Installing LeoCAD on an ASUS Eee Pc


Introduction: Installing LeoCAD on an ASUS Eee Pc

I play with different educational manipulatives for a living. (Visit Over the years I have built different themed models using all
sorts of toys. I document what I build with a variety of CAD programs.

For my birthday, my sweetie wife gave me an ASUS eee pc. I primarily use it for communication when I travel. It is small, lightweight, and tough.

At some point, I decided to install one of the manip CAD programs on it. This instructable will describe how to install LeoCAD on the ASUS eee pc.

LeoCAD is a CAD program that uses bricks similar to those found in many toys. Since it can access the LDRAW library, I have succefully imported a variety of manip systems on my PC including fischertechnik and K'NEX. LeoCAD is a great 3D editor for Linux. It supports some basic animation and can export to 3DStudioMax,POV-Ray, and Alias Wavefront.

Disclosure: I am new to Ubuntu and Linux. I pieced together the install from descriptions on,, and a post by Robert van Dijk on Lugnet. I read about installing and using alien at ( and ( These links were all sources of information and inspiration.

Oh yeah, I did this last week, and I am referring to notes I made then. And I have young children. I hope I am not forgetting anything too crucial.


Of couse you need an ASUS eee pc. I am using the EeePC 8G,

According to, you should check for the following to run LeoCAD in your computer. This includes:

*OpenGL driver. You can check if you have one already by typing the following in a terminal window:

/sbin/ldconfig -p |grep libGL

You should see listed in the output. If you can't find it, then you can use Mesa 3D, or check for hardware accelerated drivers. My eeePC checked out.

*GTK+. LeoCAD uses GTK+ 2.0 for its interface. Check if it is installed by typing the following in the terminal window:

pkg-config --atleast-version=2.0 gtk+2.0

If there are no errors, you have GTK+ and all of its dependencies. Otherwise you can download it from the GTK+ Homepage. My eeePC checked out.

*Alien. Alien is a program that converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, and
slackware tgz file formats. The installation package for LeoCad is a .rpm file, and
you need a .deb for Ubuntu. Alien is available in the normal Debian repositories. It
can be installed by typing this in the terminal window:

apt-get install alien

NOTE: Alien is rather experimental software. According to the experts, there are
many bugs and limitations. Remember, I am new to this.


Download the LeoCAD executable and the pieces library to a temporary directory from
( ).

The LDRAW library files (for updated manip files) are available at ( ).


Convert the LeoCAD rpm file to a deb with alien. Do this by first changing to the temporary directory where the leocad download is located, and type
the following in the terminal window:

alien leocad-0.75-1.i386.rpm

Afterwards, type:

ls -l

alien should have created the file leocad-0.75-2.i386.deb.

NOTE: Notice that alien has counted up the version number, it is now 0.75-2 instead
of 0.75-1. To keep the original version number, use the -k switch:

alien -k leocad-0.75-1.i386.rpm

This will create the file leocad-0.75-1.i386.deb.

To install the new .deb file, use dpkg -i:

dpkg -i leocad-0.75-1.i386.deb

Finally, extract the pieces library to "/usr/local/share/leocad/"

Viola! You should have a working edition of LeoCAD on your ASUS! You can access
LeoCad either through the terminal window or the file manager. There are tutorials
on LeoCAD at (


I installed LeoCAD, and ran into the same issues that Robert van Dijk posted on
Lugnet. Among them:

*The preferences menu is flawed: the general tab is completely empty. I cannot
change some settings. I cannot access the LDRAW library, so I cannot import other
parts (such as fischertechnik). (Yet).

*It seems that LeoCad is unable to remember the screen layout, reverting back to the default look.

If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it!



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    20 Discussions

    what about the .tgz file? I am using Porteus Linux... I have only dealt with .deb files.

    I am able to run MLCAD/LDRAW from a flash drive using WINE. The advantage is that I can access the entire LDRAW library. Thought to share.

    5 replies

    I'm trying to run this program under wine on a laptop with Ubuntu 9.04 but when I try to run I can see neither the piece nor the main screen.
    These zones are black with some ramdom pixels I think this is the piece.

    I have successfully run LDRAW/MLCAD under WINE on my Asus. In any case, I have heard of this  problem...but why not try to install the linux version of Leocad?

    Thanks for the note! I appreciate people are checking into this.-R

    I didn't use the linux version because I'm not using the lego pieces but the tente ones (another Spanish brick game with diferent pieces) and I couldn't load the new categories.
    Finaly, I'm using the native linux version, modified and recompiled by me.
    I change the library.cpp file adding the new categories, also this may be a good idea for expand the lego categories.
    I put this in a Tente Leocad's manual of use, by the moment only on Spanish.

    It will not let me export an image. I can take screenshots using GIMP to create step-by-step plans. I am going to do this for my next ft-ible as an experiment.

    Although I have the updated ldraw file, I am still working on being able to access it from the Linux version of LeoCAD. SO at this time, it is not crucial to have the LDRAW library.

    1 reply

    Received a note from Leo. He says that the Parts Library Manager is not available yet for the Linux version, and that a patch is due out soon.

    Yeah! I got povray 3.6 to work on the Asus eee pc. Next, export a LeoCAD file into the pov format and render it.

    1 reply

    Done! Worked fine. So there is the whole process on the eee. Next, can I get LeoCAD to access the ldraw library, and import new parts?

    I use a combination of LDRAW/MLCAD for XP. My specific goal here was to get something to work in an Ubuntu environment. I am pursuing some other programs now.

    I expect this would be quite different on another variety of Linux, perhaps not even work. I have been using Puppy Linux 4.1 from a Live CD for a few months, mostly for Internet connections when I am traveling. Please comment, if you are able. Thanks.

    2 replies

    I do not know enough, although LeoCAD's description is fairly generic for Linux. Perhaps you should give it a try on Puppy and see if it works.

    I am a Linux newbie, too. I have learned to make Puppy do what I really want from it and can easily slip back into Windows XP when I need other things. I tried installing a Linux based program with Puppy and the results were not completely to my liking. I have a Windows version of the same program and use it more regularly.

    Howdy, Thanks. It is not optimal, but since I am on an airplane for lengthy periods of time, I have plenty of time to develop models. And I can render the art on a system with a larger monitor at a later time.