How to install Qcad on Debian 11 Bullseye

Learn the commands to install the open source QCAD 2D program on Debian 11 Bullseye using the command line terminal. 

QCAD is an open-source CAD program for two-dimensional drawings. It is a very powerful, free CAD program, but it cannot be compared to commercial programs. With QCAD you can create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, facilities, or mechanical parts as well as schemes and diagrams. It offers Construction and modification of points, lines, arcs, circles, ellipses, splines, polylines, texts, dimensions, hatches, fills, and raster images. However, you have to resort to additional programs for the three-dimensional viewing of your drawings.

Newer, paid versions can be purchased from the developer’s website.

Steps to install QCAD 2D app on Debian 11 Linux

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

As the Qcad is not available to install using the default Debian 11 repository, hence, we either need to download it manually or use a third-party repository to easily install QCad using the APT package manager.

1. Update Ubuntu 22.04

Before adding the repository let’s run the system update command to ensure all the existing system packages are up to date. Here is the command to follow:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Also, install some common packages:

sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https curl

2. Add a repository for QCAD

There is a third-party repository maintained by, here we are about to use that. It is available for most of the existing Debian and Ubuntu versions including Jammy.

First, download the ASC key available for the NotesALexp repository and convert it into GPG format to save it separately, so that repository for it can’t install the updates for any other program, except the one for which it has been added.

curl -fsSL | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/alexp_key.gpg > /dev/null

Now, add the repository while pointing it to the GPG key it has to use.

echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/alexp_key.gpg] bullseye main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/alexp.list

Again run the system update to rebuild the APT package index cache.

sudo apt update

3. Install QCad 2D on Debian 11 Bullseye

Now, we can install QCAD easily on Ubuntu Linux with the help of the system’s default APT package manager, here is the command to follow:

sudo apt install qcad qcad-data
command to instal QCAD on Debian

4. Run the open source CAD program

Once the installation is completed we can launch the QCAD program on Debina 11 Bullseye either using the command terminal or via the Application launcher.

If you want to use the terminal then type- qcad


Go to Activities and there search for QCAD, as its icon appears, click to run the same.

launch QCAD program
Settings for open source CAD application
Install QCAD 2D on Debian 11 Bullseye

5. How to update or upgrade

Well, after having the QCAD using the APT repository, we can easily install the latest update for the program whenever they are available using the system update and upgrade command. Here it is:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

6. Uninstall or Remove QCAD from Debian 11

In the future, if you don’t want QCAD anymore on your Debian 11 system, then to remove it and its repository completely from your system use the given commands:

sudo apt autoremove --purge qcad*

To delete GPG and Repo as well:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/alexp.list /usr/share/keyrings/alexp_key.gpg


What is QCAD used for?

QCAD is an open source software used to draw two-dimensional technical drawings digitally for interiors, buildings structures, or mechanical parts as well as schematics.

What does QCAD cost?

The cost for the professional paid version of QCAD is $38 USD dollars. Whereas the community edition of QCAD-2D is absolutely free of cost.

Can QCAD open DWG files?

Yes, the professional version of QCAD using add-ons can open and support DWG files.

Can QCAD do 3D?

No, QCAD is a 2D program, hence cannot design 3D drawings. For 3D modeling look for other CAD applications such as Blender.

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