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Tk UNIX README
This is the directory where you configure, compile, test, and install UNIX
versions of Tk. This directory also contains source files for Tk that are
specific to UNIX.
The information in this file is maintained at:
For information on platforms where Tcl/Tk 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 Tk:
(a) Make sure that the Tcl release is present in the directory
../../tcl<version> (or else use the "--with-tcl" switch described below).
This release of Tk will only work with the equivalently versioned Tcl
release. Also, be sure that you have configured Tcl before you configure
(b) Check for patches as described in ../README.
(c) If you have already compiled Tk 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.
(d) Type "./configure". This runs a configuration script created by GNU
autoconf, which configures Tk for your system and creates a Makefile. The
configure script allows you to customize the Tk configuration for your
site; for details on how you can do this, type "./configure -help" or
refer to the autoconf documentation (not included here). Tk's "configure"
script supports the following special switches in addition to the standard
--with-tcl=DIR Specifies the directory containing the Tcl
binaries and Tcl's platform-dependent
configuration information. By default the Tcl
directory is assumed to be in the location
given by (a) above.
--with-x=DIR Tells configure where to find an installation
of the X Window System. Not normally needed.
--enable-threads If this switch is set, Tk will compile itself
with multithreading support.
--enable-shared If this switch is specified, Tk 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, Tk will compile
itself as a static library.
--disable-rpath Turns off use of the rpath link option on
platforms that would otherwise use it.
--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.
--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
--disable-xft Disable support for antialiased fonts via the
Freetype/xft library. By default, this is
switched on whenever the configure script can
detect the required libraries.
--enable-man-symlinks Use symlinks for linking the manpages that
should be reachable under several names.
Compress the manpages using PROG.
Add STRING to the name of each of the manual
pages. If specified without giving STRING, the
suffix will be "tk".
Mac OS X only:
--enable-framework Package Tk as a framework.
--disable-corefoundation Disable use of CoreFoundation API.
--enable-aqua Use Aqua windowingsystem rather than X11,
requires --enable-corefoundation with Tcl and
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 change the Makefile to use gcc
after configure is run.
Note: be sure to use only absolute path names (those starting with "/") in
the --prefix and --exec-prefix options.
(e) Type "make". This will create a library archive called "libtk<version>.a"
or "libtk<version>.so" and an interpreter application called "wish" that
allows you to type Tcl/Tk commands interactively or execute script files.
It will also create a stub library archive "libtkstub<version>.a" that
developers may link against other C code to produce loadable extensions
that call into Tk's public interface routines.
(f) 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.
(g) Type "make install" to install Tk's 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 --prefix and --exec-prefix options to
"configure". See the Makefile for information on what directories were
chosen. You should not override these choices by modifying the Makefile,
or by copying files post-install. The installed binaries have embedded
within them path values relative to the install directory. If you change
your mind about where Tk should be installed, start this procedure over
again from step (a) so that the path embedded in the binaries agrees with
the install location.
(h) At this point you can play with Tk by running the installed "wish"
executable, or via the "make shell" target, and typing Tcl/Tk commands at
the interactive prompt.
If you have trouble compiling Tk, see the URL noted above about working
platforms. It contains information that people have provided about changes
they had to make to compile Tk in various environments. We're also interested
in hearing how to change the configuration setup so that Tk compiles on
additional platforms "out of the box".
Note: Do not specify either of the TCL_LIBRARY and TK_LIBRARY environment
variables in a production installation, as this can cause conflicts between
different versions of the libraries. Instead, the libraries should have the
correct locations of their associated script directories built into them.
Tk has a substantial self-test suite, consisting of a set of scripts in the
subdirectory "tests". To run the test suite 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. In
order to avoid false error reports, be sure to run the tests with an empty
resource database (e.g., remove your .Xdefaults file or delete any entries
starting with *). Also, don't try to do anything else with your display or
keyboard while the tests are running, or you may get false violations. See the
README file in the "tests" directory for more information on the test suite.
If the test suite generates errors, most likely they are due to non-portable
tests that are interacting badly with your system configuration. We are
gradually eliminating the non-portable tests, but this release includes many
new tests so there will probably be some portability problems. As long as the
test suite doesn't core dump, it's probably safe to conclude that any errors
represent portability problems in the test suite and not fundamental flaws
There are also a number of visual tests for things such as screen layout,
Postscript generation, etc. These tests all have to be run by manually
enabling the "userInteraction" constraint when testing, and the results have
to be verified visually. This can be done with:
make test TESTFLAGS="-constraints userInteraction"
Some tests will present a main window with a bunch of menus, which you can use
to select various tests.