gEDA – Free, open-source and cross-platform EDA software suite

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gEDA is a free, open-source and cross-platform (but mainly designed for Linux) EDA project. It provides a mature electronic design solution, including schematic diagram capture, property management, BOM (Bill of Materials) generation, 20 grid tables, analog and digital simulation, and printed circuit board layout (PCB suite, free software application).

Years ago, Ales Hvezda had a personal robot project that required EDA software, but he looked at all existing products and found no tools that worked the way he liked. Thereupon, he started trying to write something and further develop on this basis. Finally, we could meet gEDA. Today, it has become an active open-source project with a large number of external contributors, users, as well as a full set of tools suitable for low and medium complexity of PCB designs.

Ales Hvezda’s daily work requires neither the design of circuit boards nor the use of EDA tools, while gEDA is just one of his interesting side projects, and his goal is to provide a complete suite of EDA tools with the open design process. The main attraction of this suite is not only that it is free, but also that all of its files are written in ASCII format (which is much easier to modify), and that all of its source code is open. In addition, you are allowed to easily add new elements to your design process.

The gEDA project includes a complete set of “core” tools maintained by Ales Hvezda, such as gschem schematic capture tool, gnetlist grids table generation tool, a symbols library, and many utilities. In addition, it also provides some “related” tools maintained by other organizations or individuals, such like Icarus Verilog emulator and ngspice circuit emulator. And, many gEDA participants use an independent open source package called PCB for circuit layout design.

gEDA endears itself to engineers who prefer to work in their own way rather than rely on commercial tools. Its users include enthusiasts, students and engineers at small businesses or consulting firms. In large companies, it is also used “informally” for rapid prototyping. BTW, according to the official line: creating circuit components with gEDA is faster than any commercial software.

// Included Tools //

Loosely speaking, the term “gEDA Suite” refers to all free software projects and applications that have associated themselves with the gEDA Project via the geda-dev/geda-user mailing lists. These include:

Tool Description
gEDA/gaf gschem and friends (the original project)
PCB PCB layout program
Gerbv Gerber file viewer
ngspice A port of Berkeley SPICE
GnuCap A modern electronic circuit simulation program
gspiceui A GUI front end for ngspice/GnuCap
gwave An analog waveform viewer
gaw An analog waveform viewer a rewrite of gwave. Works with gspiceui.
Icarus Verilog A Verilog simulator
GTKWave A digital waveform viewer
wcalc Transmission line and electromagnetic structure analysis

Within the gEDA Suite, gEDA/gaf (“gaf” stands for “gschem and friends”) is the smaller subset of tools grouped together under the gEDA name and maintained directly by the gEDA project’s founders. GEDA/gaf includes:

  • gschem – A schematic capture program
  • gnetlist – A netlist generation program
  • gsymcheck – A syntax checker for schematic symbols
  • gattrib – A spreadsheet program for editing symbol attributes on a schematic.
  • libgeda – Libraries for gschem, gnetlist, and gsymcheck
  • gsch2pcb – Forward annotation from schematic to layout using pcb
  • Assorted utility programs

// Related Links //

// Download URLs //

License Version Download Size
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