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Linux i2c library, support C/C++/Python
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Linux userspace i2c library.


  • Support C/C++ and Python.

  • Support Python2+, Python3+

  • Support multiple bus and devices.

  • Support 7-bit and 10-bit i2c slave address.

  • Support 1 - 4 byte internal address, auto convert.

  • Provide read/write/ioctl functions to operate i2c device.

  • Support 8/16/32/64/128/256 bytes page aligned write, read/write length are unlimited.

  • Using ioctl functions operate i2c can ignore i2c device ack signal and internal address.


sudo python install


sudo make install


sudo make install PYTHON=pythonX.X


i2c_ioctl_write (once max 16 bytes) are more efficient than i2c_write (once max 4 bytes).

/* Close i2c bus */
void i2c_close(int bus);

/* Open i2c bus, return i2c bus fd */
int i2c_open(const char *bus_name);

/* I2C file I/O read, write */
ssize_t i2c_read(const I2CDevice *device, unsigned int iaddr, void *buf, size_t len);
ssize_t i2c_write(const I2CDevice *device, unsigned int iaddr, const void *buf, size_t len);

/* I2c ioctl read, write can set i2c flags */
ssize_t i2c_ioctl_read(const I2CDevice *device, unsigned int iaddr, void *buf, size_t len);
ssize_t i2c_ioctl_write(const I2CDevice *device, unsigned int iaddr, const void *buf, size_t len);

Data structure


typedef struct i2c_device {
	int bus;			/* I2C Bus fd, return from i2c_open */
	unsigned short addr;		/* I2C device(slave) address */
	unsigned char tenbit;		/* I2C is 10 bit device address */
	unsigned char delay;		/* I2C internal operate delay, unit millisecond */
	unsigned short flags;		/* I2C i2c_ioctl_read/write flags */
	unsigned int page_bytes;    	/* I2C max number of bytes per page, 1K/2K 8, 4K/8K/16K 16, 32K/64K 32 etc */
	unsigned int iaddr_bytes;	/* I2C device internal(word) address bytes, such as: 24C04 1 byte, 24C64 2 bytes */


I2CDevice object
I2CDevice(bus, addr, tenbit=False, iaddr_bytes=1, page_bytes=8, delay=1, flags=0)
tenbit, delay, flags, page_bytes, iaddr_bytes are attributes can setter/getter after init

required args: bus, addr.
optional args: tenbit(defult False, 7-bit), delay(defualt 1ms), flags(defualt 0), iaddr_bytes(defualt 1 byte internal address), page_bytes(default 8 bytes per page).

C/C++ Usage

1. First call i2c_open open i2c bus.

int bus;

/* Open i2c bus /dev/i2c-0 */
if ((bus = i2c_open("/dev/i2c-0")) == -1) {

	/* Error process */

2. Second fill I2CDevice struct, prepare read or write.

I2CDevice device;
memset(&device, 0, sizeof(device));

/* 24C04 */
device.bus = bus;	/* Bus 0 */
device.addr = 0x50;	/* Slave address is 0x50, 7-bit */
device.iaddr_bytes = 1;	/* Device internal address is 1 byte */
device.page_bytes = 16; /* Device are capable of 16 bytes per page */

3. Call i2c_read/write or i2c_ioctl_read/write read or write i2c device.

unsigned char buffer[256];
ssize_t size = sizeof(buffer);
memset(buffer, 0, sizeof(buffer));

/* From i2c 0x0 address read 256 bytes data to buffer */
if (i2c_read(&device, 0x0, buffer, size)) != size) {

	/* Error process */

4. Close i2c bus i2c_close(bus).


Python Usage

import ctypes
import pylibi2c

# Open i2c device @/dev/i2c-0, addr 0x50.
i2c = pylibi2c.I2CDevice('/dev/i2c-0', 0x50)

# Open i2c device @/dev/i2c-0, addr 0x50, 16bits internal address
i2c = pylibi2c.I2CDevice('/dev/i2c-0', 0x50, iaddr_bytes=2)

# Set delay
i2c.delay = 10

# Set page_bytes
i2c.page_bytes = 16

# Set flags
i2c.flags = pylibi2c.I2C_M_IGNORE_NAK

# Python2
buf = bytes(bytearray(256))

# Python3
buf = bytes(256)

# Write data to i2c, buf must be read-only type
size = i2c.write(0x0, buf)

# From i2c 0x0(internal address) read 256 bytes data, using ioctl_read.
data = i2c.ioctl_read(0x0, 256)


  1. If i2c device do not have internal address, please use i2c_ioctl_read/write function for read/write, set'iaddr_bytes=0.

  2. If want ignore i2c device nak signal, please use i2c_ioctl_read/write function, set I2CDevice.falgs as I2C_M_IGNORE_NCK.

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