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pcb Plugins

pcb has a plug-in mechanism that allows developers to add or modify its functionality. Plugins can add pcb actions, hook into the GUI HIDs, create new exporters, and more. For a tutorial on the basics of writing and installing a pluging, see the hello world example on the pcb Developer Introduction page. This page will discuss how plugins interact with the pcb system.

Plugin Mechanics

pcb plugins are essentially shared libraries that pcb will load at run-time. Because of this, they can be written in just about any language that can be compiled into a shared library. I haven't verified anything other than C and C++, but it ought to be possible. If you've successfully written a plugin in another language, let me know!

At runtime, pcb scans several directories for .so/.dll files (see src/common/hidinit.c:hid_load_dir). These include the exec prefix and the users personal preferences directory (~/.pcb). The exec_prefix is currently reserved for system plugins. Inside the personal pref directory should be a directory called “plugins”. User plugins should be located in this directory.

If pcb finds a .so/.dll file, it opens it and looks for a couple of symbols: “hid_<file basename>_init” and “pcb_plugin_init”. If it finds one, it executes it as a function. These functions are responsible for registering the code they represent with pcb.


HID Structures

Plugin Resources

Handy Plugin Template

Plugin Repositories

List of Plugins

pcb/plugins.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/12 16:40 by cparker