Strong response to DraftSight for Linux

Dassault Systemes dives head first into uncharted waters with its beta release of a no-cost Linux based 2D CAD application called DraftSight for Linux, announced earlier this month.  Though DraftSight for Linux is not open source, it is free to download and use, and the community of users will direct its development via 3D SwYm.  There are two Linux versions available for download, Ubuntu and  Fedora/Suse/Mandriva.

File compatibility

DraftSight reads and saves .dwg and .dxf file formats.  It can read those formats from any version 2.5 and after.  It can save to any versions from R12 to R2007-2010.  It can also export to PDF, PNG, TIF, SAT and STL.


What makes this stand out in the Linux community is that DraftSight for Linux is the first non-GPL release of a 2D CAD application from a major corporation that is free for both commercial and personal use.  Even ARES does not offer that!  DraftSight for Linux will have a paid subscription service for educational and commercial customers who want phone support, network licensing, and access to API.  Other than that, free activation of DraftSight for Linux is required to access certain functions.

Linux community response

The response from the community has surprised Dassault Systemes’ Aaron Kelly, Senior Director of DraftSight, who states,

Over 11,000 [downloads] since yesterday (3/16/2011).  A little over 1,000 a day on average.  80% choose the Ubuntu download.  I am surprised by this number as it is about what the MAC uptake was.  These are not users we typically reach. 

An article about DraftSight for Linux appeared on Slashdot, and threads are appearing on Linux related forums.  (These have generated a substantial amount of traffic to SolidWorks Legion.)

System requirements

Ubuntu 9.10 Gnome, Fedora 14 Gnome, Suse 11.2 Gnome, Mandriva 2010 Gnome and KDE, or higher versions, 32-bit

  • 1GHz x86 processor
  • 1GB RAM (2GB recommended)
  • 1GB hard drive space
  • 1024×768 display (1680x 1050 or higher recommended) with True Color graphics card
  • Mouse (wheel mouse recommended)
  • DVD-ROM, only needed if installing from a DVD (who’s doing that?)

64-bit installation

Now, there’s been some comment from the Linux community that DraftSight for Linux is not 64-bit.  Leave it to the Linux community to address its own complaints!  Check out this solution at for Ubuntu 64-bit users.

Other versions

DraftSight for Windows and DraftSight for Mac OS (beta) are also available.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

11 thoughts on “Strong response to DraftSight for Linux”

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  2. I am not surprised by the uptake, I swear the linux beta is far more polished than the windows betas were. And about time that we have finally received an “autocad clone” in a linux native package.

    Huge props to Dassault systems

  3. I’ve been telling them so for years!!
    Dassault has ignored any feedback and requests from the Linux community for far too long (too few users my a**).
    And we like not crashing every half hour too.
    Well done.
    Now how about bringing a more affordable version of SolidWorks over??

  4. Hi Supporter,
    I just start playing fun with DraftSight for 6 hours. And it is an interesting software. But I also met some problems as well. Some fonts are not recognized, but I we can solve it somehow. Another problem is that before I use autoCAD and i met a problem of Hatch Pattern. All hatch are disappeared every time I open the file. The hatch are appeared after I clicked on “tool=>option=>display tab and tick on Apply Solid Fill”. After I install DraftSight, I open that file and it doesn’t appear the hatches as I described when I use autoCAD. I try to fine all of Option to justify this problem but i can’t find any setting that can solve this problem. So can you please help me to discover this issue? Many thanks and looking forward to hearing from you soon.

  5. I was so excited when I came across DraftSight for Linux. For so long I was searching for a decent CAD for Linux version that would be familiar to an AutoCAD user. I am not at all surprised by the numbers of downloads. I know from the hours and days I spent in chatting, searching and discussing various possibilities that are offered so far for a CAD user. Many of us were doing all kinds of try-outs and experiments just to find out a way to do our CAD drafting on Linux – with one very important fact – dwg or dxf output. And to find such a great software and for free, seems like a miracle!
    Thank you Dassault Systemes!

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  8. I’ve used it for Ubuntu for around 1/2 a year now with very good results! I was glad that they offered it on Linux as I was very familiar with it on Windows (as well as AutoCAD). It is probably one of the reasons I’ve been able to successfully use Ubuntu!

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