CircuitPython from Adafruit runs on the Raspberry Pi Pico

Image from Les Pounder on Twitter!

As highlighted by Les Pounder on Twitter and again by ‘tannewt’ (Scott Shawcroft) on the Raspberry Pi Forums, Adafruit’s CircuitPython will run on the Raspberry Pi Pico and, more generally, RP2040 boards, such as Adafruit’s upcoming Feather 2040.

According to this post on the Forum you just follow these instructions:

You load it just like loading MicroPython.

While CircuitPython is based on MicroPython, there are some key differences why you may want to use CircuitPython instead of MicroPython.

  1. Editing code is simpler because CircuitPython presents a CIRCUITPY drive with a code.py file on it you edit. When you save the file, your code is automatically rerun. See Welcome to CircuitPython for details.
  2. There are 260+ libraries for the standard CircuitPython API. Most of these will already work. Listed here
  3. Tons of guides and tutorials at https://learn.adafruit.com/category/circuitpython
  4. Most CircuitPython libraries also work on Raspberry Pis via the Blinka library.

You may want to use MicroPython for:

  1. Advanced APIs such as interrupts and threading.
  2. Complete PIO API (CircuitPython’s support is incomplete)
  3. Using existing MicroPython code

To get started, download CircuitPython for the Pico from circuitpython.org: https://circuitpython.org/board/raspberry_pi_pico/

For now, click “Absolute Newest“, then click your language code such as “en_US”, and finally download the UF2 file at the top. That will be the latest and greatest version of CircuitPython. As support matures, the download page will have beta and then stable releases.

After dragging the CircuitPython UF2 to RPI-RP2 the chip will reset and show a CIRCUITPY drive.

See the Welcome to CircuitPython and CircuitPython Essentials guides for CircuitPython basics. API Docs are here though they won’t include RP2040-specific modules until support is merged in. A Pico specific guide that will grow in time is here.

Join the Adafruit Discord for #help-with-circuitpython and feel free to mention Scott Shawcroft (@tannewt) for RP2040-specific questions.

The current code is available here: https://github.com/adafruit/circuitpython/pull/4031

3 comments for “CircuitPython from Adafruit runs on the Raspberry Pi Pico

  1. Wonderful news. I’ve been using CircuitPython with Adafruit boards for ages and it’s great to be able to buy a British Board at last.

  2. I’m so glad for this, I’ve been working with CircuitPython for projects over the last year or so and much prefer it over Arduino and MicroPython. I’m really surprised Pi Foundation didn’t work with Adafruit to do this from the off!

    • Who knows? Though I suspect that it was nothing to do with the Foundation. Trading like to very much do “their own thing”, which would explain why they don’t always play well with others!

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