is no going back, honestly.


Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451674)

I downloaded BRL-CAD when it was first released for Linux, but I had no idea what to do with it. It was just an engine. No UI to speak of at all.

BRL-CAD has *two* guis MGED and Archer. MGED for the pros, Archer for the beginners and extensive documentation.

Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451840)

Is the MGED part of it not a UI, or was it too sparse?

Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454918)

Dude, I had a GUI in CAD back in friggin 1992.

Customizable and everything - the icons were actually drawings that had properties. You could draw them and make your own within the program - gcd.

MGED is like using a pen knife to chop down a tree. Oh sure, you can gang up a lot of pen knives to chop the tree all at once and make lumber, but man, it's a horrible thing to deal with

The manual for MGED is excellent and I wish all documentation was like it, but it's a lot of stuff to slog through.

Too sparse indeed.


Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455044)

I've never used it, I was just curious as to what you meant (it is fully possible that someone on the internet would download it and simply not read the documentation; obviously not the case here...).

I personally use Arcad (3D CAD, native Linux) (1)

BuGless (31232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451734)

I'm using Arcad [] to plan some buildingdesigns in 3D. Works reasonably well, comes with a paid license (I'm using the small Easy-entry-level license, which fits my needs just fine).
Some nice trivia about the creators:
- They use Linux exclusively to develop all their softwareproducts.
- The Windows build is created mechanically.
- They sell arcad for 98% to Windows clients.
- The English translation still needs some polishing here and there; but the functionality is solid.

Re:There is an actual 3D cad for Linux out there.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451852)

Oh please. If you have no personal knowledge of CAD tools, don't make bold statements about them. VariCAD is, at best, a tool for opening dwg files on the 2D side, and a low-end toy for mock 3D stuff. Not even good for learning basic 3D, mind you. It is riddled with severe bugs, can't do any kind of parametrization (that's what 21 century CAD is all about), and its capabilities are a tiny fraction of what ProE, SolidWorks or Unigraphics feature. Maybe you could have realized that the "human" price was for a reason?

Excellent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450464)

I'm not a regural user of 2D-cad software but I've used some over the years for work and personal stuff.

Some time ago I needed to fiddle with some 2D on Windows and found DraftSight. Didn't mind registering because this seemed like a great piece of software for free (as in beer). I use mainly Linux so Linux release is excellent news to me. My 2D needs are so sparse that I wouldn't want to spend money on it.

For me DraftSight seemed like AutoCAD was a few years back before it started to get weird GUI changes and bloat.

Not quite ready for prime time (2)

JPyObjC Dude (772176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450476)

I have given it a go and compared it to QCad which I have a licensed copy and used heavily of late. Although, it is likely much more feature rich than QCad, it is missing one key feature of having a "Layers Pane" that is always visible. In DraftSight, you must open a modal dialog to manage the layers which IMO is kind of clicky for complex layer management. This is a pretty glaring usability miss for me and I am holding off for them to implement this before I jump on the band wagon.

On the bright side, hopefully this will like the fire under QCad developers to get 3.0 out there which has been "under development" for a couple of years now. QCad itself has some issues too such as poor workflows and some basic usability features and its well due for some improvements.

Good to see some progress in the free / reasonably priced 2D Cad world :)

not seeing the trees (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450752)

one word for you boys: DWG

Re:Not quite ready for prime time (1)

TehClaws (1785656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451144)

Exactly what you said. I've only given it a test run, but I immediately noticed the 'lack' of layer controls. It simply has to be within reach all the time. Admitting to some of QCADs shortcomings, I have yet to find a 2D CAD that beats it in 'speed' as soon as you learn just a few of the comprehensive set of keyboard short cuts. I stopped holding my breath for ver. 3 when I blacked out though, I guess they will release it when they're good and ready.

Re:Not quite ready for prime time (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451744)


It has two layer selectors -- you only need modal layer manager when you add layers or change layers' parameters.

Its a good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450510)

Imho AutoCAD is a good product (having used it for years) but Autodesk is becoming more and more Microsoftized with each release, so any competition to keep the Autodesk/Microsoft empire in check is a good thing.

I might also look into VariCAD (thanks BMO)

PS - for anyone that doesn't know what a 2D CAD package is for (1st thread on this page), look at just about anything around you (electronics, buildings, cars, aircraft, etc), chances are there are 2D engineering drawings for its design that are (nowadays anyway) created using either a 2D CAD package (such as AutoCAD) or a 3D parametric modelling package (Inventor/Solidworks/Catia/etc).

