How can I install tcl/tk8.6 on Ubuntu 12.04?

The default repositories for Ubuntu 12.04 include tcl/tk8.5 which I have installed but I need the latest version. Is there a PPA that I could add which includes tcl/tk8.6 or is there another way?

Note: As far as I can tell the latest version of Ubuntu has 8.6 as default.

  • I'm confused, you accepted the A where you have to compile from source, rather than install a prebuilt .deb file from a repository? – slm Jan 23 '14 at 19:57

I don't know if there are Ubuntu packages available, but if not, you could build from source and install to /usr/local. This means you'll end up with 8.5 (from the distro) and 8.6 installed. To favour 8.6 by default, make sure /usr/local is in your ld.so.cache; I think ubuntu does this by default. To check:

grep "/usr/local/lib" /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*

If you get nothing, create an /etc/ld.so.conf.d/local.conf with one line, /usr/local/lib. In either case, run ldconfig (presuming you've already built and installed tcl/tk).

Add LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib to your default environment. This will make the linker prefer those libraries to the distro ones, which is fine unless you have previously done wonky things in /usr/local. You'll also need /usr/local/bin before /usr/bin in $PATH, if it is not that way already.

You should now default to using 8.6. Leaving 8.5 installed is just a lazy way of ensuring the package manager has it for dependencies.


There are 2 versions of TCL/Tk that you can install on your system, beyond building it yourself from source.

Active State

You can use Active States binary distributions of their Community Editions of TCL/Tk. They offer 32-bit & 64-bit from their download page.

DEB files

The other method(s) are covered on the TCL/Tk's project page, titled: Binary Distributions. I would probably go with tombert's tcltk. They maintain all the 32-bit and 64-bit versions as .deb files there, and the packages are built on LTS Ubuntu (12.04) which is what you're looking for.

   ss of d/ls

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