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Developer(s)LibreCAD community
Initial release15 December 2011;
10 years ago
Stable release
2.1.3[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 23 September 2016 (23 September 2016)
Preview release
2.2.0-rc4[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 7 June 2022 (7 June 2022)[3]
Written inC, C++, Lua
Operating systemWindows, macOS, Unix-like
TypeComputer-aided design
LicenseGPL-2.0-only Edit this on Wikidata

LibreCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) application for 2D design. It is free and open-source, and available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems.[4][5]

Most of the interface and handle concepts are analogous to AutoCAD, making it easier to use for users with experience in this type of commercial CAD application.


Around 2010, the QCAD Community Edition v2.0.5.0 was forked to start the development of what is now known as LibreCAD. Originally, the GUI was based on Qt3 libraries.

Currently, the GUI of LibreCAD is based on Qt5 libraries, so it can run on several platforms in the same way.[6][7]


LibreCAD is available in over 30 languages. It uses the AutoCAD DXF file format internally for import and save files, as well as allowing export to many other file formats.

File formats[edit]

As of version 2.2.0, LibreCAD is capable of reading and writing the following file formats:

Open File or Import Block

  • CAD font : LFF, CXF

Import Image

Save File

  • CAD : DXF (2007), DXF (2004), DXF (2000), DXF (R14), DXF (R12)
  • CAD font : LFF, CXF


  • PDF
  • Vector image : SVG, CAM (Plain SVG)

GPLv3 vs GPLv2 controversy[edit]

The GNU LibreDWG library is released under GPLv3, so it cannot be used by GPLv2-licensed LibreCAD (and FreeCAD)[8][9] because their licenses are incompatible.[10] A request also went to the FSF to relicense GNU LibreDWG as GPLv2, which was rejected.[11] This controversy has been resolved by writing a new GPLv2-licensed library called libdxfrw,[12] with more complete DWG support.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Patch Version 2.1.3". 23 September 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  2. ^ "2.2.0 Release Candidate 4". 7 June 2022. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Releases · LibreCAD/LibreCAD". Retrieved 2 November 2022 – via GitHub.
  4. ^ "LibreCAD the only major free Computer Aided Design program". Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  5. ^ Dube, Ryan. "6 Tips To Get The Most Out of LibreCAD Free CAD Software". Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  6. ^ Wallen, Jack. "DIY: LibreCAD offers basic CAD tools for free". Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Review about Linux LibreCAD and Linux Inkscape". Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  8. ^ Prokoudine, Alexandre (26 January 2012). "What's up with DWG adoption in free software?". Archived from the original on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2013. [Assimp's Alexander Gessler:] "Personally, I'm extremely unhappy with their [LibreDWG's — LGW] GPL licensing. It prohibits its use in Assimp and for many other applications as well. I don't like dogmatic ideologies, and freeing software by force (as GPL/GNU does) is something I dislike in particular. It's fine for applications, because it doesn't hurt at this point, but, in my opinion, not for libraries that are designed to be used as freely as possible." [Blender's Toni Roosendaal:] "Blender is also still "GPLv2 or later". For the time being we stick to that, moving to GPL 3 has no evident benefits I know of. My advice for LibreDWG: if you make a library, choosing a widely compatible license (MIT, BSD, or LGPL) is a very positive choice."
  9. ^ Larabel, Michael (2013-01-24). "FSF Wastes Away Another "High Priority" Project". Phoronix. Archived from the original on 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2013-08-22. Both LibreCAD and FreeCAD both want to use LibreDWG and have patches available for supporting the DWG file format library, but can't integrate them. The programs have dependencies on the popular GPLv2 license while the Free Software Foundation will only let LibreDWG be licensed for GPLv3 use, not GPLv2.
  10. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU Licenses – Is GPLv3 compatible with GPLv2?". The official site. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  11. ^ Prokoudine, Alexandre (2012-12-27). "LibreDWG drama: the end or the new beginning?". Archived from the original on 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2013-08-23. [...]the unfortunate situation with support for DWG files in free CAD software via LibreDWG. We feel, by now it ought to be closed. We have the final answer from FSF. [...] "We are not going to change the license."
  12. ^ "libdxfrw".

External links[edit]