1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2014 2:20 AM by MichaelM

    Python with Galileo


      Hi Guys,

      I'm starting a project with Galileo and would prefer to code it in Python. I was wondering if I could access the board's pins, use the minipcie, use shields, etc. with Python (in Linux, of course). Any and all suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Python with Gallileo
          Clayton Hofrock

          I have put together a python library for Galileo. Right now it has the ability to toggle Digital Pins, read from Digital Pins, read Analog Pins, and a few other basic commands. It has a few examples (ported from Arduino IDE example) in it too.


          I am looking into publishing this to a repository so everyone can use it and help expand it.

          • 2. Re: Python with Gallileo

            yep, you can- you can go from scratch (not that difficult, you just need the 'IOMappings' doc in the documents section of this site), otherwise I believe somebody has been working on a python library for this exact purpose, which should be available on github or some such service pretty soon.

            EDIT: didn't see chofrock's comment above- that's what I was referring to.


            If you're going the do-it-yourself route, I gave a brief explanation of how the pin muxing works which may help you understand (copied and pasted below from previous post- this example shows commands for a linux shell, but easy to emulate in python, all you're doing is writing to/reading from files):NOTE: you need the IOMappings.pdf document to follow along with this.




            This diagram warrants a bit of explanation. below is a simple example of controlling a GPIO from the linux command prompt (let's use gpio3 as an example).


            echo "3" > /sys/class/gpio/export                    //write a "3" to the export file, which reserves gpio3 for use

            echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio3/direction   //sets gpio3 as an output

            echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio3/value           //sets gpio3 high

            echo "0" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio3/value           //sets gpio3 low

            echo "3" > /sys/class/gpio/unexport               //unexport gpio3- can now be used by something/someone else


            now, this holds true for Galileo, except for one small detail;

            most of the I/Os are behind a mux to allow multiple functions for one pin (no native pin muxing on Quark).

            In practice, this means that if you want to set one GPIO to high, you actually have to export and perform a write operation ontwo GPIOs.

            Let's walk through an example of this with the I/O mapping PDF. We're going to set pin 0 on the arduino header to high.

            Take a look at the first table, labelled "I/O Mappings". in the first column labelled "Arduino IDE ID" we have all the pin numbers from the arduino header. Take the first value which is IO0- this is the pin we're looking for. Now follow along in the row until you come to the '"Linux" column- which contains a value of 50.

            This means that pin 0 on the arduino header corresponds to gpio50 in sysfs (/sys/class/gpio/gpio50).

            However, if we want to access this pin, we first have to set the appropriate mux value. So, now look at the "I/O function muxing" table- the first two colums are "0" and "1". under the "1" column, find IO0, and follow the row along to the "Linux GPIO ID" column, which contains a value of 40.

            So, now we know that, in order to set IO0 high, we need to first set gpio40 high and then gpio50.


            echo "40" > /sys/class/gpio/export                    //write a "40" to the export file, which reserves gpio40 for use

            echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio40/direction    //sets gpio40 as an output

            echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio40/value            //sets gpio40 high

            echo "50" > /sys/class/gpio/export                    //write a "50" to the export file, which reserves gpio50 for use

            echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio50/direction    //sets gpio50 as an output

            echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio50/value            //sets gpio50 high

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Python with Gallileo
              Clayton Hofrock

              Oh, and I developed my Library mainly from the information that Sergey has in his blog post http://www.malinov.com/Home/sergey-s-blog/intelgalileo-programminggpiofromlinux


              The diagram with all the muxes helps out. Saying it is one thing, seeing the schematic for me was very helpful.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Python with Gallileo

                Thanks. That was really helpful. Are you aware of a way to integrate the commands into Python, or will I have to set it up so that the code triggers a separate script?

                • 5. Re: Python with Gallileo

                  Your link helped me out a lot. Any idea when your library is going to be released?

