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!