Designers, makers, engineers, and hobbyists now have a new tool they can use to tackle 2D computer-aided design (CAD) projects on Linux.

Design is a 2D CAD app for Linux created by developer Daniel Wood. The app has a noble aim: provide a first-class, native CAD software experience on Linux as free, open source software. It already has a small but functional feature set that makes a promising first impression.

The Design app:

  • Works with industry standard DXF format
  • Uses common CAD workflows, commands and canvas management
  • Drawing creation and manipulation using command-line or toolbar input
  • Layer management and manipulation
  • Entity interogation and modification

For background, Design began life as an app created for the Ubuntu Phone, before switching to a web-based incarnation following Canonical’s cancellation of its mobile project.

But with the Linux Phone scene in better health today, the hands behind Design have chosen to “reinvent” it as a GNOME app so that a powerful, native 2D CAD experience is available for free, on Linux, across all form factors, including smartphones and tablets.

The ‘catch’? As of writing Design is not a finished, stable app. However, an alpha release is available to download and install from Flathub. This will help get the app into maker’s hands early, and help steer development efforts going forward.

So while you shouldn’t entrust a mission-critical design project to Design just yet, by all means try it out, see what it can do, and help improve the areas it can’t by filing bug reports, submitting considered feature requests, or (most helpfully of all) contributing to the code.

You can grab Design on Flathub.