The Unix version

The “unix” port requires a standard Unix-like environment with gcc and GNU make. This includes Linux, BSD, macOS, and Windows Subsystem for Linux. The x86 and x64 architectures are supported (i.e. x86 32- and 64-bit), as well as ARM and MIPS. Making a full-featured port to another architecture requires writing some assembly code for the exception handling and garbage collection. Alternatively, a fallback implementation based on setjmp/longjmp can be used.

To build (see section below for required dependencies):

$ cd ports/unix
$ make submodules
$ make

Then to give it a try:

$ ./build-standard/micropython
>>> list(5 * x + y for x in range(10) for y in [4, 2, 1])

Use CTRL-D (i.e. EOF) to exit the shell.

Learn about command-line options (in particular, how to increase heap size which may be needed for larger applications):

$ ./build-standard/micropython -h

To run the complete testsuite, use:

$ make test

The Unix port comes with a built-in package manager called mip, e.g.:

$ ./build-standard/micropython -m mip install hmac


$ ./build-standard/micropython
>>> import mip
>>> mip.install("hmac")

Browse available modules at micropython-lib. See Package management for more information about mip.

External dependencies

The libffi library and pkg-config tool are required. On Debian/Ubuntu/Mint derivative Linux distros, install build-essential(includes toolchain and make), libffi-dev, and pkg-config packages.

Other dependencies can be built together with MicroPython. This may be required to enable extra features or capabilities, and in recent versions of MicroPython, these may be enabled by default. To build these additional dependencies, in the unix port directory first execute:

$ make submodules

This will fetch all the relevant git submodules (sub repositories) that the port needs. Use the same command to get the latest versions of submodules as they are updated from time to time. After that execute:

$ make deplibs

This will build all available dependencies (regardless whether they are used or not). If you intend to build MicroPython with additional options (like cross-compiling), the same set of options should be passed to make deplibs. To actually enable/disable use of dependencies, edit the ports/unix/ file, which has inline descriptions of the options. For example, to build the SSL module, MICROPY_PY_SSL should be set to 1.

Debug Symbols

By default, builds are stripped of symbols and debug information to save size.

To build a debuggable version of the Unix port, there are two options

  1. Run make [other arguments] DEBUG=1. Note setting DEBUG also reduces the optimisation level, so it’s not a good option for builds that also want the best performance.

  2. Run make [other arguments] STRIP=. Note that the value of STRIP is empty. This will skip the build step that strips symbols and debug information, but changes nothing else in the build configuration.