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Appendix A. Installing Perl/Tk


Installing Perl/Tk for Unix
Installing Perl/Tk for Win32

Chapter 1, "Hello, Perl/Tk" describes the litmus tests you can use to see if Perl and Tk are available and properly installed in your environment. We assume something is amiss, and that's why you're visiting this chapter. Here we detail the installation directions for both Perl and Tk under Unix and Win32.

For either operating system, installing Perl/Tk is ultimately simple. For Unix, we typically compile and build from source, but for Win32, we use a binary distribution from ActiveState.

A.1. Installing Perl/Tk for Unix

First, create a new subdirectory for the build process, change directory into it, and download the stable Perl source distribution from the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), at

Now unzip and untar the distribution. Sometimes this is a one-step process since tar (or gtar) can unzip the file automatically. In this case, you'd use a command similar to this:

% gtar -zxvpf stable.tar.gz

This creates a directory named perl-5.6.1 (or something similar). If tar cannot automatically unzip, you must unzip it manually before running tar:

% gunzip stable.tar.gz
% tar -xvpf stable.tar

Move into the new directory and type:

% sh Configure -des
% make
% make test
% make install

The previous commands configure perl with all the defaults suitable for your Unix environment, then build it, test it, and install it in the default location for your platform. You most likely have to have root privileges to do the install. Alternatively, you can install perl in your private space by changing Configure's prefix variable:

sh Configure -des -Dprefix=/home/bug/perl

Then, perform the make as before.

Installing Tk is even easier. Ensure that your Unix path is set to include the bin directory from the perl install. In the previous example, that would be /home/bug/perl/bin.

Now download the Tk source distribution from CPAN, at

Look for the latest file whose name is of the form Tk800.0xx.tar.gz, where xx represents the Tk version (currently 22). Fetch the file Tk800.022.tar.gz. When the new Perl/Tk based on Tcl/Tk 8.3 is available, look for filenames of the form Tk803.0xx.tar.gz.

Then unzip, untar, and install as follows:

% gtar -zxvpf Tk800.022.tar.gz
% perl Makefile.PL
% make
% make test
% make install

Test the configuration to ensure that all is well by running widget from the bin directory where perl is installed. The widget program demonstrates most of the Tk widget set.

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