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A tool to manage/update libraries on CircuitPython devices.

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A tool to manage and update libraries (modules) on a CircuitPython device.


Circup requires Python 3.5 or higher.

In a virtualenv, pip install circup should do the trick. This is the simplest way to make it work.

If you have no idea what a virtualenv is, try the following command, pip3 install --user circup.


If you use the pip3 command to install CircUp you must make sure that your path contains the directory into which the script will be installed. To discover this path,

  • On Unix-like systems, type python3 -m site --user-base and append bin to the resulting path.
  • On Windows, type the same command, but append Scripts to the resulting path.

What does Circup Do?

Each CircuitPython library on the device usually has a version number as metadata within the module.

This utility looks at all the libraries on the device and checks if they are the most recent (compared to the versions found in the most recent version of the Adafruit CircuitPython Bundle and Circuitpython Community Bundle). If the libraries are out of date, the utility helps you update them.

The Adafruit CircuitPython Bundle can be found here:

Full details of these libraries, what they’re for and how to get them, can be found here:

The Circuitpython Community Bundle can be found here:


If you need more detailed help using Circup see the Learn Guide article “Use CircUp to easily keep your CircuitPython libraries up to date”.

First, plug in a device running CircuiPython. This should appear as a mounted storage device called CIRCUITPY.

To get help, just type the command:

$ circup
Usage: circup [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  A tool to manage and update libraries on a CircuitPython device.

  --verbose         Comprehensive logging is sent to stdout.
  --version         Show the version and exit.
  --path DIRECTORY  Path to CircuitPython directory. Overrides automatic
                    path detection.
  --help            Show this message and exit.
  -r --requirement  Supports requirements.txt tracking of library
                    requirements with freeze and install commands.

  freeze        Output details of all the modules found on the connected...
  install       Installs .mpy version of named module(s) onto the device.
  install --py  Installs .py version of named module(s).
  list          Lists all out of date modules found on the connected...
  show          Show the long list of all available modules in the bundle.
  show <query>  Search the names in the modules in the bundle for a match.
  uninstall     Uninstall a named module(s) from the connected device.
  update        Update modules on the device. Use --all to automatically update
                all modules.

To automatically install all modules imported by, $ circup install --auto:

$ circup install --auto
Found device at /Volumes/CIRCUITPY, running CircuitPython 7.0.0-alpha.5.
Searching for dependencies for: ['adafruit_bmp280']
Ready to install: ['adafruit_bmp280', 'adafruit_bus_device', 'adafruit_register']

Installed 'adafruit_bmp280'.
Installed 'adafruit_bus_device'.
Installed 'adafruit_register'.

To search for a specific module containing the name bme: $ circup show bme:

$ circup show bme
Found device at /Volumes/CIRCUITPY, running CircuitPython 6.1.0-beta.2.
2 shown of 257 packages.

To show version information for all the modules currently on a connected CIRCUITPYTHON device:

$ circup freeze

With $ circup freeze -r, Circup will save, in the current working directory, a requirements.txt file with a list of all modules currently installed on the connected device.

To list all the modules that require an update:

$ circup list
The following modules are out of date or probably need an update.

Module             Version  Latest
------------------ -------- --------
adafruit_binascii  v1.0     1.0.1
adafruit_ble       1.0.2    4.0

To interactively update the out-of-date modules:

$ circup update
Found 3 module[s] needing update.
Please indicate which modules you wish to update:

Update 'adafruit_binascii'? [y/N]: Y
Update 'adafruit_ble'? [y/N]: Y

Install a module or modules onto the connected device with:

$ circup install adafruit_thermal_printer
Installed 'adafruit_thermal_printer'.

$ circup install adafruit_thermal_printer adafruit_bus_io
Installed 'adafruit_thermal_printer'.
Installed 'adafruit_bus_io'.

If you need to work with the original .py version of a module, use the –py flag.

$ circup install –py adafruit_thermal_printer Installed ‘adafruit_thermal_printer’.

You can also install a list of modules from a requirements.txt file in the current working directory with:

$ circup install -r requirements.txt
Installed 'adafruit_bmp280'.
Installed 'adafruit_lis3mdl'.
Installed 'adafruit_lsm6ds'.
Installed 'adafruit_sht31d'.
Installed 'neopixel'.

Uninstall a module or modules like this:

$ circup uninstall adafruit_thermal_printer
Uninstalled 'adafruit_thermal_printer'.

$ circup uninstall adafruit_thermal_printer adafruit_bus_io
Uninstalled 'adafruit_thermal_printer'.
Uninstalled 'adafruit_bus_io'.

Use the --verbose flag to see the logs as the command is working:

$ circup --verbose freeze
Logging to /home/ntoll/.cache/circup/log/circup.log

10/18/2020 00:54:43 INFO: ### Started Circup ###
10/18/2020 00:54:43 INFO: Found device: /Volumes/CIRCUITPY
Found device at /Volumes/CIRCUITPY, running CircuitPython 6.0.0-alpha.1-1352-gf0b37313c.
10/18/2020 00:54:44 INFO: Freeze
10/18/2020 00:54:44 INFO: Found device: /Volumes/CIRCUITPY
... etc ...

The --path flag let’s you pass in a different path to the CircuitPython mounted volume. This is helpful when you have renamed or have more than one CircuitPython devices attached:

$ circup --path /run/media/user/CIRCUITPY1 list

The --version flag will tell you the current version of the circup command itself:

$ circup --version
CircUp, A CircuitPython module updater. Version 0.0.1

That’s it!

Library Name Autocomplete

When enabled, circup will autocomplete library names, simliar to other command line tools.

For example:

circup install n + tab -circup install neopixel (+tab: offers neopixel and neopixel_spi completions)

circup install a + tab -circup install adafruit\_ + m a g + tab -circup install adafruit_magtag

How to Activate Library Name Autocomplete

In order to activate shell completion, you need to inform your shell that completion is available for your script. Any Click application automatically provides support for that.

For Bash, add this to ~/.bashrc:

eval "$(_CIRCUP_COMPLETE=bash_source circup)"

For Zsh, add this to ~/.zshrc:

eval "$(_CIRCUP_COMPLETE=zsh_source circup)"

For Fish, add this to ~/.config/fish/completions/

eval (env _CIRCUP_COMPLETE=fish_source circup)

Open a new shell to enable completion. Or run the eval command directly in your current shell to enable it temporarily. ### Activation Script

The above eval examples will invoke your application every time a shell is started. This may slow down shell startup time significantly.

Alternatively, export the generated completion code as a static script to be executed. You can ship this file with your builds; tools like Git do this. At least Zsh will also cache the results of completion files, but not eval scripts.

For Bash:

_CIRCUP_COMPLETE=bash_source circup

For Zsh:

_CIRCUP_COMPLETE=zsh_source circup

For Fish:

_CIRCUP_COMPLETE=fish_source circup

In .bashrc or .zshrc, source the script instead of the eval command:

. /path/to/

For Fish, add the file to the completions directory:

_CIRCUP_COMPLETE=fish_source circup ~/.config/fish/completions/


If you find a bug, or you want to suggest an enhancement or new feature feel free to create an issue or submit a pull request here:

Discussion of this tool happens on the Adafruit CircuitPython Discord channel.

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