This guide covers a step-by-step process on setting up version control, obtaining and building a copy of the source code for a port, building the documentation, running tests, and a description of the directory structure of the MicroPython code base.
Source control with git¶
MicroPython is hosted on GitHub and uses Git for source control. The workflow is such that code is pulled and pushed to and from the main repository. Install the respective version of Git for your operating system to follow through the rest of the steps.
Get the code¶
It is recommended that you maintain a fork of the MicroPython repository for your development purposes. The process of obtaining the source code includes the following:
Fork the repository https://github.com/micropython/micropython
You will now have a fork at <https://github.com/<your-user-name>/micropython>.
Clone the forked repository using the following command:
$ git clone https://github.com/<your-user-name>/micropython
Then, configure the remote repositories to be able to collaborate on the MicroPython project.
Configure remote upstream:
$ cd micropython $ git remote add upstream https://github.com/micropython/micropython
It is common to configure
origin on a forked repository
to assist with sharing code changes. You can maintain your own mapping but
it is recommended that
origin maps to your fork and
upstream to the main
After the above configuration, your setup should be similar to this:
$ git remote -v origin https://github.com/<your-user-name>/micropython (fetch) origin https://github.com/<your-user-name>/micropython (push) upstream https://github.com/micropython/micropython (fetch) upstream https://github.com/micropython/micropython (push)
You should now have a copy of the source code. By default, you are pointing to the master branch. To prepare for further development, it is recommended to work on a development branch.
$ git checkout -b dev-branch
You can give it any name. You will have to compile MicroPython whenever you change to a different branch.
Compile and build the code¶
When compiling MicroPython, you compile a specific port, usually targeting a specific board. Start by installing the required dependencies. Then build the MicroPython cross-compiler before you can successfully compile and build. This applies specifically when using Linux to compile. The Windows instructions are provided in a later section.
Install the required dependencies for Linux:
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential libffi-dev git pkg-config
For the stm32 port, the ARM cross-compiler is required:
$ sudo apt-get install arm-none-eabi-gcc arm-none-eabi-binutils arm-none-eabi-newlib
See the ARM GCC toolchain for the latest details.
Python is also required. Python 2 is supported for now, but we recommend using Python 3. Check that you have Python available on your system:
$ python3 Python 3.5.0 (default, Jul 17 2020, 14:04:10) [GCC 5.4.0 20160609] on linux Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>>
All supported ports have different dependency requirements, see their respective readme files.
Building the MicroPython cross-compiler¶
Almost all ports require building
mpy-cross first to perform pre-compilation
of Python code that will be included in the port firmware:
$ cd mpy-cross $ make
mpy-cross must be built for the host architecture
and not the target architecture.
If it built successfully, you should see a message similar to this:
LINK mpy-cross text data bss dec hex filename 279328 776 880 280984 44998 mpy-cross
make -C mpy-cross to build the cross-compiler in one statement
without moving to the
mpy-cross directory otherwise, you will need
cd .. for the next steps.
Building the Unix port of MicroPython¶
The Unix port is a version of MicroPython that runs on Linux, macOS, and other Unix-like operating systems. It’s extremely useful for developing MicroPython as it avoids having to deploy your code to a device to test it. In many ways, it works a lot like CPython’s python binary.
To build for the Unix port, make sure all Linux related dependencies are installed as detailed in the
required dependencies section. See the Required dependencies
to make sure that all dependencies are installed for this port. Also, make sure you have a working
GNU make. Ubuntu 20.04 has been used for the example
below but other unixes ought to work with little modification:
$ gcc --version gcc (Ubuntu 9.3.0-10ubuntu2) 9.3.0 Copyright (C) 2019 Free Software Foundation, Inc. This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.then build:
$ cd ports/unix $ make submodules $ make
If MicroPython built correctly, you should see the following:
LINK micropython text data bss dec hex filename 412033 5680 2496 420209 66971 micropython
Now run it:
$ ./micropython MicroPython v1.13-38-gc67012d-dirty on 2020-09-13; linux version Use Ctrl-D to exit, Ctrl-E for paste mode >>> print("hello world") hello world >>>
Building the Windows port¶
The Windows port includes a Visual Studio project file micropython.vcxproj that you can use to build micropython.exe. It can be opened in Visual Studio or built from the command line using msbuild. Alternatively, it can be built using mingw, either in Windows with Cygwin, or on Linux. See windows port documentation for more information.
Building the STM32 port¶
Like the Unix port, you need to install some required dependencies as detailed in the Required dependencies section, then build:
$ cd ports/stm32 $ make submodules $ make
Please refer to the stm32 documentation for more details on flashing the firmware.
See the Required dependencies to make sure that all dependencies are installed for this port.
The cross-compiler is needed.
arm-none-eabi-gcc should also be in the $PATH or specified manually
via CROSS_COMPILE, either by setting the environment variable or in the
make command line arguments.
You can also specify which board to use:
$ cd ports/stm32 $ make submodules $ make BOARD=<board>
See ports/stm32/boards for the available boards. e.g. “PYBV11” or “NUCLEO_WB55”.
Building the documentation¶
MicroPython documentation is created using
Sphinx. If you have already
installed Python, then install
pip. It is recommended
that you use a virtual environment:
$ python3 -m venv env $ source env/bin/activate $ pip install sphinx
Navigate to the
$ cd docs
Build the docs:
$ make html
docs/build/html/index.html in your browser to view the docs locally. Refer to the
documentation on importing your documentation to use Read the Docs.
Running the tests¶
To run all tests in the test suite on the Unix port use:
$ cd ports/unix $ make test
To run a selection of tests on a board/device connected over USB use:
$ cd tests $ ./run-tests --target minimal --device /dev/ttyACM0
See also Writing tests.
There are a couple of directories to take note of in terms of where certain implementation details are. The following is a break down of the top-level folders in the source code.
Contains the compiler, runtime, and core library implementation.
Has the MicroPython cross-compiler which pre-compiles the Python scripts to bytecode.
Code for all the versions of MicroPython for the supported ports.
Low-level C libraries used by any port which are mostly 3rd-party libraries.
Has drivers for specific hardware and intended to work across multiple ports.
Contains a C implementation of more non-core modules.
Has the standard documentation found at https://docs.micropython.org/.
An implementation of the test suite.
Contains helper tools including the
Example code for building MicroPython as a library as well as native modules.