[OS X TeX] problem with tlmgr gui

Dr. Clea F. Rees cfrees at imapmail.org
Wed Sep 10 20:08:46 CEST 2008

On 10/09/08, you seem to have written:

> Hi all,
> I have now installed MacTex2008 with the GUIs and TK. I see the TK directory 
> in /Library/Perl/5.8.6/darwin-thread-multi-2level/
> I have the binaries in usr/local/bin
> Still, envoking tlmgr --gui in Terminal.app with X11 running does not start 
> the GUI but gives me:
> Cannot load Tk, thus the GUI cannot be started!
> The Perl/Tk module is not shipped with the TeX Live installation.
> You have to install it to get tlmgr GUI running. See
> http://tug.org/texlive/distro.html for more details.
> The command line tool tlmgr seems to work fine.
> This is my Path:
> /usr/local/Trolltech/bin:/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/texbin
> Could it be that MacPorts is the culprit?  I do not have tk from MacPorts but 
> a Perl 5.8 installation.

Yes. MacPorts is the "culprit". I think so, anyway. Here's why:
- you have the MacPorts perl installed. This means (given the way
   MacPorts configures the path) that the MacPorts perl will take
   precedence over the system perl. That is "perl" calls
   /opt/local/bin/perl. (To confirm this try "which perl".)
- any perl is configured to look for modules (if that's the term) in
   certain specific places. The system perl looks in
   /System/Library/Perl/5.8.x and /Library/Perl/5.8.x, I think. But
   MacPorts perl will look somewhere else - I'm not sure where but
   presumably somewhere under /opt.
- so MacTeX Tk installer has installed the module for the system perl
   but your default perl doesn't have Tk installed. Hence the complaint.

To test this, try temporarily setting path to something different e.g.
"export PATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/texbin:/usr/bin:/bin" for example (in
bash). Then check the version of perl using "which perl" and try 
running tlmgr with the gui option.

If that works, you have a few more permanent options. For example, you
could change your PATH more permanently. I don't know how that might
affect MacPorts, though. Or you could use MacPorts to install the
Perl/Tk module.

If you need the MacPorts version of perl, your best bet might be
installing the Tk module for that perl, too.

If it doesn't work, I'm likely just wrong about the cause of the

- cfr

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