One of the problems that many professionals have when switching to Ubuntu is the use of certain programs that are not found in GNU / Linux, the most famous example is Photoshop, but there are also other important programs that they seem to have no alternative like Autodesk’s famous Autocad.
Here we will introduce you a number of alternatives to Autocad to install and use on our Ubuntu. Some alternatives that are free and others paid but are able to do the same as Autocad. After that many of you will tell us that it is fine but that you have a lot of project files in Autocad formats, so what to do? Well, as you will see in each alternative we talk about the dwg and dxf formats, Formats that Autocad uses and it is interesting to know if we can work with them or not in the alternatives. Below we show you alternatives that they are paid and others freeBut they all have a version for Ubuntu, some are even in the official Ubuntu repositories, so stay tuned.
Freecad is a free CAD program. Freecad is aimed at all audiences, From which you want to use a CAD program to do something like print using a 3D printer or something as complex as programming functions and special modules under the Python language. Freecad is a program that is cross-platform, that is, not only will we find it in Ubuntu but also have a version for Windows and another for Mac OS. Freecad is capable of reading step files, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE and many other file formats.
Like other CAD programs, freecad can use connectors or modules that enhance the functionality of freecad. In this case the plugins are written in Python language. Freecad is located in the official Ubuntu repositories so we just need to write this to the terminal:
sudo apt-get install freecad
LibreCAD is a CAD program that was based on QCAD and then resulted in the program we see now to compete among other things with the famous Autocad. LibreCAD is built with Qt libraries and like other programs is cross-platform, this means that in addition to installing it on Ubuntu we can install on Windows, Mac OS and other GNU / Linux distributions. LibreCAD can read many file formats such as DWG, DXF, SVG, JPG, PNG, with respect to writing can read the formats mentioned above except for the DWG format. In this case LibreCAD does not have modules in Python language but uses Qt libraries, a negative thing for many but the truth is that it has a complete Wiki where it tells you how to develop modules or configure the environment to our liking.
LibreCAD is a CAD program that is in the official repositories of Ubuntu so for its installation we only have to open the terminal and write the following:
sudo apt-get install librecad
QCAD is one of the oldest CAD programs in existence for the GNU / Linux platform and for Ubuntu and one of the best known alternatives to Autocad. In this case, the latest versions of QCAD are focused on the 2D world, especially for aspects such as Construction or mechanical parts and diagrams. QCAD is also a cross-platform program, meaning there is one version for Mac OS, one for Windows, and one for Ubuntu. QCAD is characterized by being very modular, possibly the most modular CAD program on Ubuntu. As with other programs, QCAD allows read and write dwg, dxf, files bmp, jpeg, png, tiff, ico, ppm, XBM, XPM, svg and in the case of dwf and dgn formats, it can only be read. Unlike other programs, QCAD has an online book which will allow us to get all the operation and information about the program. In the case of its installation, QCAD is not in the official repositories so for its installation we must download the program at this link and then open a terminal in the folder where the file is and we write the following:
chmod a+x qcad-3.x.x-pro-linux-x86_32.run ./ qcad-3.x.x-pro-linux-x86_32.run
draftsight is one of the most professional options in terms of alternatives to Autocad, for Ubuntu but is also one of the most expensive options that exist. Although recently the creators decided create a free version with reduced functionality but just as interesting as the rest of the CAD programs. Like many other programs, Draftsight is capable of reading and writing dwg and dxf files. It can also read many image formats such as png or jpg and create pdf files with the created projects. It has an option to incorporate and create modules to adjust the program to our needs, but we will not be able to fully enjoy this until we have a professional option, that is, payment.
To be able to install draftsight we have to go to this website and download the deb package to our Ubuntu. Once downloaded we double click to skip the Gdebi installer or simply open a terminal in the folder where the deb package is downloaded and use the dpkg command.
BricsCAD is another of the payment options that exist within the alternatives to AutoCAD. However BricsCAD like other companies offer a free 30 day period for those who want to try this program. In addition to those who want to use it as an education tool, BricsCAD has a free license for its student program.
BricsCAD offers everything that Autocad can offer, at least in the basic aspect since in the development aspect BricsCAD has strength to be desired. they do nothing but it is through connectors or plugins. In addition BricsCAD is able to read and write dwg and dxf files, As well as other types of image or pdf files. Perhaps the real difference that BricsCAD has over other programs is that BricsCAD offers a complete training for those who come from Autocad which includes a specialized guide and a collection of videos with explanations, which other programs like freecad do not have.
In the case of BricsCAD the installation is a bit more tedious. First we have to enter our email and press the download button. After that we have to fill the registration form with the type of user we are and finally download the deb package from the program. After the installation with the double click we will have to enter the serial number if we have used a normal version or leave it like this in case of being a Demo or Student version.
Conclusions on alternatives to Autocad
There are usually many alternatives to Autodesk’s famous Autocad, but the ones we’ve presented are the most popular options and the ones that have the best support. Unfortunately not all of them are free and not all of them are in the Ubuntu repositories. As for personal choice. If you were looking for an alternative to do the basics, view files, print, etc … The best option would be freecad, A program with a great community behind it. If on the other hand I want to look for a more professional, more complete option, it would be best to use draftsight, A very good program that pleased many when he released the free version and if we use it as a professional tool, your license may not be a bad expense. In any case this is a world so I recommend you try all five options and decide which one you like best, in any case you will only waste time.