KiCad Suite is an Open Source Electronics Design Automation Suite for various platforms. It allows you to do the complete development process of creating schematics, BOM lists and finally design a PCB within one suite.
Debian (8) Jessie (oldstable)
The version of KiCad in the Jessie release is outdated so far, the previous stable upstream release 4.0.7 is back-ported to jessie-sloppy-backports and it's recommended to use this version if you need to stay on Jessie.
Debian (9) Stretch (stable)
In Stretch you will get version 4.0.5 if you use the stretch-release archive, please note these packages have some broken libraries inside due changes from the library team which unfortunately only got detected after the freeze. Please jump over to the packages from stretch-backports for productive usage, the current stable upstream version along with simulation support is available in Stretch Backports.
Debian (10) Buster (testing) and Debian Sid (unstable)
The upcoming Buster release is currently holding version 5.0.2+dfsg1-1, the same version is available in unstable. This is reflecting also the actual stable upstream version.
It's likely we will find more GTK2/GTK3 related issues with the current KiCad major version. The main reason for this the ongoing GTK3 transition within Debian testing and probably not fully for GTK3 ready source of wxWidget. If you can provide fixes for KiCad or wxWidgets the help would really appreciated by the KiCad developers!
It's currently unclear if KiCad 5.1.x will make it to go into the Buster release. Versions 5.1.x and greater will get full native GTK+3 and wxPython4.0 support. If you are interested you can obtain more or less up2date snapshots of ?KiCads upstream version by installing the packages from the experimental archive. Testers and feedback are welcome!
KiCad is maintained in the PKG Electronics Teams, feel free to join the team and helping out by maintaining the KiCad related packages! If you can help out with translations for KiCad or the manuals and HowTo's please take a look into the upstream repositories on GitHub for kicad-i18n and kicad-doc. All Debian packaging trees around the KiCad suite are placed on Salsa in the subgroup KiCad.
The central git repositories used, are at https://salsa.debian.org/electronics-team/KiCad/
Current state of KiCad and related packages
Due the heavy grown size especially for the 3d models the old src:kicad was split into more new source packages so we can update libraries and templates independently and also keep the binary packages within a acceptable size. The planning of the created new source packages was done to do a better collaboration with Jean-Samuel Reynaud who is doing the work for the Daily-Build PPA in Ubuntu. We wanted to get the same package layout within Debian and Ubuntu which is now reality.
In the past it turned out the kicad-common package wasn't flexible enough to provide easy updates for the users on the typical libraries like the schematic symbols and also the libraries of the footprints. Not that often but but more often than KiCad point releases happen to the project templates for KiCad. So we made the decision to let the old package kicad-common become a transitional package and split it of into more new source packages.
With KiCad 5 the following new packages are introduced (and currently available in unstable and testing).
Changed package dependencies for KiCad 5
The old package kicad-common is now a transitional package that will provide a dependencies on kicad-libraries, which is also a virtual package depending on the most needed libraries. These are kicad-symbols, kicad-footprints and kicad-templates. The previous within kicad-common shipped 3D models have now also a own binary package witch has just a suggests due the big size (currently about 3,6GB of installed files) in the kicad package. Please have a look at the following graphic further down that is showing various new package dependencies which are introduced with the first upload of KiCad 5 related packages.