Configuring and building Willow for the ESP BOX hardware family is a multi-step process that is required if you want to do Willow development. We've provided a helper script to make things easier.
Install System Dependencies¶
We use tio as a serial monitor so you will need to install that.
Clone Willow Repo¶
Build Willow Development Docker Container¶
Start Willow Development Docker Container¶
Once the container has finished building you will need to enter it for all following commands:
Install Build Environment¶
Once inside the container install the environment:
Start the Willow configuration process:
ESP BOX-3 NOTE!!!
You will need to build specifically for the ESP BOX-3. From the main menu, select:
Audio HAL ---> Audio Board ---> ESP32-S3-BOX-3
ESP BOX LITE NOTE!!!
You will need to build specifically for the ESP BOX LITE. From the main menu, select:
Audio HAL ---> Audio Board ---> ESP32-S3-BOX-Lite
Return to main menu and continue.
Navigate to Willow Configuration to enter your Wi-Fi SSID and password (supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi with WPA/WPA2/WPA3 authentication), and your Willow Application Server URL.
Once you've provided these press Q and save when prompted.
Build and Exit Container¶
When the build completes successfully you can exit the container.
Flash Willow to Your Device¶
It's getting real now - plug the ESP BOX in!
Set Serial Port¶
Back on the host docker:
To do anything involving the serial port you will need to set the
PORT environment variable for all further invocations of
With recent versions of
tio you can use
tio -L to list available ports. On Linux you can check
dmesg and look for the path of the recently connected ESP BOX (furthest at the bottom, hopefully). On Linux it's usually
/dev/ACM* and on Mac it's
For out of the box/factory new ESP BOX hardware you will need to (one time) erase the factory flash before flashing Willow:
Once you have done that you can flash
It should flash and connect you to the serial monitor.
If you're encountering flashing issues due to USB passthrough use
willow-dist.bin and flash it from a another computer
Flash from Another Device¶
If you want to quickly and easily flash multiple devices or distribute a combined firmware image you can use the
dist arguments to
./utils.sh dist - builds the combined flash image (
./utils.sh flash-dist - flashes the combined flash image
This combined firmware image can be used with any ESP flashing tool.
utils.sh will attempt to load environment variables from
.env. You can define your
PORT here to avoid needing to define it over and over.
The ESP-IDF, ESP-ADF, ESP-SR, LVGL, etc. libraries have a plethora of configuration options. DO NOT change anything outside of Willow Configuration (other than wake word) unless you know what you are doing.
Exit Serial monitor¶
tio you need to press Ctrl+T and then Q. Or you can unplug your device and
tio will wait until you reconnect it.
Start Serial monitor¶
If you want to see what your device is up to you can start the serial monitor anytime:
Things Went Sideways - Reset!¶
In the event your environment gets out of whack we have a helper to reset:
As the plentiful messages indicate it's a destructive process but it will reset your environment. After it completes you can start from the top and try again.
Recover from a bad flash or persistent flash failures.
In some hardware combinations the ESP BOX can be stubborn and won't successfully flash.
In these cases, press the BOOT/CONFIG button (top button on the left side) while powering up the device, then:
Erase the flash: