Building gerbv - A very nice Gerber File viewer

You can build gerbv with with Fink, MacPorts, or Homebrew. I first built it with Fink and it works well, especially with Fink Commander, the GUI based tool. Today I prefer to use Homebrew since it is so simple. I still include my Fink notes at the bottom of this page.

Building gerbv with Homebrew

If you haven’t already, download and install Xcode. It can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. It is over 2GB so it will take a few minutes. After installing YOU MUST LAUNCH AND AGREE TO THE LICENSE or the gerbv build will fail.

Second you must download and install the latest version of XQuartz from here:

I found that version 2.7.7 works well on Mac OS X 10.10.1 even though there is no mention of 10.10.x compatibility.

Now to install Homebrew. First, if you don’t know if you are running the bash shell in Terminal, do these 7 steps:

  1. 1)Open System Preferences

  2. 2)Select Users & Groups

  3. 3)Click on the lock at the bottom left of the window and enter your password

  4. 4)Right click on your user in the list

  5. 5)Select Advanced Options...

  6. 6)From the Login shell pop-up menu select /bin/bash

  7. 7)Click OK and close System preferences

Make sure you are quit out of Xcode and XQuartz.

Now, if you know the bash shell is your shell, launch Terminal (in Applications/Utilities). Now go to the Homebrew web site:                                    (yes, that is the whole URL)

scroll to the bottom of the page and copy the WHOLE line as instructed. The line may run off the right edge of the box, make sure you get it all. Now paste it into your terminal window and hit return.

Many things will happen. It will tell you things and ask for permission to do things by hitting return, just hit return.

Now, as instructed, you must run:

brew doctor

You may get some warnings. Depending on how much open source work you do some of these warnings may need to be addressed. If you forgot to download XQuartz you will get a warning, although this should be called an error since until you resolve this and re-run brew doctor you can not install anything.

Now to build gerbv


brew install homebrew/x11/gerbv

This will take a while.

After all that, you can now launch XQuartz. Click on Applications and select Customize...

At the top right of the Application Menu window click Add Item.

Double click in the new field under Name and type gerbv.

Double click in the new field under Command and type gerbv (the path to it is already setup).

Close the window.

Now gerbv can be accessed from the Applications menu.

When it opens click on File in the gerbv window and select Open Layer(s)...

Have fun viewing Gerber Files!

Building gerbv with Fink

The OS X application Fink Commander makes it fairly easy to install. First download FINK for Macintosh, Use FINK Commander to load Gerbv, Then launch Gerbv from Terminal.

Start here with FINK:

If you have trouble building Gerbv you may need to try this in terminal:

fink index -f

Fink Commander is a useful tool for maintaining your Fink applications:

If you are an OS X 10.6 user you need to go into Fink Commander Preferences. Under the Paths tab change the path of Perl to /usr/bin/perl5.8.9

If you are new to Fink and are looking for a little help, see the Evil Mad Scientist: