Assuming xschem is installed in one of the ${PATH} search paths just execute:

user:~$ xschem

the xschem window should appear. If xschem is not in the search path then specify its full pathname.

if a filename is given that file will be loaded on startup:

user:~$ xschem .../xschem_library/examples/0_examples_top.sch


xschem accepts short (-h) or long (--help) options:

usage: xschem [options] [schematic | symbol ]
  -h  --help           Print this help.
  -b  --detach         Detach Xschem from console and fork in the background.
  -n  --netlist        Do a netlist of the given schematic cell.
  -v  --version        Print version information and exit.
  -V  --vhdl           Set netlist type to VHDL.
  -S  --simulate       Run a simulation of the current schematc file
                       (spice/Verilog/VHDL, depending on the netlist
                       type chosen).
  -w  --verilog        Set netlist type to Verilog.
  --tcl <tcl_script>   Execute specified tcl instructions before any other action,
                       this can be used to change xschemrc variables.
  --script <file>      Execute specified tcl file as a command script (perhaps with xschem  commands).
  --tcp_port <number>  Listen to specified tcp port for client connections. (number >=1024).
  -i  --no_rcload      Do not load any xschemrc file.
  -o <file>            Set output path for netlist.
  --netlist_path <file>
  -N <file>            Set name (only name, not path) of top level netlist file.
  --netlist_filename <file>
  -t  --tedax          Set netlist type to tEDAx.
  -s  --spice          Set netlist type to SPICE.
  -x  --no_x           Don't use X (only command mode).
  -z  --rainbow        Use a raibow-looking layer color table.
  -W  --waves          Show simulation waveforms.
  -f  --flat_netlist   Set flat netlist (for spice format only).
  -r  --no_readline    Start without the tclreadline package ( this is
                       necessary if stdin and stdout are to be redirected
                       for example to /dev/null).
  -c  --color_ps       Set color postscript.
  --plotfile <file>    Use <file> as output for plot (png, svg, ps).
  --rcfile <file>      Use <file> as a rc file for startup instead of the
                       default xschemrc.
  -p  --postscript
      --pdf            Export pdf schematic.
      --png            Export png schematic.
      --svg            Export svg schematic.
  -q  --quit           Quit after doing things (no interactive mode).
  -l <file>
  --log <file>         Set a log file.
  -d <n>
  --debug <n>          Set debug level:  1,  2,  3,..  C program debug.
                                       -1, -2, -3...  TCL frontend debug.

xschem: interactive schematic capture program

Example:   xschem counter.sch
the schematic file `counter.sch' will be loaded.


To create a new schematic run xschem and give a non existent filename:
xschem aaa.sch

You can save the schematic by pressing '<ctrl shift>s' or by using the menu File - Save As:

If no filename change is needed you can just use File - Save. Now a new empty schematic file is created. You can use this test.sch for testing while reading the manual. After exiting XSCHEM you can load directly this schematic with the following commands, they are all equivalent.

xschem /home/schippes/x/test.sch
# or ...
xschem ${HOME}/schippes/x/test

you can load test.sch when xschem is running by using the load command '<ctrl>o' key or by menu Open command. Use the file selector dialog to locate the schematic and load it in. When loading a new file XSCHEM asks to save the currently loaded schematic if it has been modified.