The ports/espressif build setup is a rather involved process. Please read the README.md in that directory. It has instructions that also refer to further instructions in the ESP-IDF documentation.

On MacOS, you will need to install cmake and ninja:

brew install cmake
brew install ninja

On Linux you probably need to install ninja-build and cmake.

sudo apt install ninja-build cmake

The ESP-IDF expects there to be a python command which runs python3. On Ubuntu, there is no plain python by default, so install this simple package which links python to python3.

sudo apt install python-is-python3

Once you have the prerequisites installed, change to the ports/espressif directory, and run the install.sh script. You only need to do this once.

cd circuitpython/ports/espressif
esp-idf/install.sh

After this, in each fresh terminal window in which you are doing builds, you need to use esp-idf/export.sh in order to set up the correct PATH and other environment variables.

# Do this in each new terminal.
cd circuitpython/ports/espressif
source esp-idf/export.sh

export.sh will suggest that you use idf.py to do a build after you run it. But we don't use idf.py. Instead, use make, for example:

make BOARD=adafruit_magtag_2.9_grayscale

This guide was first published on Apr 26, 2018. It was last updated on Apr 26, 2018.

This page (Espressif Builds) was last updated on Jul 04, 2022.

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