Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The state of Electronic Circuit Simulation Software under Ubuntu.

Today, I was in need of electronic circuit simulation. Let's see what is available for Ubuntu.

First I tried ngspice, but that seems to be text based.

$ ngspice 
******
** ngspice-34 : Circuit level simulation program
** The U. C. Berkeley CAD Group
** Copyright 1985-1994, Regents of the University of California.
** Copyright 2001-2020, The ngspice team.
** Please get your ngspice manual from http://ngspice.sourceforge.net/docs.html
** Please file your bug-reports at http://ngspice.sourceforge.net/bugrep.html
** Creation Date: Sat Mar  6 03:53:35 UTC 2021
******
ngspice 1 ->

Ok, install the GUI for it then...

$ sudo apt install gspiceui
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
Package gspiceui is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

Next up: Oregano. I managed to compose a circuit, but when I tried to simulate:

$ oregano 
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 0x555ee9aeaf10 FALSE
Segmentation fault

Next up: xschem. Again, I managed to draw a schematic, which is done in an awkward way. When I wanted to simulate, I could find no such option in the menus. It seems it cannot?

Ok, let's move to QUCS. No hit on a package search in Ubuntu, which does not bode well. Ok, let's grab a deb from the archive.

# dpkg -i qucs_0.0.20.201022-2_amd64.deb 
Selecting previously unselected package qucs.
(Reading database ... 281811 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack qucs_0.0.20.201022-2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking qucs (0.0.20.201022-2) ...
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of qucs:
 qucs depends on libqt4-qt3support (>= 4:4.5.3); however:
  Package libqt4-qt3support is not installed.
 qucs depends on libqt4-script (>= 4:4.5.3); however:
  Package libqt4-script is not installed.
 qucs depends on libqt4-svg (>= 4:4.5.3); however:
  Package libqt4-svg is not installed.
 qucs depends on libqtcore4 (>= 4:4.7.0~beta1); however:
  Package libqtcore4 is not installed.
 qucs depends on libqtgui4 (>= 4:4.8.0); however:
  Package libqtgui4 is not installed.

dpkg: error processing package qucs (--install):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.33-0ubuntu5) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.26-1ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for mailcap (3.68ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.36.0-1ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.17-2) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.9.4-2) ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.47ubuntu4) ...
Errors were encountered while processing:
 qucs
root@Workstation:/home/bram/Downloads# apt install libqt4-script libqt4-svg libqtcore4 libqtgui4
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
Package libqtcore4 is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

Maybe GEDA?

# apt install geda
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
Package geda is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package 'geda' has no installation candidate

Oh dear... I am about to give up now. I can see now, why CircuitLab manages to charge $399,- per year.

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