CircuitPython 8.1.0 Beta 1 Released! @circuitpython

From the GitHub release page:

This is CircuitPython 8.1.0-beta.1, 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).
  • Add bitmaptools.drawpolygon().
  • Add ESP-NOW support on Espressif.

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 8.1.0-beta.0

  • Handle settings.toml read error properly. #7812, #7810. Thanks @jepler and @dhalbert.
  • Handle HID reports from host with no report ID. #7806. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Restart web workflow after deep sleep. #7814. Thanks @thess.
  • Add unsigned ints and 64-bit support to msgpack.unpack. #7802. Thanks @Neradoc.
  • Fix tricolor EPD support. #7777. Thanks @tannewt.
  • Check struct operation argument counts. #7772. Thanks @jepler.
  • Improve supervisor.runtime.set_stack_limit() error checking. #7767. Thanks @tannewt.
  • Update tinyusb. #7763, #7702. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Correct vectorio location property. #7758. Thanks @jposada202020.
  • Rework pystack logic. #7748. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Fix double autoreload. #7748. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Add disk info API to web workflow. #7746. Thanks @FoamyGuy.
  • Add deinit() to gifio.OnDiskGif. #7712 Thanks @gamblor21.
  • Prevent recursive calls to websocket background task. #7694. Thanks @DavePutz.
  • Improve argument validation for aesio.AES.rekey(). #7684. Thanks @isacben.
  • Allow background tasks and interrupts during bitmaptools boundary fill. #7678. Thanks @FoamyGuy.
  • Fix OnDiskGif delay. #7669. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Improve validation of displayio.Bitmap arguments. #7548. Thanks @FoamyGuy.
  • Add bitmaptools.drawpolygon(). #7471. Thanks @matemaciek.

Fixes and enhancements

  • Check for read-only display.Bitmap as needed. #7775. Thanks @tannewt.

Port and board-specific changes



  • Correct ESP32 CPU frequency. #7815. Thanks @bill88t.
  • Set socket internally to non-blocking more carefully. #7757, #7679. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Improve board definitions for some ESP32-S3 boards. #7713. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Use queue for multi-part SPI transactions. #7686. Thanks @gamblor21.
  • Add ESP-NOW support. #7809, #7797, #7470. Thanks @microdev1 and @Neradoc.


  • Update to NXP SDK repo for builds. #7766. Thanks @tannewt.
  • Implement audiobusio.I2SOut #7805, #7764. Thanks @jepler.
  • Implement audiobusio.PWMAudioOut #7805, #7785. Thanks @jepler.
  • Improve performance. #7724. Thanks @tannewt.
  • Add rotaryio.IncrementalEncoder. #7690. Thanks @jepler.
  • Fix double-tap to bootloader. #7674. Thanks @jepler.


  • Don’t set tcp_err callback for listen sockets. #7813. Thanks @gneverov.
  • Fix socket exception raising. #7779. Thanks @jepler.
  • Validate program length. #7731. Thanks @kreasteve.
  • Update pico-sdk to 1.50; update cyw43-driver to 0.9.0. #7697. Thanks @dhalbert.


  • Turn off mkfs() for >4GB on all SAMD21 boards to save space and document. #7739. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Run background tasks between chunks of multi-chunk DMA. #7701. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Allow SPI writes >64kB. #7673. Thanks @gamblor21.



  • Allow specifying crystal drive strength on STM32L4. #7663. Thanks @blues.

Individual boards

  • Adafruit Metro M7 1011: swap ESP32 RX and TX pins. #7776. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Benjamin Shockley Fig Pi: update. #7736. Thanks @bwshockley.
  • BrainBoardz Neuron: update. #7705. Thanks @BrainBoardz.
  • DoIt ESP32 DevKit V1: fix pins. #7719. Thanks @kreier.
  • LOLIN S2 Pico: add on-board display support. #7754. Thanks @Neradoc.
  • M5stack Stick-C: many fixes and additions. #7818. Thanks @CDarius.
  • Swan R5 LSE: increase crystal drive strength. #7663. Thanks @blues.
  • Waveshare ESP32-S2-Pico: improve board definition. #7715. Thanks @bill88t.

Documentation changes

  • Fix missing jquery in ReadTheDocs. #7799. Thanks @FoamyGuy.
  • Fix struct.pack() signature. #7780. Thanks @jepler.
  • All builds now have f-strings, so don’t need to suggest .format(). #7759. Thanks @jposada202020.
  • Correct VfsFat type annotation and signatures. #7755. Thanks @isacben.
  • Update gifio.OnDiksGif example. #7737. Thanks @ckartchner.
  • Add port-specific modules to board support matrix. #7725. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Fix broken message and fix TimeAlarm signature. #7723. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Document aesio.AES.rekey(). #7684. Thanks @isacben.
  • Document how to use OnDiskGif with direct display access. #7816, #7668. Thanks @jepler, @TheKitty, and @dhalbert.

Build and infrastructure changes

  • Check a few more files with pre-commit. #7792. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Fix checking to run all jobs. #7765. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Remove unused submodule usb_descriptor. #7763. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Use blobless partial clone for make fetch-submodules if available. #7788, #7763. Thanks @dhalbert.
  • Have CI look for changes in port-specific bindings. #7762. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Add codespell to pre-commit, and correct the typos it pointed out. #7751. Thanks @hathach.
  • Note in docs that uncrustify 0.75 should not be used. #7717. Thanks @jepler.
  • Improve choosing which jobs to run based on commits. #7708. Thanks @microdev1.
  • Improve CI run choices. #7704. Thanks @microdev1.
  • CI refactoring and improvments. #7676. Thanks @microdev1.

Translation additions and improvements

  • Thanks for translations:
    • @Atalanttore (German)
    • @bergdahl (Swedish)
    • @hexthat (Chinese – Pinyin)
    • @jposada202020 (Spanish)
    • @Saentis (German)
    • @wtuemura (Portugese – Brazil)

New boards since 8.1.0-beta.0

  • 01Space LCD042. #7760. Thanks @Neradoc.
  • Adafruit Feather RP2040 DVI. #7798, #7710. Thanks @PaintYourDragon and @kattni.
  • Adafruit Feather RP2040 EPD. #7777. Thanks @tannewt.
  • Adafruit Feather RP2040 RFM. #7807. Thanks @kattni.
  • Boardsource Block. #7237. Thanks @kdb424.
  • Deneyap Kart. #7791, #7783. Thanks @deneyapkart.
  • Deneyap Kart 1A. #7791, #7783. Thanks @deneyapkart.
  • Deneyap Kart 1A v2. #7791. Thanks @deneyapkart.
  • Deneyap Kart G. #7791, #7783. Thanks @deneyapkart.
  • Deneyap Mini. #7791. Thanks @deneyapkart.
  • Deneyap Mini v2. #7791. Thanks @deneyapkart.
  • Lilygo TTGO T-Display. #7750. Thanks @Neradoc.
  • Lilygo T-Watch 2020 V3. #7745. Thanks @Neradoc.
  • M5Stack AtomS3 Lite. #7801. Thanks @CDarius.

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 8.1.0-beta.0, including the contributors above, and many others on GitHub and Discord. Join us on the Discord chat to collaborate.

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