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CircuitPython library updater.
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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.


Each CircuitPython library on the device (.py, NOT .mpy at this time) 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). If the libraries are out of date, the utility helps you update them.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:


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

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.
  --help     Show this message and exit.

  freeze  Output details of all the modules found on the connected...
  list    Lists all out of date modules found on the connected
  update  Checks for out-of-date modules on the connected CIRCUITPYTHON...

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

$ circup freeze

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The following modules are out of date or probably need an update.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To interactively update the out-of-date modules: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

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

INFO: Started 2019-09-05 13:13:41.031822
INFO: Freeze
INFO: Found device: /media/ntoll/CIRCUITPY
... etc ...

Finally, 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!


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:

Developer Setup


Please try to use Python 3.6+ while developing CircUp. This is so we can use the Black code formatter (which only works with Python 3.6+).

Clone the repository then make a virtualenv. From the root of the project, install the requirements:

pip install -e ".[dev]"

Run the test suite:

make check


Whenever you run make check, to ensure the test suite starts from a known clean state, all auto-generated assets are deleted. This includes assets generated by running pip install -e ".[dev]", including the circup command itself. Simply re-run pip to re-generate the assets.

There is a Makefile that helps with most of the common workflows associated with development. Typing "make" on its own will list the options thus:

$ make

There is no default Makefile target right now. Try:

make clean - reset the project and remove auto-generated assets.
make pyflakes - run the PyFlakes code checker.
make pycodestyle - run the PEP8 style checker.
make test - run the test suite.
make coverage - view a report on test coverage.
make tidy - tidy code with the 'black' formatter.
make check - run all the checkers and tests.
make dist - make a dist/wheel for the project.
make publish-test - publish the project to PyPI test instance.
make publish-live - publish the project to PyPI production.
make docs - run sphinx to create project documentation.


On Windows there is a make.cmd file that calls a script that works in a similar way to the make command on Unix-like operating systems. Typing make will display help for the various commands it provides that are equivalent of those in the Unix Makefile.


The circup tool checks for a connected CircuitPython device by interrogating the local filesystem to find a path to a directory which ends with "CIRCUITPYTHON" (the name under which a CircuitPython device is mounted by the host operating system). This is handled in the find_device function.

A Python module on a connected device is represented by an instance of the Module class. This class provides useful methods for discerning if the module is out of date, returning useful representations of it in order to display information to the user, or updating the module on the connected device with whatever the version is in the latest Adafruit CircuitPython Bundle.

All of the libraries included in the Adafruit CircuitPython Bundle contain, somewhere within their code, two metadata objects called __version__ and __repo__.

The __repo__ object is a string containing the GitHub repository URL, as used to clone the project.

The __version__ object is interesting because within the source code in Git the value is always the string "0.0.0-auto.0". When a new release is made of the bundle, this value is automatically replaced by the build scripts to the correct version information, which will always conform to the semver standard.

Given this context, the circup tool will check a configuration file to discern what it thinks is the latest version of the bundle. If there is no configuration file (for example, on first run), then the bundle version is assumed to be "0".

Next, it checks GitHub for the tag value (denoting the version) of the very latest bundle release. Bundle versions are based upon the date of release, for instance "20190904". If the latest version on GitHub is later than the version circup currently has, then the latest version of the bundle is automatically downloaded and cached away somewhere.

In this way, the circup tool is able to have available to it both a path to a connected CIRCUITPYTHON devce and a copy of the latest version, including the all important version information, of the Adafruit CircuitPython Bundle.

Exactly the same function (get_modules) is used to extract the metadata from the modules on both the connected device and in the bundle cache. This metadata is used to instantiate instances of the Module class which is subsequently used to facilitate the various commands the tool makes available.

These commands are defined at the very end of the code.

Unit tests can be found in the tests directory. CircUp uses pytest style testing conventions. Test functions should include a comment to describe its intention. We currently have 100% unit test coverage for all the core functionality (excluding functions used to define the CLI commands).

To run the full test suite, type:

make check

All code is formatted using the stylistic conventions enforced by black. The tidying of code formatting is part of the make check process, but you can also just use:

make tidy

Please see the output from make for more information about the various available options to help you work with the code base. TL;DR make check runs everything.

Before submitting a PR, please remember to make check. ;-)

CircUp uses the Click module to run command-line interaction. The AppDirs module is used to determine where to store user-specific assets created by the tool in such a way that meets the host operating system's usual conventions. The python-semver package is used to validate and compare the semver values associated with modules. The ubiquitous requests module is used for HTTP activity.

Documentation, generated by Sphinx, is based on this README and assembled by assets in the doc subdirectory. The latest version of the docs will be found on Read the Docs.

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

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