                  • 6. Re: Python with Gallileo

                    "integrate the commands into python"

                    I dont know what you mean. those commands are just writing values to files- i.e.

                    echo "40" > /sys/class/gpio/export  means "write '40' to this file /sys/class/gpio/export"

                    So you just need to know basic file i/o in python. which is super easy. and If you don't know it then it'll take you about 3 minutes to learn.


                    the above as a python script would be something like;



                    with open("/sys/class/gpio/export", "r") as fh:


                    • 7. Re: Python with Gallileo
                      IRCAnonymous IRCAnonymous

                      I understand the "system" api, as well as the linux commands that were illustrated here. I have a related problem, which is that I have installed


                      unzipping that 7z archive to my sd card, but I do not have a python interpreter in the installation


                      The SD Card contains

                      10/05/2013  12:35 PM    <DIR>          .

                      10/05/2013  12:35 PM    <DIR>          ..

                      10/05/2013  12:35 PM    <DIR>          boot

                      09/30/2013  07:23 PM         2,113,856 bzImage

                      09/30/2013  07:28 PM         1,441,609 core-image-minimal-initramfs-clanton.cpio.gz

                      09/30/2013  07:25 PM       314,572,800 image-full-clanton.ext3

                                     3 File(s)    318,128,265 bytes

                                     3 Dir(s)  515,875,467,264 bytes free


                      And after booting, and telneting to the system I see the following :


                        Poky 9.0 (Yocto Project 1.4 Reference Distro) 1.4.1 clanton


                        / # uname -a

                          Linux clanton 3.8.7-yocto-standard #1 Mon Sep 16 14:59:19 IST 2013 i586 GNU/Linux


                      When I then attempt to find python, I have no luck :


                      / # ls /usr/bin/python

                      ls: /usr/bin/python: No such file or directory

                      / # python

                      /bin/sh: python: not found


                      I am clearly missing something. I'm not installing the "LITTLE" Linux installation, and I've been reading that the main linux installation for galileo contains goodies like python and node.js. Any help would be appreciated greatly.

                      • 8. Re: Python with Gallileo

                        yes, Python and node.js (among others packages) are on thew SD image. If you're not finding any python installation then your board isn't booting from SD. Did you do the firmware upgrade from the IDE? The board will not boot from SD if you haven't done the firmware upgrade.

                        • 9. Re: Python with Gallileo
                          IRCAnonymous IRCAnonymous

                          arduino_4_life, thanks for the update. I've moved the discussion to its own thread. I'd like to credit you with the answer. Would you like to copy your response there ? The link in Linux install without access to Python

                          • 10. Re: Python with Gallileo
                            Clayton Hofrock

                            There will probably be a more offical release of the Python library in the future, in the meantime, I have put a copy onto github:


                            galileo-chofrock/pyGalileo · GitHub

                            • 11. Re: Python with Gallileo

                              Carl thank you for posting that. With quite a bit of beating on openssl, my Galileo Git was able to clone your library. I expect it will be very useful.

                              • 12. Re: Python with Gallileo

                                It is interesting, the Fade Sketch which a python translation is shown in your example directory, does not do PWM on pin 9. Neither does implementing the file system write example that Sergey Malinov shows in his example shell lines,


                                However, running the fade sketch in the Arduino examples does work!


                                Have rebuilt the kernel with Sergey Malinov's fix for the correct speed of I2C communication, thought it could have been the source of the issue, but, no luck!


                                Any explanations from anyone?

                                • 13. Re: Python with Gallileo
                                  Clayton Hofrock

                                  I found that the Fade example works, kind of. 


                                  In order to get it to work, you need to power down the Galileo, boot it up, and run the fade script first before any other scripts.


                                  The fade script will work once. If you try to run it again, it will not work.


                                  The fade script will not work if any other script has been run.


                                  I have absolutely no idea why this is happening. My thoughts are there is some mux or other GPIO register that is not getting setup correctly? I could not figure it out though.

                                  • 14. Re: Python with Gallileo



                                      we have a project where you can do this directly from the browser, it is called Wyliodrin (www.wyliodrin.com). let us know if it works for you and if you have any feedback, we would be happy to listen to it.



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