CircuitPython 8.1.0 Beta 0 Released! @circuitpython

From the GitHub release page:

This is CircuitPython 8.1.0-beta.0, a beta release for CircuitPython 8.1.0, and is a new unstable release.

Notable changes to 8.1.0 since 8.0.0

  • Add animated GIF support: gifio.OnDiskGif.
  • Add, for programmatic handling of safe mode.
  • Add 7-color e-ink display support.
  • Allow setting pystack size in settings.toml.
  • Add dither support to Palette.
  • Support array.extend(iterable).

Download from

Firmware downloads are available from the downloads page on The site makes it easy to select the correct file and language for your board.


To install follow the instructions in the 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).


Documentation is available in

Port status

CircuitPython has a number of “ports” that are the core implementations for different microcontroller families. Stability varies on a per-port basis. As of this release, these ports are consider stable (but see Known Issues below):

  • atmel-samd: Microchip SAMD21, SAMx5x
  • cxd56: Sony Spresense
  • espressif: Espressif ESP32, ESP32-S2, ESP32-S3, ESP32-C3
  • nrf: Nordic nRF52840, nRF52833
  • raspberrypi: Raspberry Pi RP2040
  • stm: ST STM32F4 chip family

These ports are considered alpha and will have bugs and missing functionality:

  • broadcom: Raspberry Pi boards such as RPi 4, RPi Zero 2W
  • litex: fomu
  • mimxrt10xx: NXP i.MX RT10xxx
  • stm: ST non-STM32F4 chip families

Changes since 8.0.0

Fixes and enhancements

  • Update frozen libraries. #7660. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Fix missing “soft reboot” message after ctrl-D. #7652. Thanks @xorbit.
  • Correct error reporting in SSLSocket. #7639, #7632. Thanks @jepler.
  • Initial serial earlier in boot process. #7586. Thanks @gneverov.
  • Allow setting pystack size in settings.toml. #7585. Thanks @bill88t.
  • Deinit the reset pin when displayio.I2CDisplay() fails. #7580, #7563. Thanks @Neradoc.
  • Improve boot_out.txt message truncation. #7579. Thanks @jepler.
  • Add, for programmatic handling of safe mode. #7577. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Fix incorrect exception chaining. #7580, #7566. Thanks @jepler.
  • Add animated GIF support: gifio.OnDiskGif. #7648, #7549. Thanks @gamblor21.
  • Fix missing internal initialization of display.ColorConverter objects. #7639, #7611. Thanks @gamblor21.
  • Support array.extend(iterable). #7552. Thanks @gneverov.
  • Add 7-color e-ink display support. #7497. Thanks @tannewt.
  • Add dither support to Palette. #7497. Thanks @tannewt.
  • Adding caching speed-ups to Palette and ColorConverter. #7497. Thanks @tannewt.

Port and board-specific changes


  • Use unmeasured core clock speed check. #7628. Thanks @RetiredWizard.
  • Fix neopixel_write. #7570. Thanks @RetiredWizard.


  • Implement analogbufio. #7602. Thanks @milindmovasha.
  • Improve ESP32-S2 I2S playback. #7545. Thanks @jepler.


  • Fix a number of pwmio problems. #7633. Thanks @tannewt.


  • Correct error reporting in SSLSocket. #7632, #7623. Thanks @jepler and @DavePutz.
  • Increase number of lwip timers for mDNS. #7639, #7589. Thanks @gneverov.
  • Add missing common_hal_busio_uart_never_reset(). #7581. Thanks @gneverov.
  • Fix “UART in use” message. #7605. Thanks @Neradoc.
  • Use lowest drive level for PIO (fixes Adafruit Scorpio USB resets). #7580, #7558. Thanks @jepler.


  • Fix pad assignments for busio.UART and improve pin validation. #7639, #7616. Thanks @dhalbert.


  • Update Spresense SDK to version 2.6.0. #7580, #7553. Thanks @kamtom480.

Individual boards

  • Hallowing M0: enable native adafruit_bus_device. #7655. Thanks @Neradoc.
  • PyKey18, PyKey44, PyKey87: fix number of NeoPixels. #7574 Thanks @jpconstantineau.
  • Waveshare ESP32-S2 Pico: fix PSRAM settings. #7626, #7599. Thanks @bill88t.

Documentation changes

  • Improve pwmio documentation. #7649. Thanks @jepler.
  • Fix duplicate ulab entry in help("modules"). #7639, #7601. Thanks @jepler.

Build and infrastructure changes

  • CI refactoring and improvement. #7642, #7631, #7627, #7584, #7567. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Hide unnecessary comment lines from Makefile. #7603. Thanks @bill88t.
  • Add GitHub web-based UI to create custom board builds in your fork. #7594. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Improve GitHub bug reporting template. #7571. Thanks @tekktrik.
  • Update to be compatible with sh module 2.0.0. #7566, #7564. Thanks @Neradoc.

Translation additions and improvements

  • Thanks for translations:
    • @Atalanttore (German)
    • @bergdahl (Swedish)
    • @jposada202020 (Spanish)
    • @luisan00 (Spanish)
    • @Neradoc (French)
    • @wtuemura (Portugese – Brazil)

New boards since 8.0.0

  • Adafruit HUZZAH32 Breakout. #7619. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Bangle.js. #7497. Thanks @tannewt.
  • BrainBoardz Neuron. #7530. Thanks @BrainBoardz.
  • COSMO-Pico. #7559. Thanks @startup-potech.
  • Espressif ESP32-LyraT. #7625. Thanks @ftab.
  • Hack Club Sprig. #7547. Thanks @ajs256.
  • LILYGO TEMBED ESP32S3. #7658. Thanks @titimoby.

Known issues

  • ESP32-S3 has significant issues with I2C devices that sleep or use clock stretching. Retry operations on these devices as necessary, or use ESP32-S2 boards.
  • Espressif boards have ESP-IDF storage leaks and occasionally crash after extended WiFi use.
  • See for other issues, including issues still to be addressed for:


Thank you to all who used, tested, and contributed since 8.0.0, including the contributors above, and many others on GitHub and Discord. Join us on the Discord chat to collaborate.

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