pcb-rnd is typically run by invoking it from the shell after installation
pcb-rnd [options] path
When a path is provided, it is either a board file or a subcircuit which will be automatically opened for editing. When invoked with a path referring to a non-existing file, pcb-rnd assumes a new board is to be created and saved using the file name provided as path. This makes it very easy to make new boards from the command line.
The list of available options can be acquired by running
The most commonly used option is to export a file:
pcb-rnd -x format [format_options] path
For example a photo-realistic png export pwr.png from the board saved
in pwr.lht can be exported as:
pcb-rnd --export png --dpi 600 --photo-mode pwr.lht
Listing exporter-specific options is possible running pcb-rnd --help
pcb-rnd --help png
Another typical application of options is to select the user interface to start pcb-rnd with (as pcb-rnd normally comes with multiple UIs compiled in):
pcb-rnd --gui batch pcb-rnd --gui gtk2_gdk pcb-rnd --gui gtk2_gl pcb-rnd --gui lesstif
The most notable UI is the batch UI: it reads the standard input for action commands, executes them and quits on EOF. This allows pcb-rnd to be run as a UNIX filter (just like a sed, awk or perl), loading, manipulating and saving boards, without starting a GUI.