Help: making Macports Python installation work with an older version of Tcl

Frank Schima macsforever2000 at
Fri Jul 10 12:13:54 PDT 2009

Hi Tom,

Please use reply-all so that the list gets a copy too.

On Jul 10, 2009, at 12:13 PM, Tom Baldwin wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 7:47 AM, Frank Schima <macsforever2000 at 
> > wrote:
> On Jul 9, 2009, at 7:37 PM, Tom Baldwin wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I am seeking some help with a problem I am having running macports.
> When Macports installs Python, it updates Tcl and Tk to the latest  
> version (8.5) as a dependency. For compatibility reasons, I want  
> this Python installation to work with Tcl/Tk version 8.4 instead. By  
> commanding "port deactivate Tcl" and "port deactivate Tk" I can  
> restore these to what I had before: commanding "tclsh" and then  
> entering "info patchlevel" at the prompt confirms that the version  
> is now back to 8.4. I assume this is the version which comes  
> preinstalled on the mac.
> However, when I go back to my python installation and "import  
> Tkinter", it fails. How can I get my macports-installed Python  
> version to work with Tcl and Tk which were not installed by macports?
> Thank you for your help.
> TkB
> MacPorts is not designed to work with built-in Mac OS X libraries  
> [1]. However, I have the same requirement because I use the blt  
> port. What I do is replace my local tcl and tk portfiles with the  
> latest 8.4.x versions. See ticket #14488 [2] where I have attached  
> those versions of the portfiles.
> Thank you for showing me this ticket, it was just what I was looking  
> for. Using your alternate portfiles for tcl and tk, I was able to  
> install version 8.4 of both.
> However, using your portfile for py25-tkinter fails for me since it  
> cannot find This was mentioned in the thread [1] but it's  
> not clear to me how it was resolved. Do you know why this is? I  
> replaced the two tcl libraries as is mentioned, but I think that had  
> more to do with the runtime errors mentioned in comment #10. I did  
> skip the xorg / blt stuff, since I don't think I need that just to  
> run Tkinter from python.
> [1] <>
> I really appreciate your help. Thanks so much.
> TkB

You don't need the py25-tkinter port anymore due to recent changes in  
python25. I should note that in the ticket - or better yet, make a  
wiki page about this. Make sure you have the latest python25 portfile  
(with "sudo port selfupdate"). In any event, you will have to rebuild  
your python port after installing tcl/tk 8.4.


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