Unicorn Engine VS MicroPython

Compare Unicorn Engine vs MicroPython and see what are their differences.

Unicorn Engine

Unicorn CPU emulator framework (ARM, AArch64, M68K, Mips, Sparc, PowerPC, RiscV, S390x, TriCore, X86) (by unicorn-engine)


MicroPython - a lean and efficient Python implementation for microcontrollers and constrained systems (by micropython)
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Unicorn Engine MicroPython
13 188
6,647 17,233
2.2% 1.7%
6.8 9.7
25 days ago 5 days ago
GNU General Public License v3.0 only MIT
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.

Unicorn Engine

Posts with mentions or reviews of Unicorn Engine. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-08-10.
  • Show HN: Tetris, but the blocks are ARM instructions that execute in the browser
    3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 10 Aug 2023
    OFRAK Tetris is a project I started at work about two weeks ago. It's a web-based game that works on desktop and mobile. I made it for my company to bring to events like DEF CON, and to promote our binary analysis and patching framework called OFRAK.

    In the game, 32-bit, little-endian ARM assembly instructions fall, and you can modify the operands before executing them on a CPU emulator. There are two segments mapped – one for instructions, and one for data (though both have read, write, and execute permissions). Your score is a four byte signed integer stored at the virtual address pointed to by the R12 register, and the goal is to use the instructions that fall to make the score value in memory as high as possible. When it's game over, you can download your game as an ELF to relive the glory in GDB on your favorite ARM device.

    The CPU emulator is a version of Unicorn (https://www.unicorn-engine.org/) that has been cross-compiled to WebAssembly (https://alexaltea.github.io/unicorn.js/), so everything on the page runs in the browser without the need for any complicated infrastructure on the back end.

    Since I've only been working on this for a short period of time leading up to its debut at DEF CON, there are still many more features I'd eventually like to implement. These include adding support for other ISAs besides ARM, adding an instruction reference manual, and lots of little cleanups, bug fixes, and adjustments.

    My highest score is 509,644,979, but my average is about 131,378.

    I look forward to feedback, bug reports, feature requests, and strategy discussions!

  • It Takes 6 Days to Change 1 Line of Code
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 16 Jul 2023
    Entails hundreds of hours of single-stepping through that opcode in Linux kernel using an indirect operand pointing toward its own opcode (self-modifying code).

    Even the extraordinaire Fabrice Bellard (author of QEMU) admitted that it is broke and did a total rewrite, which fixed tons of other issues.


  • QEMU Version 7.0.0 Released
    5 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 20 Apr 2022
    This is how I found out a snippet of assembly code that can actually distinguished between a KVM hypervisor and most of today’s emulator.


  • Can you make a MacOS Server on the Raspberry Pi for iMessage bridging server?
    4 projects | /r/helpdesk | 3 Jun 2021
    Actually, that gives me an idea. Unicorn Engine (https://github.com/unicorn-engine/unicorn) is FOSS and claims to be able to emulate many CPU architectures like x86. Do you think it could be possible to just run a regular Hackintosh setup through Unicorn Engine‘s x86 emulator? Definitely it would be very slow, and there is chance that it will just not work, but that would make the process fairly easy as Hackintosh setup is pretty well documented. Though I have to admit that I only just found Unicorn Engine and I can find almost no documentation for it other than on their github. I would be a bit skeptical of unicorn engine, but do you think that this could be possible?
  • TIL That Flatpak apps can emulate non-native apps like Apple Rosetta. (TL;DR on bottom)
    5 projects | /r/linux | 7 May 2021
    https://www.unicorn-engine.org/ for example.


Posts with mentions or reviews of MicroPython. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-06-14.
  • New Functionality: Bluetooth for Raspberry Pi Pico W
    3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 14 Jun 2023
    This is the PR where the work is being merged into ‘upstream’ micropython for those who are interested. I have been following this side February. Very interesting to see https://github.com/micropython/micropython/pull/10739
  • Makefile vs Cmake - Objective comparison ?
    2 projects | /r/embedded | 11 Jun 2023
    On a larger project like this, it generally feels like new build features that take any of us a couple of hours to get working in make, might take a couple of days to replicate on cmake. One recent example of this is build variants: https://github.com/micropython/micropython/pull/9056
  • Question about programming arduino
    2 projects | /r/arduino | 3 Jun 2023
  • Why/how to implement scripting languages with C/C++ codebase.
    3 projects | /r/embedded | 30 May 2023
    On bare metal/RTOS embedded platforms, the scripting language is used instead of C/C++ to program the device. Common examples are Lua and Micropython, but JavaScript and Ruby have also been used this way.
  • What's your Python story?
    2 projects | /r/Python | 21 May 2023
    I now use Python everywhere. Desktop (PySide), embedded (MicroPython), web dev (React via Transcrypt), mobile (Kivy), and just general scripting. I love the versatility of Python, the ease of reading it without the visual cruft of other languages, and the availability of existing libraries that do just about everything you can think of. I also agree with the OP on the welcoming attitude of the Python community. The fact that Python is used in so many different areas leads to many new learning experiences when talking to other Python developers.
  • What firmware to use?
    2 projects | /r/esp32 | 7 May 2023
    I would suggest that installing and using MicroPython to do this would be much easier.
  • Only way I can connect to micropython through serial connection is Arduino IDE
    2 projects | /r/esp32 | 7 May 2023
    I already flashed esp32-20230426-v1.20.0.bin file I got from micropython.org, but for some bizzare reason I cannot seem to be able to connect to the board with anything that isn't Arduino IDE Serial Monitor. Serial connection is some noname esp32-cam-mb board.
  • I made a tachometer/hour meter for my outboard engine using the PIO
    4 projects | /r/raspberrypipico | 28 Apr 2023
    Also, it looks like you're writing to the flash every second the engine is running. Do you have an idea of what the endurance of that might be? I'm not too familiar with this but supposedly the flash on the Pico is good for at least 100K program/erase cycles and Micropython uses LittleFS on RP2040 which does wear leveling. I looked for more official info and the rp2 port code backs that up with a note: "the flash requires the programming size to be aligned to 256 bytes". And the littlefs readme does say it does wear leveling and other good stuff.
  • Projects for newbs!
    2 projects | /r/arduino | 21 Apr 2023
    I'm aware of two versions of Python for microcontrollers. Micro Python and Circuit Python
  • Raspberry Pi Pico Micropython is missing several methods in the machine.RTC class
    2 projects | /r/raspberrypipico | 14 Mar 2023
    You might want to try looking at which Micropython ports support which RTC methods by looking at machine_rtc.c in the source for each port. The Pico is under "rp2".

What are some alternatives?

When comparing Unicorn Engine and MicroPython you can also consider the following projects:

circuitpython - CircuitPython - a Python implementation for teaching coding with microcontrollers

TinyGo - Go compiler for small places. Microcontrollers, WebAssembly (WASM/WASI), and command-line tools. Based on LLVM.

PlatformIO - Your Gateway to Embedded Software Development Excellence :alien:

esp-idf - Espressif IoT Development Framework. Official development framework for Espressif SoCs.

QEMU - Official QEMU mirror. Please see https://www.qemu.org/contribute/ for how to submit changes to QEMU. Pull Requests are ignored. Please only use release tarballs from the QEMU website.

Espruino - The Espruino JavaScript interpreter - Official Repo

jerryscript - Ultra-lightweight JavaScript engine for the Internet of Things.

IronPython - Implementation of Python 3.x for .NET Framework that is built on top of the Dynamic Language Runtime.

awesome-embedded-rust - Curated list of resources for Embedded and Low-level development in the Rust programming language

capstone - Capstone disassembly/disassembler framework: Core (Arm, Arm64, BPF, EVM, M68K, M680X, MOS65xx, Mips, PPC, RISCV, Sparc, SystemZ, TMS320C64x, Web Assembly, X86, X86_64, XCore) + bindings. [Moved to: https://github.com/capstone-engine/capstone]

ardupilot - ArduPlane, ArduCopter, ArduRover, ArduSub source

kmk_firmware - Clackety Keyboards Powered by Python