Getting Started - Linux

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This article details installation procedures for the LDraw parts library and various applications for it.

The information has been validated and tested using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Any related information referencing Red Hat distributions such as Fedora have also been validated throughout regular use of the Fedora 20 OS release.

Contents

Download and Install the LDraw parts Library

Basic setup (applies to any Linux distribution or operating system - Recommended approach):

  • Download the latest complete.zip from LDraw.org download page.
  • Extract the complete.zip archive in the directory of your choice - your home directory is recommended (~/ldraw/) to avoid any file permission conflict or having to tamper with your system as 'root'.

RPM package

Note: This method will unpack the parts library into /usr/share/ldraw, which is only modifiable via root access.

  • Download the latest (2013-02) version of the parts library packaged by Eli Carter from the Retractile blog page.
  • Install ldraw_parts-creativecommons-201302-ec4.noarch.rpm using your preferred package manager.

Install an editor

LeoCAD

LeoCAD is readily available for install for both Debian and Red Hat based distributions. You can install the editor by looking for and installing the leocad package using your distribution's package manager.

  • Install LeoCAD:
    • deb: $ sudo apt-get install leocad
    • rpm: $ sudo yum-install leocad
  • Run LeoCAD and point it to the LDraw parts library:
    • Go to View > Preferences... and set your library directory by either typing it in the field or browsing to it via '...'. Make sure to select the topmost directory (normally 'ldraw') that contains the 'parts' directory.

LeoCAD can use either a zip file or a regular folder as its parts library directory. You can start Leocad with a different library setup using: $ leocad -l <library directory path> LeoCAD also supports setting the library path as a system environment variable like so: set LEOCAD_LIB=<library directory path>

LDCad

  • Go to LDCad's download page
  • Select and download the latest generic archive of the LDCad editor.
  • Extract the archive in the directory of your choice - your home directory is recommended to avoid any file permission conflict or having to tamper with your system as 'root'.
  • Run LDCad, follow the prompts and point it to the LDraw parts library. Make sure to select the topmost directory (normally 'ldraw') that contains the 'parts' directory.

LDCad uses so GTK libraries so make sure you have installed the required GTK packages.

MLCAD via Wine

  • Install Wine via your distribution's package manager or application repository.
    • deb: $ sudo apt-get install wine
    • rpm: $ sudo yum-install wine
  • Download the MLCad archive and extract it.
  • Run MLCad by selecting MLCAD.exe and follow the usual prompts (LDraw parts library directory location and file type registration setup)
  • Select Wine as the default method to open an executable on your system and proceed with the previously mentioned steps.

MLCAD runs exceptionally well with Platinum status on the Wine's AppDB scale.

LDGLite

LDGLite is only available as a standalone 64bit binary for Linux.

  • Download the LDGLite binary archive
  • Extract the archive in the directory of your choice - your home directory is recommended to avoid any file permission conflict or having to tamper with your system as 'root'.
  • Run LDGLite, right click on its background to get started.

This specific standalone requires libraries such as the dri accelerated opengl libraries, glut, glu, libpng and zlib to be installed.

Related applications

LDView

LDView is a real-time 3D viewer for displaying LDraw models using hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. It is an essential tool in the creation of a model as it can be used to view and debug, in real-time and with full 3D graphics capacity, the model currently being edited. It can also generate snapshots of the displayed content or of specific selected views of the given model. LDView is native to the Linux platform and is readily available for install for both Debian and Red Hat based distributions.

  • Download the latest binary package from LDView's downloads page.
  • Install LDView by using distribution's package manager.

You can get the latest 4.2 Beta 1 build which includes many fixes and enhancements:

  • Download the latest binary package from Nathanel Titane's Dropbox repository.
  • Install ldview-4.2-ubuntu-14.04.amd64.deb using your preferred package manager or command package management tool (apt, dpkg).

On Debian-based systems, your system may complain about either missing packages or unresolved dependencies. You may resolve these by forcing an install fix: sudo apt-get -f install</code>

For rpm-systems, there is an LDView repository for binaries, from which you can get the latest LDView version, provided you add the yum repository information as follows:

sudo cat > /etc/yum.repos.d/ldview.repo << FILE
[ldview]
name=LDView Repository
baseurl=http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbartfai/Fedora_$(rpm -E %fedora)/
gpgkey=http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbartfai/Fedora_$(rpm -E %fedora)/repodata/repomd.xml.key
enabled=1
gpgcheck=0
FILE

The variable "$(rpm -E %fedora)" refers to rpm's way (on the Fedora distribution) of finding the current version and attributing the proper number to the URL.

The OpenSUSE build server automatically generates the configurations for upcoming or newer versions of any supported Red Hat distribution, ONLY when those distribution versions are stable and public.

LPub

LPub is an LDraw building instruction editor. It enables the creation of highly detailed, professional looking instructions. It uses external rendering applications to generate the model's step thumbnails to be included in the document, with both LDView and LDGLite supported.

The port was generated by Eli Carter in 2009 and has been updated to enable the compilation and packaging of the latest revision of the software for Linux based distributions.

For Debian-based distributions:

  • Download the latest installer package from Nathanel Titane's Dropbox repository.
  • Install lpub-4.0.0.3-2-ubuntu-14.04.amd64.deb using your preferred package manager or command package management tool (apt, dpkg).
  • Your system may complain about either missing packages or unresolved dependencies. You may resolve these by forcing an install fix: sudo apt-get -f install

For Red Hat-based distributions: Àn Open-Suse Build Server repository has been opened by Peter Bartfai, LDview's Linux maintainer, to get the latest builds of LPub set up and easily installed on your Red-Hat based distribution. Please refer to the addition of the LDView rpm repository to enable the package download and install on your system by using your preferred package manager or command package management tool (yum, rpm).

  • Download the latest installer package from Eli Carter's blog page.
  • Install lpub4-4.0.0.14-20140514.ec3.x86_64.rpm using your preferred package manager or command package management tool (yum, rpm).


Buf3D (Android)

Buf3D is an application aimed at bringing the most actual developments of OpenGL technology for model viewing purposes to the Android mobile platform. Amongst many of its supported file formats and model viewing features it includes the ability to view LDraw models. It will prompt you to make use (online) or download of the official LDraw parts library.

You can find and install this application via the Google Play Store

Updating your parts list

If, the parts directory has been altered (such as by upgrading), the parts.lst file needs to be updated:

Notes

  • The LDraw parts directory can be moved to another location, such as a hidden folder or a separate partition or a different part of your system to prevent any such unwanted changes. The library is portable and any editor, viewer, renderer or utility can be directed to its location.
  • A new package called ldraw-parts for Debian based systems is being created and submitted for approval for the Debian project: https://ftp-master.debian.org/new/ldraw-parts_1302+ds-1.html
  • Konstruktor is an in-development CAD that aims to feature a fully modular panel interface as well as full HD POV-Ray rendering capabilities of the model being edited. You may visit the temporary webpage here or its GitHub repository.

Dive in

Learning how to use your new editor or understanding the LDraw file format may be a challenge, but with a little practice you will get the hang of it. Take a look at the tutorials on the wiki or on the main website for further help.

Forums are also a great way to discuss techniques, issues or features of editors or applications used to create or edit your LDraw model files. If you require any further help with any of this content, please visit the LDraw.org Forums, sign up, and ask a large group of users for help.

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