Which license??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450532)

Stupid bitches, leaving out the only interesting bit...

what about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450638)

Bricscad? Its interface looks much more polished than varicad's.I'll give this a try as soon as I get to the office

What about LibreCAD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450730)

I'm long looking for 2D free-free alternatives.

A few weeks ago I gave a spin on LibreCAD.
It looks really nice. I managed to edit some existing DXF files, save them, add some layers... but I'm not totally sure it is production ready.
Maybe with a few more good souls from the community this package might become a major alternative.

What does Linux run on, anyway??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450868)

"Right now it appears to be 32-bit only but it looks like one of the best Linux CAD alternatives (paid or unpaid) right out of the gate. Also available for PC and Mac."

Wonder what I am running Linux on if this thing next to my foot is neither a PC nor a Mac!

Re:What does Linux run on, anyway??? (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454502)


PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (1, Offtopic)

gnarlin (696263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451032)

This is really starting to irritate me. This isn't just my personal pet peeve anymore. It's become a major psychotic episode for me!
PC means: "Personal Computer"! Guess what; macs are PC's! Your mobile phone is a PC nowadays. My fucking calculator is a PC! Your god damn blinking sneakers might be a PC!

When makers of proprietary games say that their game will run on: "PC and mac" it sound just plain stupid. Oh? It will run on every personal computer I own including macs? Oh goody! I'm running the Ubuntu OS on my tower. I guess I'll run it on that then. Oh, and on my fucking android phone while I'm at it! After all, it will run on all all Personal Computers..........and macs!

Perhaps those publishers believe that the mac personal computers are so tied to apple that no can really own a mac; merely bask in the presence and glory of their macbooks and imacs that apple has allowed them to do for a short while; you know, like religious people believe about their brief existence here on earth! A beautiful unique snowflake said this: "I don't own my macbook pro, it is only a visitor on our shores for a short while; and then.... it is gone!".
But back to the topic at hand.

Equating the term "PC" with the line of operating systems from Microsoft called windows also implies that operating systems are an inherit part of the computer that cannot be lodged out, you know, like a really bad tenet in a project! A permanent residence with an increasingly bad attitude. That the OS is burned into a ROM chip on the motherboard. That it's inside and has taken your computer hostage. You know, like consoles. Of course that's pure uncut bullshit. While not everyone is like me and often changes the operating system on a computer like they were changing a dirty diaper on a screaming child, everyone should not be lied to with propaganda like this. Everyone should at least be aware that an OS can be changed if they don't like it, like swapping out a used pair of underwear when it's just become too painful to have on any longer.

In conclusion: Don't say stupid things like: "I have a PC".

I guess I have more to say about macs in general and apple specifically, but for now I guess I'm done.

Enjoy your fucking life. It won't last forever.

Re:PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451358)

Hey, language changes.

Just like when you "xerox" something (make a copy, not necessarily on an actual Xerox copier), or use the weedeater (which isn't necessarily using an actual Weedeater line trimmer), or "google" something (search the web, not necessarily actually using Google), etc.

"PC" means more than "Personal Computer", get over it.

Re:PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451496)

Just think of PC as an abbreviation for IBM Personal Computer, or IBM Personal Computer clone, since that was the product that defined this particular use of the term in the first place. Aside from that, desktop computers used to be referred to as microcomputers in that era.
So, while "PC" is defined as personal computer, it mostly stands for IBM Personal Computer.

Also, while I wrote the above before looking, here is the Wikipedia Article saying the same thing: []

So, for the record, personal computer is the generic term while Personal Computer (capitalisation for proper names) refers to the IBM Personal Computer.
Maybe that will help with your rage, maybe not. I honestly don't care, but it helps to know where something came from before ranting about it.

On another note, I do agree that these days, Macs are just PC clones running another operating system. Same as a Linux box.

Re:PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451676)

IBM PC was an x86 machine running DOS. When you buy "PC" software today, it will not run on an IBM PC, because it is written for Windows. Why is it so hard to call it "Windows" software?

As the GP said, personal computers are everywhere, and they run many different architectures and operating systems, so we need to be more specific.

Re:PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452140)

> Why is it so hard to call it "Windows" software?

What's the fun in that? The Windows hegemony is a direct result of the MS-DOS monopoly. Effectively, Windows 7 is just another version of MS-DOS and it's useful to link Windows 7 back to it's original IBM/Microsoft roots.

Those roots rear their ugly head on occasion.

Re:PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451776)

No, PC is now the common term for a computer running Windows/Linux as opposed to an Apple OS.

