geda-pcb and Debian Jessie

A project log for Potentially Useful/Obscure Linux Stuff

Things that I've found useful/hard-to-find in my Linux endeavors...

esot.ericesot.eric 11/22/2016 at 00:430 Comments

Worked-ish... but had issues...

E.G. Running a Design Rules Check would find errors, but in the window where it shows a thumbnail of the error, the thumbnail would be little more than the background-color.

E.G.2. Double-clicking the error is supposed to send your cursor to the location of the error, and highlight the offending thingamajigs, instead it appeared to always move the cursor to the middle of the top of the board... Nothing to see, no offending-thingamajig-coloration.

(Maybe somehow related to its originally having been built with the assumption I was using GNOME3, but downgraded because my second video-card doesn't support xrandr, or something?)

A fresh build has fixed these problems...

$ git clone git://
$ cd pcb
$ ./
./ 1: ./ intltoolize: not found

As I recall, I did an install of 'intltool' to fix this.

$ ./
$ ./configure --enable-gl --enable-dbus=no --with-x --disable-doc

--disable-doc because apparently texlive isn't installed and is a 300+MB download
Not sure about dbus, but it complained about its missing. My MacOS system used it, but apparently it's not required, so whatevs.
--enable-gl and --with-x because... well it's graphics, and the problem was graphics-related... and it worked this way on my MacOS 10.5.8 machine, way-back-when

You'll likely have to run ./configure *several* times, as many of the dependencies are not already installed...

Thankfully the messages are quite-informative, Search-fu may help, if you can't figure out what you need... but in most cases you need '<whatever>-dev' E.G. The latest (and amongst the least-intuitive) was:

Cannot find gdlib-config.
Make sure it is installed and in your PATH.
gdlib-config is part of the GD library available from
This is needed for the png HID.  I will look for libgd anyway and maybe
you will get lucky.

checking for main in -lgd... no
configure: error: You have requested gcode, nelma, or png HIDs  but -lgd could not be found

As I recall, I did an install of libgd-dev... yeah it differs in name quite a bit, but I think you can get the drift.

If not, feel free to ask.

$ make
$ sudo make install


There were a bunch of other quirks, too... As I recall, the keys didn't do what they were supposed to, e.g. "u" should undo, but it didn't. Now it does.


And, for a moment-of-rant...

I find it hilarious that I can move around a PCB with all these renderings, zooming, and scrolling, on my second-monitor with nary a speed-issue... Yet I can't scroll a small listing of files in a file-browser window without at least half-a-second between each refresh. Nor spin my scroll-wheel five ticks in a friggin' word-processor document without getting caught in literally *seconds* of refreshes.

We're not talking about a friggin' ancient single frame-buffer ISA video-card from the Win3.1 era, here... (And, even if we were, as I recall ISA/VESA graphics-cards could be updated fast enough for full-screen *movies* back then). This was a top of the line *industry-grade* (not *consumer-grade*) 3D-renderer of its time, 32MB should be *plenty* for these things.


<rant 2>

No, I will not while away my time learning a new PCB-application that changes every three weeks. That's utterly ridiculous. This one has worked fine for me for nearly a decade.