Ethical Tech Support

Ethical Tech Support

Open Board View Installation

Open Board Viewer or OBV for short is a program that is used for viewing .brd or board schematic repairs. This software is widely used by board repair mechanics and hardware professionals. Today we will go over how to install the software on both Windows and Debian based Linux distros. (Ubuntu 18.4 LTS will be used in this example). Google dorks and sources will also be provided for finding and downloading board schematics.

Some examples of what OBV is capable of:

  • Dynamic part outline rendering, including complex connectors
  • Annotations, for leaving notes about parts, nets, pins or location
  • Configurable colour themes
  • Configurable DPI to facilitate usage on 4K monitors
  • Tablet usage with OSD controls
  • Slower CPU systems through adjustable features
  • Reads FZ (with key), BRD, BRD2, BDV and BV* formats
  • Combined search system finds parts, pins and nets all within single search

Windows OBV

Windows users will be happy to hear that OBV requires no installation. Simply visit the download link found here and then run directly from a folder. Please note, this build only works on Windows 7 or later.

Debian OBV Installation

Installing OBV on ubuntu or linux based systems can be trivial. The direct webpage includes a .deb installer, however we will be using the github clone/download link to install the proper packages as well as install a few required softwares via the command line or terminal.

For Ubuntu developers, the following packages will be needed. (To install, run the following command from Terminal)

sudo apt-get install git build-essential cmake libsdl2-dev libgtk-3-dev -y

Installation of OBV via git: 

Clone the project via terminals or the link found here or run the command below

git clone --recursive ''

Next, the package will need to be built.

 sudo ./

Once finished, OBV can be ran by issuing the following command in the OBV directory





Obtaining Board Schematic Files

Now that OBV is installed. You will need to obtain the correct files for viewing. The .brd file format is used by OBV. By using a little google hacking via “googledorks” we can easily obtain some exmaple .brd files. 

Within the google search bar the following dork can be used to obtain .brd files

filetype:.brd “MODEL/MAKE/ETC”


filetype:.brd "schematic"

filetype:.brd "Apple"

filetype:.brd "Arduino"

For free Apple boardviews and schematics, visit the following link:              

Free schematic and boardview (BRD) for Apple Macbooks and other Apple devices.


This write-up was made possible by my good friend’s interest in board repair and the following links:

Apple schematics and boardviews

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