Re:PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454102)

Riiiiiight. So when those Apple commercials come on and the dude says he's a PC, he's really not speaking about Microsoft Windows specifically, he's saying he could also be Linux or BSD or Solaris?

I don't think so.

We need to take the term 'PC' away from Microsoft. We should start by complaining to Apple about their commercials.

Re:PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451842)

Funny thing. The Dassault site says Windows or Mac.

Re:PC is short for Personal Motherfucking Computer (2)

not-my-real-name (193518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452998)

In conclusion: Don't say stupid things like: "I have a PC".

You could do what my wife does and call the MS-Windows computers "IBMs". This is even after I explained to her that IBM no longer makes personal computers.

I guess you have a couple of choices. You can learn to let it slide or you can seek therapy.

cad systems (2)

BluRBD!E (627484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451182)

The problem is if the CAD program is for Architectural design and drafting, it's basically useless in the industry now unless it's BIM (Building Information Modelling). Which means you need a 3D system to create a model so you can extrapolate any data and export it to other 3D systems. ArchiCAD and Revit are the only two packages I would even consider these days, and ArchiCAD has the edge especially for big business and collaboration. Don't even get me started on the new features of version 15. (disclaimer: alpha tester). What I really want to see is those two software packages working on all current operating systems. ArchiCAD is currently Mac and Windows, Revit is Windows only. Screw emulation. Note: Did not read the article.

Re:cad systems (1)

geedubyoo (1980822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451622)

Architects aren't the only people who use CAD. I agree that, for designing a building, BIM is much, much better than "dumb" CAD. However, at $5,495, Revit is overkill for somebody who just wants to plan their kitchen, or design themselves a new desk. A decent, free 2d CAD system is exactly what a lot of people need. There are now quite a few available for Windows (Draftsight, DoubleCAD XT: Free, ProgeCAD 2009 Smart for starters) but last time I looked (about a year ago) nothing on Linux. Personally, this is pretty much the only reason why I don't use Linux on my home PC.

Re:cad systems (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452326)

it's overkill for a lot more then that. need a set of plans for a starbucks finish out? bim is a sledgehammer, and the problem is a fly. need a builder's set to get prelim pricing for 30,000SF generic retail strip? bim is a nuclear weapon, and the problem is a gnat. need to renovate all the ingress/egress at an old office building to move into ADA compliance? bim is a vorpal blade, and the enemy is 115 year old paralyzed chimp. there's about 27.3 octillion more examples of where revit and bim are just expensive toys. real men pull out a piece of charcoal and a knapkin.

Re:cad systems (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452710)

For design rather than drafting, more or less everyone I interact with is using SketchUp (Windows & Mac). I even see SketchUp previsualizations on many of those remodeling shows on DIY network. And now that 3ds max can open .SKP directly, and VRay and Maxwell are available for SketchUp, you don't really need the Pro version unless you're taking the SKP into Revit or AutoCAD for drafting.

It's also about the only relevant architectural design/3D software ADSK couldn't buy out with the change in its couch - very insightful/awesome of Google to buy them first.

Re:cad systems (1)

BuGless (31232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451982)

Have you reviewed/tried Arcad [] ? It has (in the full version) architectural computations.

Good, I think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451670)

Well, heck. It may not be FOSS, but it does run on Linux natively(may require some fiddling to make it work on my 64-bit install). I think it'll be very interesting to see how many downloads they get in the coming months.

While the "yearly activation" bit scares me(It might have to be hacked if they discontinue support :\), I do see this as a step forward - Some large commercial company bothered to make a Linux version. Which is very good.

Solidworks (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452332)

If only they ported Solidworks, at least 80% of engineers would be able to abandon Windows (the rest are a fraction of Electrical Engineers who still need Altium, but being a ridiculously expensive piece of shit with minimal functionality, it will be replaced by free software no matter what). AutoCAD... Autodesk can go eat a dick for all I care -- they have locked themselves to Windows and will die with it.

Re:Solidworks (1)

geedubyoo (1980822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35462034)

Autodesk released AutoCAD for the Mac a few months ago. It's not inconceivable that a Linux version is in the pipeline. Maya has always been available for Windows, Mac and Linux. If Solidworks gets ported to Linux and becomes popular, Autodesk will follow. My point is that Autodesk is the kind of company that will go wherever they think they will make money.

Re:Solidworks (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35471520)

Autodesk released AutoCAD for the Mac a few months ago. It's not inconceivable that a Linux version is in the pipeline.

