Electronics design software


Anyone got any advice on software for electronics design? In particular I’m more interested in breadboard/stripboard layouts (as that is how my ideas start out) and schematic, but pcb layout might be cool if I decide to try and make a board.
(Linux options preferred)

I’ve tried Fritzing, and it seems almost brilliant - it can to breadboard/stripboard layouts, schematics and pcb layout, however it seems very, very fiddly about getting the connections right, and sometimes seems to think it still has wires that are no longer there. The auto routing is pretty basic, and combined with the imaginary wires problem, I found I had to manually do both the breadboard and schematic, and it looks like it doesn’t understand all the nets to build up a pcb layout. Maybe there is some better way of using it I am not doing?

I tried 123d design, and it does the breadboard layout ok, though is a bit fiddly to use. It also lacks a decent range of parts, though not sure how much I will hit that. I like that it can simulate arduino code and your circuit, this is quite cool, but I’m not sure if it is powerful enough to help me beyond really basic wired-backwards type problems.
The schematic editor is really basic, but at least the autorouting seems to work quite well, though it looks like you have to build the circuit from breadboard, and can’t go from schematic to breadboard like fritzing can.

What other options are there to consider? If it doesn’t do something more than schematics, then I might as well use one of the above, as I will likely either build on breadboard and then want to document, or design in schematic and then want to build on a breadboard before going further.


Maybe try KiCAD runs on Windows, Linux and Apple OS X and is released under the open-source GNU GPL v2.


Eagle runs on Linux and there are a wealth of tutorials for it, the sparkfun ones are very good.