Using Git Repositories as Dependencies in ESP-IDF Projects

Embedded System

Managing project dependencies is a crucial aspect of modern software development. When working on ESP-IDF (Espressif IoT Development Framework) projects, efficiently handling dependencies is equally important. The IDF Component Manager is a powerful tool that automates the process of downloading and integrating dependencies for ESP-IDF CMake projects. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the process of incorporating Git repositories as dependencies in your ESP-IDF projects using the IDF Component Manager.

What is IDF Component Manager?

The IDF Component Manager simplifies the management of dependencies in ESP-IDF projects. It automatically downloads required components during the CMake configuration process, ensuring a seamless development experience. These components can come from the official component registry or from external Git repositories.

Adding Git Repository Dependencies

To include a dependency from a Git repository, you need to provide the URL of the repository itself. The IDF Component Manager uses this information to fetch the necessary code for your project.

The idf_component.yml file is a YAML file that describes the component. The file is located in the root directory of the component.

Here’s a basic example of how to define a Git repository dependency in your idf_component.yml file:


In this example, LovyanGFX is the name of the dependency, and we’ve provided the URL of the Git repository. The IDF Component Manager will automatically fetch the required code from the repository when you run CMake (aka build) for your project.

Specifying Dependency Versions

You can also specify a particular version of the Git repository dependency using the version field. This ensures that your project consistently uses a specific version of the dependency, promoting stability. There are several ways to specify the version:

  1. Using Git Tags:

    Git tags are labels that mark specific points in a repository’s history. They are commonly used to represent releases or stable versions of software. To specify a version using a Git tag, modify your dependency configuration as follows:

        version: 1.1.7
  2. Using Commit IDs:

    Each commit in a Git repository has a unique identifier known as a commit hash. You can use a commit hash to specify a specific point in the repository’s history. This can be helpful when you need to ensure that your project uses a precise commit. To use a commit ID as a version, modify your dependency configuration as follows:

        version: 19a2e711e70a5a072d5463be6c09c06204a35835


Effectively managing project dependencies is essential for maintaining a robust and efficient development process. With the IDF Component Manager, incorporating Git repositories as dependencies in ESP-IDF projects has become more accessible than ever. By specifying the repository URL and optionally providing a version, you can seamlessly integrate external code into your project. This not only simplifies development but also encourages modular and reusable code practices.

As you continue your journey with ESP-IDF and the IDF Component Manager, remember to regularly update your dependencies to take advantage of the latest features and bug fixes. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the Git repository’s documentation to ensure you’re using the correct version references and leveraging the full potential of your chosen dependencies. Happy coding!