"AutoCAD" base product is worthless without the rest of the suite, and from what I can tell, only that was ported to Mac. AutoCAD was more and more tied to Windows-specific interfaces over time -- it was available on Unix but once Autodesk started adding Microsoft crap without creating a clear cross-platform interface, it became unportable. Mac version of AutoCAD does not support Windows-specific interfaces, so unless Autodesk will port the rest of their AutoCAD-based products, it will be merely one of many DWG-compatible programs. 3D support may be still attractive to some, but it's not unique -- even six years ago I was able to do all design work and send 3D models to Solidworks-using manufacturer with VariCAD (running on Linux).

Maya has always been available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Maya was developed by a different company, so it didn't get covered with Windows-barnacles -- at least for now.

If Solidworks gets ported to Linux and becomes popular, Autodesk will follow.

"Hay guyz, we have one basic component of our giant suite available for your platform -- but if you want anything more, you have to buy it again for Windows!"
Unless they will port the rest (what means, redoing their interfaces in Unix-like manner), it will be too little too late.

A good small first step (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35452812)

Disclaimer: I am a Mechanical Engineer by trade however my current job does not require 3D capability from my CAD program.

While I agree with everyone that this program is not for the big boys of 3D modelling (although it would be the cat's meow a decade ago for 2D work) and that there are many free alternatives out there which will better this program, I think many people are missing the point. Solidworks actually released something for Linux - this is not to be underestimated. This is the 800 pound gorilla of CAD systems at the moment and when (not if) they throw their weight behind Linux and release something which handles 3D FEA modelling and such that will make a huge difference. They should be 100% applauded for doing this.

As an aside, I'm not sure why people would complain about it only being 2D. How much great design was done using a drawing board and a T-square? Not everything requires the high end equipment that car manufacturers use. A straight forward 2D drafting program is sufficient for most any hobbiest and small operation.

Re:A good small first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478582)

"that there are many free alternatives out there which will better this program"

Really? I've been looking for years and I say there is not. There has not been a good, usable Linux drafting program available until last summer and now there are two (Bricscad and Ares, of which Draftsight is a derivative). Without such a program Linux is of little use to me and I have no illusions that somebody will somehow put in the thousands of hours of development to give away a "free" specialized high-end program. I'm willing to pay... and have. Contrary to some comments above, I can draw a multi-million dollar architectural construction project with these softwares and have if be interchangeable and usable to Autocad users. A good deal of free-open source stuff is great for 'toy' use, home use and hobbies, but lots of businesses get really specialized and for that the ratio of software developers to end users changes greatly. Open source doesn't deal well with that ratio... you need serious time commitments and you need it from a third party because you can't go into the programming business just to make your real business work.
Personally, I'm delighted that I can now use Linux as a serious tool in my business.

Bricscad has a native linux version, using GTK2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35453500)

Bricscad - - is a 2D/3D AutoCad clone for Windows and Linux. It's fully functional, to the point of reading AutoCad menus, templates, printer definition files, and so on. It allows fully customizable right click menus (a must for my shop to use it) and their support is halfway decent (although they're so big on making it "just like AutoCad" that there are command line things that should work the Linux Way (tm) that don't, because it's not that way in AutoCad.
Not free, but at $395 it's not outrageous - I highly recommend it, it is more than good enough for most shops to use on a daily basis in place of AutoCad.

- Phil Salkie, who can't find his Slashdot registration info...

Why use this over QCad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454324)

QCad is an open source 2D CAD package that is available in most distro's repos and builds nicely from source. I use it often for many different kinds of projects. What compelling reason is there for me to chose this closed-source tool instead?

This is an OEM'd version of ARES (2)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455320)

Just so you guys know, Draftsight is actually actually an OEM'd version of ARES ( from Graebert. So it could be available as long as Dasault continues to pay Grabert. Autodesk has been trying to move into Dasault's teritory (3D solids modeling and simulation), and has been in several lawsuits with Dasault's Soldworks group. I suspect this is a way for Dasault to stick it to Autodesk's cash cow AutoCAD. Cut their cash flow by giving away a program for a market (2D drafting) that Dasault has little interest in.

It's not a bad package. I'm an AutoCAD Certified Expert and I find it pretty usable. Does OK on older DWG files, but has issues with the latest versions.

PC != Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35494018)

"Also available for PC and Mac."

I am entirely annoyed that PC is becoming (has become?) a synonym for MS Windows. I am running a PC with linux on it. Could we try to keep this craziness at least off /.?

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