Oct 7, 2012

Lost in Support: ARES CE

ARES CE is one of the available dwg-based AutoCAD-like programs for Linux.
It's a commercial application that costs  795 € and has a Linux version since October 2010.

export SUPPORTED_ENVIRONMENT= 32 bit Ubuntu,Fedora, OpenSUSE and Mandriva are the supported Linux distros for ARES CE.

Installation/Installation Instructions: ARES CE installs with no problems on a 32bit Supported distro. Both deb and rpm packages are available as well as a tar.gz package for other distros. 64bit installation is a little bit painful but possible. Graebert provides some instructions for 64bit Ubuntu installations but they are out-dated (suitable for older versions). However, don't forget that 64bit installations are currently unsupported.

Active Bugs/Bug Fixes: Since its first release ARES CE has some major bug-fixes as the AMD/ATI graphics flickering and some packaging problems but its release cycle is a problem here because new versions are not often available.

Linux Related Answers: Hard to find. Since there is no forum, you have to ask  for help directly via bug reports. So you have to wait for an answer even if someone in the past had asked the same and there is an answer already.

Help/Command Reference: A complete manual is accessible under the help menu. Also an e-book is available on Graebert's store. But these are the only help resources for ARES CE. No tutorials, no tips and tricks not even some on-line resources such as a forum or a wiki with some helpful advices for end users.

Development/Improvements/New Features: Not something special. ARES CE has added some new functionality such as  the plugin manager, voice notes and some new 3D features but other CAD applications have done much more during the past 2 years.

Summary: ARES CE does the basics on Linux Support. It is an application that primarily targets on OEMs(CADopia,CorelCAD and DraftSight are some of the ARES CE based products), not end users so you will not be impressed by its support (especially in categories that actually end users need, such as tutorials, tips and tricks, etc). However it is a stable application that can satisfy experienced users who want an AutoCAD alternative on Linux.

Rate: 3/5 

This post is a part of the Lost in Support series. My main goal is to evaluate, compare and rate the provided support of all the available Linux CAD applications. A new tag named LiS will indicate all the posts of these series.


  1. It would be interesting to note that DraftSight is based on ARES CE and was licensed from Graebert by Dassault Systèmes.

    1. Thanks for the comment!
      I updated the post to include these information.
      ARES CE is great for OEMs especially for anyone is interested to create products that are Linux-compatible.