by microsoft

microsoft /pxt-microbit

A Blocks / JavaScript code editor for the micro:bit built on Microsoft MakeCode

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micro:bit target for PXT

Build Status pxt-testghpkgs

pxt-microbit is a Microsoft Programming Experience Toolkit (PXT) target that allows you to program a BBC micro:bit. * pxt-microbit beta,

(>2.0) requires pxt v5., which is currently in the master branch of pxt. * pxt-microbit ``v2.0.
, branch
, requires [pxt v5.15.\*](https://github.com/microsoft/pxt/tree/stable5.15). It is the servicing branch for live editor.
* pxt-microbit
requires pxt v4.4, which is currently in the [stable4.4 branch of pxt](https://github.com/Microsoft/pxt/tree/stable4.4).
* pxt-microbit
`` is in the v0 branch of this repository

Issue tracking

Please add an issue if you discover an (unreported) bug.

Developing new extensions

Authoring and testing of new extensions can be done directly from the web editor. See our documentation on how to get started. If you want to run the editor locally, keep reading.

Local server setup

The local server lets you to run the editor and serve the documentation from your own computer. It is meant for a single developer used and not designed to serve the editor to a large amount of users.

  1. Install Node.js 8.9.4 or higher.
  2. Clone this repository.
    git clone https://github.com/microsoft/pxt-microbit
    cd pxt-microbit
  3. Install the PXT command line (add
    for Mac/Linux shells).
    npm install -g pxt
  4. Install the pxt-microbit dependencies.
    npm install

Go to the Running section.

Developer Setup

This is the typical setup used by the MakeCode team to work on the microbit.

  1. Install Node.js 8.9.4 or higher.
  2. Install Docker if you plan to build
  3. Clone the pxt repository.
    git clone https://github.com/microsoft/pxt
    cd pxt
  4. Install the dependencies of pxt and build it
    npm install
    npm run build
    cd ..
  5. Clone the pxt-common-packages repository
    git clone https://github.com/microsoft/pxt-common-packages
    cd pxt-common-packages
    npm install
    cd ..
  6. Clone this repository.
    git clone https://github.com/microsoft/pxt-microbit
    cd pxt-microbit
  7. Install the PXT command line (add
    for Mac/Linux shells).
    npm install -g pxt
  8. Install the pxt-microbit dependencies.
    npm install
  9. Link pxt-microbit back to base pxt repo (add
    for Mac/Linux shells). This step is only required if you intend to make changes to pxt and/or pxt-common-packages repos. If all you want is serve a local Makecode, you can skip this step.
    pxt link ../pxt
    pxt link ../pxt-common-packages
    Note the above command assumes the folder structure of
    |       |                        |
    pxt      pxt-common-packages  pxt-microbit


Run this command from inside pxt-microbit to open a local web server

pxt serve
If the local server opens in the wrong browser, make sure to copy the URL containing the local token. Otherwise, the editor will not be able to load the projects.

If you need to modify the

files (and have installed yotta), enable yotta compilation using the
pxt serve --local

If you want to speed up the build, you can use the

option, which skips building and simply refreshes the target information
pxt serve --rebundle


Sometimes, your built folder might be in a bad state, clean it and try again.

pxt clean

Building with CODAL locally

The following commands force a local build using CODAL.

pxt buildtarget --local

To disable docker, run


If you are also modifiying CODAL, consider running

pxt clean
to ensure the proper branch is picked up.

Modifying DAL/CODAL locally

  • follow instructions above until
    pxt serve
  • open editor on localhost and create a project
  • do
    ; you can add
    pxt help
    has help on these
  • find project folder under
    , typically
  • if you're going to modify
    files in PXT, replace
    "core": "*"
    "core": "file:../../libs/core"
    ; similarly
    "radio": "file:../../libs/radio"
  • you can edit
    to change the PXT side of the program; you can also edit it from the localhost editor; note that
    in the localhost editor will produce different binary than command line, as it builds in the cloud and uses tagged version of CODAL
  • in that folder run
    pxt build
    - this will clone codal somewhere under
    (depends on build engine and docker)
  • similarly, you can run
    pxt deploy
    (or just
    which is the same) - it will build and copy to
  • assuming the build folder is under
    , go to
    and run
    code *
  • in git tab, checkout appropriate branches (they are all in detached head state to the way we tag releases)
  • modify files, run
    , see effects
  • you can also run
    pxt gdb
    to debug; this requires
  • other commands using
    pxt dmesg
    which dumps
    buffer and
    pxt heap
    which can be used to visualize PXT heap (and CODAL's one to some extent)

Updating dal.d.ts

cd libs/blocksprj
rm -rf built
PXT_FORCE_LOCAL=1 PXT_COMPILE_SWITCHES=csv---mbcodal pxt build
PXT_FORCE_LOCAL=1 PXT_COMPILE_SWITCHES=csv---mbcodal pxt builddaldts
mv dal.d.ts ../core


Make sure to pull changes from all repos regularly. More instructions are at https://github.com/Microsoft/pxt#running-a-target-from-localhost

Update playlists in markdown

Get a Google API key and store it in the

environment variables (turn on data from the app).
pxt downloadplaylists


The pxt-microbit target depends on several other repos. The main ones are: - https://github.com/Microsoft/pxt, the PXT framework - https://github.com/Microsoft/pxt-common-packages, common APIs accross various MakeCode editors - https://github.com/lancaster-university/microbit, basic wrapper around the DAL - https://github.com/lancaster-university/microbit-dal


See the MakeCode blog.

Code of Conduct

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact [email protected] with any additional questions or comments.


MICROSOFT, the Microsoft Logo, and MAKECODE are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. They can only be used for the purposes described in and in accordance with Microsoft’s Trademark and Brand guidelines published at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/trademarks/usage/general.aspx. If the use is not covered in Microsoft’s published guidelines or you are not sure, please consult your legal counsel or MakeCode team ([email protected]).

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