QCAD Installation under Linux



These instructions are extremely verbose and intended for users who are not familiar with the Linux operating system or who have little or no experience using such a system.

If you are an experienced Linux user, installing QCAD is a simple one-step procedure consisting of running the downloaded installer file from your favourite file manager or terminal.

Please note that Linux is not an operating system for the faint-hearted. You will have to invest at least half an hour to carefully follow the steps below.


Accessing your Download Page

After your purchase, you have received an e-mail with the subject "[RibbonSoft Online Shop] Virtual product(s) available for  download".

Find that e-mail now in your e-mail program or in your web based e-mail service and click on the download link in that e-mail to show your download area.

If you cannot find this e-mail, please check also your spam or bulk e-mail folder.

If you still cannot find that e-mail, please follow our detailed instructions for downloading QCAD through our online shop.

At this point, you should have your download area open in your browser.

The header at the top of the page should read "Customer Download Area".

Do not proceed if this is not the case.


32bit or 64bit?

You need to find out if you are running a 32bit or a 64bit Linux operating system. Depending on your exact Linux distribution, there are more or less painful ways to find this out:

  • Ubuntu 13, 14, 15:
    • Click on the gear icon at the top right and click 'About This Computer':
    • Check under 'OS Type' if you are using a 32bit or a 64bit system:
  • Ubuntu 12:
    • First you need to open System Settings. This can be done either in the dash, or by going to the gear icon (top right, see above). From there you need to open 'System Info'. Under the Ubuntu Logo and Version Number, a line will list OS type '32bit' or '64-bit'.
  • All other distributions including older Ubuntu versions:
    • You need to use what is called a terminal or console application. This is a program that can be used to execute commands on your operating system. Look under Applications > Accessories or similar for an entry labeled 'Terminal':
    • Once you see the terminal application, enter this exact text:
      uname -m
      That is 'uname' without the ', followed by a space, a dash and a small letter 'm'.
      Once you are convinced that you have entered this exact text string correctly, press the enter key on your keyboard. This is the key a the right of your keyboard you usually use to start a new line when typing text. It is typically labeled 'Enter' or 'Return' or with a symbol that looks like this: 
    • The terminal will now show some information.
    • If that information is 'x86_64', you are using a 64bit Linux system:
    • If the information is 'i686', you are using a 32bit Linux system:
    • Write down what system you are using and close the terminal application clicking the red X at the top left.

At this point, you should know if you are running a 32bit or a 64bit operating system.

Do not proceed if this is not the case or you are not sure about this.


Downloading the Correct File

If you are using a 32bit Linux System, please click on the download button described as 'Installer' in the 32bit section of the download page:

If you are using a 64bit Linux System, please click on the download button described as 'Installer' in the 64bit section of the download page:

Depending on your browser preferences, your download will now start or you will be asked where you want to save the file. If you are asked where you want to save the file, save it to your desktop, so you can find it after downloading. If you are not asked, the file will most likely be saved in the 'Downloads' folder of your home directory. 

At this point, you should have downloaded the correct file for your system.

The file should be visible on your desktop or you should know where to find it on your disk.


Making the Downloaded File Executable

To protect you from accidentally executing a downloaded file, Linux has made the downloaded file non-executable. This means that we now need to explicitly make it executable.

Like all things Linux, it greatly depends on the distribution and distribution version how this can be done:

  • Ubuntu:
    • Right-click on the downloaded file on your Desktop or in your 'Downloads' folder and click 'Properties':
    • Switch to the 'Permissions' tab and tick the check box 'Allow executing file as program':

      Do NOT change any of the other settings.
    • Click the OK button. If the dialog does not have an OK button, you can simply close the dialog clicking the X button at the top left.
    • Do NOT double-click the downloaded file at this point. It will likely not work but open a text editor which is not what is intended.
  • Other Linux distributions:
    • Other Linux distributions should have a similar way to make a file executable.
      You might have to try different options or search the Internet for a way to do this.
      Search for your Linux distribution name followed by 'how to make a file executable', for example .

At this point you should have the downloaded file on your desktop or in your 'Downloads' folder and it should be executable.


Allowing Executable Files to be Executed

Your file manager will likely open a text editor when double-clicking the downloaded file at this point. Since we do not want that, we need to tell the file manager that it should execute executable files instead.

Again, this greatly depend on your Linux distribution, version thereof as well as the file manager that is being installed and used:

  • Ubuntu:
    • Open the file manager, likely named 'Files':
    • Choose the menu 'Edit > Preferences'. If the 'Edit' menu is not visible, move the mouse close to the position, where it should be visible first. It should then appear.
    • Click on the 'Behavior' tab of the preferences dialog and check the check box 'Ask each time' under 'Executable Text Files':
    • Click the OK button or close the dialog if there is no OK button.

Your system and the downloaded file should now be ready for the installation of QCAD.


Installing QCAD

  • Double-click the downloaded QCAD installer with the left mouse button.
  • Your system will now show a dialog, asking you what to do with the file. Click the 'Run' button:

  • QCAD will now be installed on your system into a directory called 'opt' in your home folder.
  • The installer also creates a desktop icon which you can then use to launch QCAD by double-clicking it.