CircuitPython 5.0.0 Alpha 1 Released! — @adafruit @CircuitPython

This is an Alpha Release

This is alpha release number 1 of CircuitPython 5.0.0. Alpha releases are meant for testing. Download this release from Use the latest stable 4.x release when first starting with CircuitPython.

When you find a bug please check the current known issues and file an issue if something isn’t already known.


5.0.0 is the latest major revision of CircuitPython. It features many improvements and enhancements to displayio, including grayscale and e-paper displays, extensive additions and changes to BLE support, and PWM audio support.


To install follow the instructions in our new Welcome to CircuitPython! guide. To install the latest libraries, see this page in that guide.

Try the latest version of the Mu editor for creating and editing your CircuitPython programs and for easy access to the CircuitPython serial connection (the REPL).

Most builds are available as both UF2 and bin files here along with test builds.

New Features, Updates, and Fixes since 4.1.0

  • displayio has been extensively improved and extended. Thanks @tannewt. Other contributors also noted.
    • Add support for monochrome and grayscale displays.
    • Add support for many kinds of e-paper/e-ink displays
    • Add support for I2C displays such as OLED displays.
    • The displayio refresh API has been revamped to be simpler. This is an incompatible change.
    • Clean up display when terminal starts starts. Thanks @brentru.
    • Add fill_row() and add rotation property. Thanks @dastels.
  • BLE support has had extensive additions and changes. Thanks @dhalbert.
    • Add Central support: scan for advertisements and act as a service client. (Central and Scanner).
    • A Peripheral can now discover services provided by a central, and act as a BLE client in addition to being a server.
    • Descriptors can now be discovered and specified.
    • Attribute data lengths can now be specified.
    • Add security support, including legacy pairing and encryption, and attribute security. Bonding implementation is in progress.
    • The default CIRCUITPY device name is now CIRCUITPYxxxx, where xxxx is the last four hex digits of the address, allowing multiple devices to be distinguished.
    • The bleio module has been renamed to _bleio to indicate that it is meant to be used only for writing BLE libraries, and that its API may change between CircuitPython minor versions. There are many incompatible changes since 4.0.0. The _bleio API is a work in progress and will change as 5.0.0 progresses. Please use the latest pre-release adafruit_ble library for end-user BLE programming. The adafruit_ble library is evolving too but will hide underlying changes in _bleio.
  • Audio changes and fixes:
    • Add PWMAudioOut to provide audio output on nRF boards. Thanks @jepler.
    • Fix Audio DMA hangs. Thanks @jepler.
    • Move Mixer, RawSample, and WaveFile to the new module audiocore. However, for backwards compatibility, they are still available in audioio. They will be removed from audioio in 6.0.0. Thanks @jepler.
    • Allow using a pre-allocated buffer in WaveFile. Thanks @deshipu.
  • The generic touchio support implemented for nRF is now available for all boards without specialized touch support, notably SAMD51 boards. Thanks @nickzoic and @dhalbert.
  • Add I2C.writeto_then_readfrom(). Deprecate stop= arg. Thanks @tannewt. All applicable libraries were updated to take advantage of this change. Thanks @kattni, @caternuson, and @jerryneedell for testing all these changes on hardware.
  • Fix a bug on nRF boards without 32Khz crystals. Thanks @bmeisels and @dhalbert.
  • Fix a pin validation bug in rotaryio. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Update to latest version of TinyUSB. Thanks @hathach for continuing improvements and fixes to TinyUSB.
  • Fix potential crashes in time methods. Thanks @jepler.
  • Fix USB hangs while using adafruit_hid. Thanks @jepler.
  • Enable LTO compilation on nRF boards. Thanks @jepler.
  • Build feature enhancements to support minimal build when working on a port. Thanks @hierophect.
  • Add scaling support and fix some bugs to _stage. Thanks @deshipu.
  • Fix nRF timer definitions. Thanks @ntavish.
  • Add on_next_reset() to nRF build. Thanks jepler.
  • Add more Pinyin translations. Thanks @hexthat.
  • Automate support matrix (which boards support which modules) in documentations. Thanks @sommersoft.
  • Make sure new board definitions are being built. Thanks @C47D.
  • Update Arch Linux gcc installation instructions. Thanks @AnthonyDiGirolamo.
  • The continuous integration builds have been moved from Travis to GitHub actions. More simultaneous jobs are available, speeding up the builds considerably. This does not affect the code, but speeds up the PR cycle. Thanks @tannewt.

New and Improved Boards

Breaking Changes from 4.x!

  • See above, especially in displayio, bleio (now _bleio), and audioio.

Known Issues



Thank you to all who used, tested, contributed, helped out, and participated on GitHub and/or Discord:
@clininja, @anecdata, @AnthonyDiGirolamo, @arturo182, @ATMakersBill, @bmeisels, @brentru, @C47D, @caternuson, @CedarGroveStudios, @charlesburnaford, @dastels, @Ddbricetti, @DaveP, @deshipu, @devoh, @dhalbert, @fede2, @hathach, @hexthat, @hierophect, @hybotics, @jasonp, @jepler, @jerryneedell, @Josh, @JP, @kattni, @kevinjwalters, @klardotsh, @ladyada, @madbodger, @MakerMelissa, @matthewnewberg, @MikeB, @MrCertainly, @mytechnotalent, @nickzoic, @ntavish, @ntoll, @oldcrow, @pt, @reply2jh, @rhooper, @s-light, @sajattack, @siddacious, @sommersoft, @TammyMakesThings, @tannewt, @TG-Techie, @wallarug and surely more we have missed. Join us on the Discord chat to collaborate.


Documentation is available in

Here are all the changes since 4.1.0.

This release is based on MicroPython 1.9.4 @25ae98f. Support upstream MicroPython by purchasing a PyBoard (from Adafruit here).


Check out this guide for info on common problems with CircuitPython. If you are still having issues, then post to the Adafruit Support Forums and join Discord.

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1 Comment

  1. Will displayio use a different amount of memory now? More or less?

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