Electronic circuit simulation on Linux -- which way should I go?

I am a complete noob when it comes to electronic circuit simulation, but I want to get into it. I wonder which software package / tools I should go with.

- I am a Linux user, and I am looking for software that runs natively on Linux (no Windows emulators or virtual machines)

- I don't want to start with with a badly limited toy. I prefer to walk the learning curve of a full tool once instead of starting over with new tools many times.

- Some compatibility in terms of netlists, device models, etc. with the mainstream tools would be useful.

- Interfacing with Python or Octave would be cool (for extended data processing or plotting).

- Which other features / aspects should I care about?

So far I have read about ngspice and Gnucap. I am sure there are others.

Any advice on where to go would be great!


2011-02-12 10:20 am
I am running LTspice XVII on my PCLinuxOS computer using WINE. The WINE install is pretty easy, no problems
when install it from the repo. Then on this site:

LTspice | Design Center | Analog Devices

Download the XVII version in a folder and run the .exe file using WINE by right clicking on the exe file and choose:
"Open with Wine Windows Program Loader"
You can get a lot of help here on this great forum when running into problems.

bucks bunny

2020-01-19 12:40 pm
Being a long-time linuxuser as well I would go for LTSpice/Wine. With its integrated schematics editor it is very handy. Even after a long pause I quickly draw and simulate basic circuits within a few minutes. I want to play around with the circuit, component values etc. Thus a simulator with netlist entry only is a no-go for me. And btw, it is kind of quasi-standard here.
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I'm trying to create a PCB for the first time in many years. I've used Linux for many years (privately and professionally). Now I installed Kicad for the first time and trying to get a grasp of it. It is a complete EDA suite with schematics, simulation and PCB design. You can export netlists to many formats. It feels like very powerful software. The integrated simulator is ngspice. I can't tell if Kicad is better than other software out there, but a good thing is that it is available in the standard repository of the distro I'm using (Fedora).
After more than 20yrs using Eagle I moved to KiCAD. It took a steep learning curve in doing so, but meanwhile I do not look back.

Thaẗ́s great to know.

Another aspect on software is the license. It is impressive how free and open source software are being used everywhere. And now I talk about really free software, where the source code is free and being improved upon collectively by many people. Kicad is GPLv3 licensed, which is one of the fundamental licenses when it comes to enabling software being shared and improved upon. People sometimes have the impression that something that is free can't be worth anything, but in this case it is fundamentally wrong. Most of the successful open source software (linux kernel, programming tools, web servers, infrastructure components) are being developed by hundreds of companies pouring money into it and seeing the benefits.


2013-08-31 8:00 pm
Several images from spectrum analyzer SpectraLab....

1) motherboard GA-H81-D3 + ALC887:


2) Creative Sound Blaster Z:


3) motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master + Realtek ALC1220-VB:



It seems ----no need to buy expensive sound card, better invest this money in buying a more expensive motherboard.....

(Is my English clear??)
On linux, I use ngspice from years. It work very well and can be scripted directly or with external tools. I was able to make video files from a repetitive simulation that took 2 days to complete. It was the fastest way to compare the result of several hundreds simulations. In case of problem, or for any question, its email list is very helpful.

It is a separated package, the spice-audio-tools, if you want to use audio files as input/output of ngspice.

For the schematic, I use lepton, which is a gschem fork. gschem is part of the gEDA suite. It is a very good tool with one minor inconvenient: if you want to make both a pcb and a simulation from the schematic, it is simpler to make 2 different schematics, one for the pcb, the other for the print. I like these software for their simplicity of use, they remind me the last DOS version of Orcad (now Cadence) schematic.
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