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Simple scripts supporting open hardware development using CadSoft EAGLE

Project description

Eagle automation

Python’s Eagle Automation (PEA) provides a more Unix-like and scriptable interface to the CadSoft Eagle electronics design package. It is meant to make open hardware development a bit more convenient for anyone that is used to the procedures usually employed by open source software projects (for example using source control tools and one-step builds).

This repository currently contains the following:

  • pea diff
  • Commandline diff tool for schematics, board layouts and libraries that is compatible with git-difftool. For schematics and board layouts, a visual diff is displayed. For libraries, a textual comparison of library elements is shown.
  • pea export
  • A tool that exposes a unified commandline interface to various different ways Eagle offers for exporting artwork. It currently supports exporting Eagle files to Gerber, PDF and PNG formats, generating Excellon drill files and files needed for pick & place machines.
  • pea drill
  • Generate .drl files from .dri without any annoying dialogs.
  • pea bom
  • Generate .json file with the full list of components
  • skel/Makefile
  • An example Makefile that demonstrates how fabrication and assembly documentation for a project can be generated automatically with GNU Make.


Using pypi, do:

% pip install eagle_automation

Using the sources, run:

% python install
% git config --global --add difftool.eaglediff.cmd 'pea diff $LOCAL $REMOTE'

Note these scripts have only been tested using Eagle ≥5.11.0 (and 7.2)


You can find a Makefile in the skel/ subdirectory that shows how you can automatically build your project’s documentation using make from .sch and .brd files.

To show differences to the design that have not yet been committed:

% git difftool -t eaglediff

To show differences between two tagged versions:

% git difftool -t eaglediff v1.0..v2.0

Note that Eagle windows will blink on and off during the use of these tools. Try not to touch anything while they are doing that.

Also, Eagle sometimes behaves weirdly if more than one instance of it is running: it might occasionally stop in the middle of a script or throw a random error dialog. Because of the closed nature of this software there is nothing that can be done about that. If that bothers you, consider switching to a free EDA tool.


install buildout pip install zc.buildout and run:

% buildout
% bin/pea --help

from the sources’ root.

Then you can run python develop to install a global instance linked to current sources. Or python install to install it the old fashion way.


These tools make a distinction between “export layers” (e.g. layer names used on the pea export command line) and “Eagle layers” (layer names as they appear in the Eagle user interface). One export layer typically corresponds to one mask and consists of one or more Eagle layers.

For example topcopper export layer by default includes Top, Pads and Vias Eagle layers.

A configuration file provides a mapping between export layers and Eagle layers and some other tweakable settings. Default configuration is installed by It should work for most simple one- or two-layer boards.

Should you want to adjust something, you can place your own configuration file to one of the following locations. Settings in later locations override earlier ones:


You can use the skel/eagle_automation.conf file as a template.

You can specify configuration options on the commandline by giving key=value just after the pea command:

pea -c EAGLE=/usr/local/bin/eagle export example.sch bom example-bom.json

And you can as well give configuration files the same way (only restriction: the configuration file shall not contain the character = or it will be interpreted as a key/value setting).


pea -c ../config/pea.conf export example.sch bom example-bom.json

Known problems

When exporting to PDF using pea export, default print settings are used. To set them, go to File -> Print setup, make changes, then quit Eagle so that the settings are saved.


Copyright (C) 2014  Tomaz Solc <>
Copyright (C) 2015  Bernard Pratz <>


Eagle automation, set of commandline tools for use with CadSoft Eagle
Copyright (C) 2014  Tomaz Solc <>

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <>.

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