The union of all files from all check-ins
in directory unix
Tcl UNIX README
This is the directory where you configure, compile, test, and install UNIX
versions of Tcl. This directory also contains source files for Tcl that are
specific to UNIX. Some of the files in this directory are used on the PC or
MacOSX platform too, but they all depend on UNIX (POSIX/ANSI C) interfaces and
some of them only make sense under UNIX.
Updated forms of the information found in this file is available at:
For information on platforms where Tcl is known to compile, along with any
porting notes for getting it to work on those platforms, see:
The rest of this file contains instructions on how to do this. The release
should compile and run either "out of the box" or with trivial changes on any
UNIX-like system that approximates POSIX, BSD, or System V. We know that it
runs on workstations from Sun, H-P, DEC, IBM, and SGI, as well as PCs running
Linux, BSDI, and SCO UNIX. To compile for a PC running Windows, see the README
file in the directory ../win. To compile for MacOSX, see the README file in
the directory ../macosx.
How To Compile And Install Tcl:
(a) If you have already compiled Tcl once in this directory and are now
preparing to compile again in the same directory but for a different
platform, or if you have applied patches, type "make distclean" to discard
all the configuration information computed previously.
(b) If you need to reconfigure because you changed any of the .in or .m4
files, you will need to run autoconf to create a new ./configure script.
Most users will NOT need to do this since a configure script is already
(in the tcl/unix directory)
(c) Type "./configure". This runs a configuration script created by GNU
autoconf, which configures Tcl for your system and creates a Makefile. The
configure script allows you to customize the Tcl configuration for your
site; for details on how you can do this, type "./configure --help" or
refer to the autoconf documentation (not included here). Tcl's "configure"
supports the following special switches in addition to the standard ones:
--enable-threads If this switch is set, Tcl will compile itself
with multithreading support.
--disable-load If this switch is specified then Tcl will
configure itself not to allow dynamic loading,
even if your system appears to support it.
Normally you can leave this switch out and Tcl
will build itself for dynamic loading if your
system supports it.
--disable-dll-unloading Disables support for the [unload] command even
on platforms that can support it. Meaningless
when Tcl is compiled with --disable-load.
--enable-shared If this switch is specified, Tcl will compile
itself as a shared library if it can figure
out how to do that on this platform. This is
the default on platforms where we know how to
build shared libraries.
--disable-shared If this switch is specified, Tcl will compile
itself as a static library.
--enable-symbols Build with debugging symbols. By default
standard debugging symbols are used. You can
specify the value "mem" to include
TCL_MEM_DEBUG memory debugging, "compile" to
include TCL_COMPILE_DEBUG debugging, or "all"
to enable all internal debugging.
--disable-symbols Build without debugging symbols
--enable-64bit Enable 64bit support (where applicable)
--disable-64bit Disable 64bit support (where applicable)
--enable-64bit-vis Enable 64bit Sparc VIS support
--disable-64bit-vis Disable 64bit Sparc VIS support
--enable-langinfo Allows use of modern nl_langinfo check for
better localization support. This is on by
default on platforms where nl_langinfo is
--disable-langinfo Specifically disables use of nl_langinfo.
--enable-man-symlinks Use symlinks for linking the manpages that
should be reachable under several names.
Append STRING to the names of installed manual
pages (prior to applying compression, if that
is also enabled). If STRING is omitted,
defaults to 'tcl'.
Compress the manpages using PROG.
--enable-dtrace Enable tcl DTrace provider (if DTrace is
available on the platform), c.f. tclDTrace.d
for descriptions of the probes made available,
see http://wiki.tcl.tk/DTrace for more details
--with-encoding=ENCODING Specifies the encoding for compile-time
configuration values. Defaults to iso8859-1,
which is also sufficient for ASCII.
--with-tzdata=FLAG Specifies whether to install timezone data. By
default, the configure script tries to detect
whether a usable timezone database is present
on the system already.
Mac OS X only (i.e. completely unsupported on other platforms):
--enable-framework Package Tcl as a framework.
--disable-corefoundation Disable use of CoreFoundation API and revert
to standard select based notifier, required
when using naked fork (i.e. not followed by
Note: by default gcc will be used if it can be located on the PATH. If you
want to use cc instead of gcc, set the CC environment variable to "cc"
before running configure. It is not safe to edit the Makefile to use gcc
after configure is run. Also note that you should use the same compiler
when building extensions.
Note: be sure to use only absolute path names (those starting with "/") in
the --prefix and --exec-prefix options.
(d) Type "make". This will create a library archive called "libtcl<version>.a"
or "libtcl<version>.so" and an interpreter application called "tclsh" that
allows you to type Tcl commands interactively or execute script files. It
will also create a stub library archive "libtclstub<version>.a" that
developers may link against other C code to produce loadable extensions
(e) If the make fails then you'll have to personalize the Makefile for your
site or possibly modify the distribution in other ways. First check the
porting Web page above to see if there are hints for compiling on your
system. If you need to modify Makefile, there are comments at the
beginning of it that describe the things you might want to change and how
to change them.
(f) Type "make install" to install Tcl binaries and script files in standard
places. You'll need write permission on the installation directories to do
this. The installation directories are determined by the "configure"
script and may be specified with the standard --prefix and --exec-prefix
options to "configure". See the Makefile for information on what
directories were chosen; you can override these choices by modifying the
"prefix" and "exec_prefix" variables in the Makefile. The installed
binaries have embedded within them path values relative to the install
directory. If you change your mind about where Tcl should be installed,
start this procedure over again from step (a) so that the path embedded in
the binaries agrees with the install location.
(g) At this point you can play with Tcl by running the installed "tclsh"
executable, or via the "make shell" target, and typing Tcl commands at the
If you have trouble compiling Tcl, see the URL noted above about working
platforms. It contains information that people have provided about changes
they had to make to compile Tcl in various environments. We're also interested
in hearing how to change the configuration setup so that Tcl compiles on
additional platforms "out of the box".
There is a relatively complete test suite for all of the Tcl core in the
subdirectory "tests". To use it just type "make test" in this directory. You
should then see a printout of the test files processed. If any errors occur,
you'll see a much more substantial printout for each error. See the README
file in the "tests" directory for more information on the test suite. Note:
don't run the tests as superuser: this will cause several of them to fail. If
a test is failing consistently, please send us a bug report with as much
detail as you can manage to our tracker: