The Linux BricsCAD pages, part 1: Introduction

Linux is about choice, freedom and security. Great news but it looks hard to deploy a professional CAD environment in Linux. BricsCAD is the key to it and these pages are to help unlock it, from A to Z.

THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. YOUR POSITIVE INPUT IS APPRECIATED.

All related parts: 1: Introduction 2: Linux base install 3: More user software 4: Tuning Linux 5: Tuning your software 6: Getting BricsCAD working 7: Publishing your drawings

CAD and Linux were difficult to combine until a few years ago. Ironically, because many CAD systems have started on Unix. But that aside.

There are a few great freedom based basic CAD programs for small projects. But for serious and professional work, there was actually nothing. Bricsys has changed that with a closed source application BricsCAD. For an overview of CAD programs, look at this.

Why these pages?

Why invent the wheel? With so many possibilities for software and configuration in Linux, many things can go wrong. You’ll notice it takes long to troubleshoot errors or just find out how to configure things.

These pages are based on a working solution.

Even that is no guarantee things will be the same, different hardware can cause different problems for example. But, I think it might help a lot of people to get familiar with a great experience, instead of getting frustrated. And remember, there are tons of information on the net, use it. And a lot of people willing to help within the community.

Another thing, splitting all in dedicated pages results in more possibilities, not using Xubuntu but Debian plus XFCE keeps other pages valuable for example.

Why you should not use BricsCAD in a Linux environment

Windows releases have focus of Bricsys. Linux and macOS lag behind. You’ll probably hit more bugs with Linux, just like performance, graphics will probably be a bit slower.

I think it is fair to speak that out loud. You should ask yourself the question whether all pluses and minuses justify a decision to walk a Linux plus BricsCAD road.

Having said that, it should be mentioned that Bricsys support is outstanding, problems are solved very fast. Besides that, the more users on the Linux plus BricsCAD road, the smaller the differences become between OS specific variants.

Personally, I think I made a good choice following this road and I hope you’ll join me!

What is used?

Hardware

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
...
AMD A10-7870K Radeon R7, 12 Compute Cores 4C+8G
...

So an AMD APU is used. That covers the graphics and computing and is a safe and cost effective solution. AsRock motherboard by the way, recommended because of their support.

Operating system

A workstation based on Xubuntu … Level: A little familiar with Linux is desirable but otherwise, your search engine is your friend. This page should be a good start.

What is Xubuntu? It is Ubuntu Linux with an Xfce Desktop Environment “look&feel”, being basic, without bloat, perfect for a production environment.

Many Ubuntu flavours have already been tried. All these flavours have their pros and cons, but net, Xubuntu is the most appealing, it is simple like Windows 7 classic, XP and still offers many possibilities by installing packages of other Linux flavours.

Tailoring a system requires effort. For many people, Ubuntu is standard, out of the box – just like macOS and Windows – also good enough. For power users, the following pages can be inspiring. Don’t expect eye candy on Xubuntu.

BricCAD running on the newest Linux versions is not a good idea. That is why we always try to lag behind with versions. It is also very tempting to go for Debian with XFCE, but for now we stick to Xubuntu.

Things to remember

terminal: In a terminal you enter commands. Search in your menu or try ctrl-alt-t.

sudo: Sudo ensures that you can perform tasks as installations as “root” (admin). If you read: sudo command_x, remember that you can also permanently work as root by first typing “sudo su“, back to the user: “exit“. If it says “# command“, do it as root and if it says “$ command“, do it as a user.

RMB is short for Right Mouse Button. And there are LMB and MMB and even 2LMB and 2MMB.

Next…

Continue with part 2: Linux base install

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