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Python Development in QMK

This document gives an overview of how QMK has structured its python code. You should read this before working on any of the python code.

Script directories

There are two places scripts live in QMK: qmk_firmware/bin and qmk_firmware/util. You should use bin for any python scripts that utilize the qmk wrapper. Scripts that are standalone and not run very often live in util.

We discourage putting anything into bin that does not utilize the qmk wrapper. If you think you have a good reason for doing so please talk to us about your use case.

Python Modules

Most of the QMK python modules can be found in qmk_firmware/lib/python. This is the path that we append to sys.path.

We have a module hierarchy under that path:

  • qmk_firmware/lib/python
    • - The CLI library we use. Will be pulled out into its own module in the future.
    • qmk - Code associated with QMK
      • cli - Modules that will be imported for CLI commands.
      • - Errors that can be raised within QMK apps
      • - Functions for working with keymaps

CLI Scripts

We have a CLI wrapper that you should utilize for any user facing scripts. We think it's pretty easy to use and it gives you a lot of nice things for free.

To use the wrapper simply place a module into qmk_firmware/lib/python/qmk/cli, and create a symlink to bin/qmk named after your module. Dashes in command names will be converted into dots so you can use hierarchy to manage commands.

When qmk is run it checks to see how it was invoked. If it was invoked as qmk the module name is take from sys.argv[1]. If it was invoked as qmk-<module-name> then everything after the first dash is taken as the module name. Dashes and underscores are converted to dots, and then qmk.cli is prepended before the module is imported.

The module uses @cli.entrypoint() and @cli.argument() decorators to define an entrypoint, which is where execution starts.

Example CLI Script

We have provided a QMK Hello World script you can use as an example. To run it simply run qmk hello or qmk-hello. The source code is listed below.

from milc import cli

@cli.argument('-n', '--name', default='World', help='Name to greet.')
@cli.entrypoint('QMK Python Hello World.')
def main(cli):
    cli.echo('Hello, %s!',