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QMK Configurator Architecture

This page describes the web architecture behind QMK Configurator at a high level. If you are interested in the architecture of the QMK Configurator code itself you should start at the qmk_configurator repository.


QMK Configurator Architecture Diagram

Detailed Description

QMK Configurator is a Single Page Application that allows users to create custom keymaps for their QMK-compatible keyboard. They can export JSON representation of their keymaps and compile firmware binaries that can be flashed to their keyboard using a tool like QMK Toolbox.

Configurator gets metadata about keyboards from the Keyboard Metadata store and submits compile requests to the QMK API. The results of those compile requests will be made available on Digital Ocean Spaces, an S3-compatible data store.

Configurator Frontend


The Configurator Frontend is compiled into a set of static files that are served by Github Pages. This action happens every time a commit is pushed to the qmk_configurator master branch. You can view the status of these jobs on the qmk_configurator actions tab.

Keyboard Metadata


The Keyboard Metadata is generated every time a keyboard in qmk_firmware changes. The resulting JSON files are uploaded to Spaces and used by Configurator to generate UI for each keyboard. You can view the status of this job on the qmk_firmware actions tab. If you are a QMK Collaborator you can manually run this job using the workflow_dispatch event trigger.



The QMK API accepts keymap.json files for compilation. These are the same files you can use directly with qmk compile and qmk flash. When a keymap.json is submitted the browser will poll the status of the job periodically (every 2 seconds or longer, preferably) until the job has completed. The final status JSON will contain pointers to source and binary downloads for the keymap.

QMK API always presents the source and binary downloads side-by-side to comply with the GPL.

There are 3 non-error status responses from the API-

  1. Compile Job Queued
  2. Compile Job Running
  3. Compile Job Finished

Compile Job Queued

This status indicates that the job has not yet been picked up by a QMK Compiler node. Configurator shows this status as "Waiting for an oven".

Compile Job Running

This status indicates that the job has started compiling. Configurator shows this status as "Baking".

Compile Job Finished

This status indicates that the job has completed. There will be keys in the status JSON for source and binary downloads.


QMK API uses RQ to distribute jobs to the available QMK Compiler nodes. When a keymap.json is received it's put into the RQ queue, where a qmk_compiler node will pick it up from.

QMK Compiler

QMK Compiler is what actually performs the compilation of the keymap.json. It does so by checking out the requested qmk_firmware branch, running qmk compile keymap.json, and then uploading the resulting source and binary to Digital Ocean Spaces.

When users download their source/binary, API will redirect them to the authenticated Spaces download URL.