When it comes to CAD software, AutoCAD is still the best one around. Unfortunately for Linux user though, AutoCAD is not available on Linux – and it also cost around $4000 which is a lot.
Dassaults Systemes has just released the first beta of an AutoCAD clone called DraftSight. Unlike AutoCAD which does not work on Linux and which cost a bomb, DraftSight has a Linux version and it is available for free as well. This is probably the closest free alternative to AutoCAD that works on Linux right now.
DraftSight has a user inteface which is not very different from that of AutoCAD. So, users of AutoCAD should be familiar with using it. In addition to the similarity in the UI, DraftSight can also open, edit and save AutoDesk’s (the company that makes AutoCAD) proprietary .dwg files. This makes DraftSight a very good alternative to AutoCAD if you want a CAD software that runs on Linux and does not cost much.
DraftSight is not open-source, but it is a free software. Beside Linux, it is available for Mac and Windows as well. For Linux, both .deb and .rpm packages are available. You can download it from here.
The package for Ubuntu is for 32-bit only. If you are using 64-bit Ubuntu and want to install it, follow the steps below. :
- Download the .deb package from the link given above.
- Open the Terminal and go to the download directory.
- Now install the dependencies using the commands:
sudo apt-get install libxcb-render-util0 libdirectfb-extra
- Finally install DraftSight with the command given below:
sudo dpkg -i --force-architecture DraftSight.deb
Here is an introductory video of DraftSight:
(Click here if you cannot see the embedded video.)