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.
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.)
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?)
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 Courira.ca for Ubuntu 64-bit users.
DraftSight for Windows and DraftSight for Mac OS (beta) are also available.