The easiest way to install FreeCAD on Windows is to download the installer below.

Windows.png Windows 32 bits Windows.png Windows 64 bits


After downloading the .msi (Microsoft Installer) file, just double-click on it to start the installation process.

Below is more information about technical options. If it looks daunting, don't worry! Most Windows users will not need anything more than the .msi to install FreeCAD and Get started!


Simple Microsoft Installer Installation

The easiest way to install FreeCAD on Windows is by using the installer above. This page describes the usage and the features of the Microsoft Installer for more installation options.

If you would like to download either a 64 bit or unstable development version, see the Download page.


Command Line Installation

With the msiexec.exe command line utility, additional features are available, like non-interactive installation and administrative installation.

Non-interactive Installation

With the command line

 msiexec /i FreeCAD<version>.msi

installation can be initiated programmatically. Additional parameters can be passed at the end of this command line, like

msiexec /i FreeCAD-2.5.msi TARGETDIR=r:\FreeCAD25 

Limited user interface

The amount of user interface that installer displays can be controlled with /q options, in particular:

  • /qn - No interface
  • /qb - Basic interface - just a small progress dialog
  • /qb! - Like /qb, but hide the Cancel button
  • /qr - Reduced interface - display all dialogs that don't require user interaction (skip all modal dialogs)
  • /qn+ - Like /qn, but display "Completed" dialog at the end
  • /qb+ - Like /qb, but display "Completed" dialog at the end

Target directory

The property TARGETDIR determines the root directory of the FreeCAD installation. For example, a different installation drive can be specified with

TARGETDIR=R:\FreeCAD25 

The default TARGETDIR is [WindowsVolume\Programm Files\]FreeCAD<version>.

Installation for All Users

Adding

ALLUSERS=1 

causes an installation for all users. By default, the non-interactive installation install the package just for the current user, and the interactive installation offers a dialog which defaults to "all users" if the user is sufficiently privileged.

Feature Selection

A number of properties allow selection of features to be installed, reinstalled, or removed. The set of features for the FreeCAD installer is

  • DefaultFeature - install the software proper, plus the core libraries
  • Documentation - install documentation
  • Source code - install the sources
  • ... ToDo

In addition, ALL specifies all features. All features depend on DefaultFeature, so installing any feature automatically installs the default feature as well. The following properties control features to be installed or removed

  • ADDLOCAL - list of feature to be installed on the local machine
  • REMOVE - list of features to be removed
  • ADDDEFAULT - list of features added in their default configuration (which is local for all FreeCAD features)
  • REINSTALL - list of features to be reinstalled/repaired
  • ADVERTISE - list of feature for which to perform an advertise installation

There are a few additional properties available; see the MSDN documentation for details.

With these options, adding

ADDLOCAL=Extensions 

installs the interpreter itself and registers the extensions, but does not install anything else.

Uninstallation

With

msiexec /x FreeCAD<version>.msi 

FreeCAD can be uninstalled. It is not necessary to have the MSI file available for uninstallation; alternatively, the package or product code can also be specified. You can find the product code by looking at the properties of the Uninstall shortcut that FreeCAD installs in the start menu.

Administrative installation

With

msiexec /a FreeCAD<version>.msi 

an "administrative" (network) installation can be initiated. The files get unpacked into the target directory (which should be a network directory), but no other modification is made to the local system. In addition, another (smaller) msi file is generated in the target directory, which clients can then use to perform a local installation (future versions may also offer to keep some features on the network drive altogether).

Currently, there is no user interface for administrative installations, so the target directory must be passed on the command line.

There is no specific uninstall procedure for an administrative install - just delete the target directory if no client uses it anymore.

With

msiexec /jm FreeCAD<version>.msi 

it would be possible, in principle, to "advertise" FreeCAD to a machine (with /ju to a user). This would cause the icons to appear in the start menu, and the extensions to become registered, without the software actually being installed. The first usage of a feature would cause that feature to be installed.

The FreeCAD installer currently supports just advertisement of start menu entries, but no advertisement of shortcuts.

Automatic Installation on a Group of Machines

With Windows Group Policy, it is possible to automatically install FreeCAD an a group of machines. To do so, perform the following steps:

  1. Log on to the domain controller
  2. Copy the MSI file into a folder that is shared with access granted to all target machines.
  3. Open the MMC snapin "Active Directory users and computers"
  4. Navigate to the group of computers that need FreeCAD
  5. Open Properties
  6. Open Group Policies
  7. Add a new policy, and edit it
  8. In Computer Configuration/Software Installation, choose New/Package
  9. Select the MSI file through the network path
  10. Optionally, select that you want the FreeCAD to be deinstalled if the computer leaves the scope of the policy.

Group policy propagation typically takes some time - to reliably deploy the package, all machines should be rebooted.

Installation on Linux using Crossover Office

You can install the windows version of FreeCAD on a Linux system using CXOffice 5.0.1. Run msiexec from the CXOffice command line, assuming that the install package is placed in the "software" directory which is mapped to the drive letter "Y:":

msiexec /i Y:\\software\\FreeCAD<version>.msi 

FreeCAD is running, but it has been reported that the OpenGL display does not work, like with other programs running under Wine i.e. Google SketchUp.

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