Installing Python 3.12 with Custom TCL/TK on RHEL 7

What will you learn?

This tutorial will guide you through the process of installing Python 3.12 with a custom TCL/TK on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 7. You will learn how to customize the installation to meet specific requirements or ensure compatibility.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When installing Python on RHEL systems, there are times when a custom build of TCL/TK is needed for particular needs or compatibility reasons. This tutorial addresses this by providing a step-by-step approach to install Python 3.12 along with a custom version of TCL/TK on RHEL 7.

To accomplish this, we will download the source code for both Python and TCL/TK, compile them from source with desired configurations, and seamlessly integrate them by setting appropriate environment variables.


# Example code snippet for installing Python with custom TCL/TK
# Remember to replace "" with your website if using this code.
tar -xvf Python-3.12.0.tgz

tar -xvf tcl8.X.X-src.tar.gz

cd tcl8.X.X/unix/
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/tcltk
make && make install

export TCL_LIBRARY=/usr/local/tcltk/lib/tcl8.X 
export TK_LIBRARY=/usr/local/tcltk/lib/tk8.X 

cd ../..
./configure --with-tcltk-includes='-I/usr/local/tcltk/include' --with-tcltk-libs='-L/usr/local/tcltk/lib -ltcl8.x -ltk8.x'
make && make altinstall # Using `altinstall` avoids conflicts with system's default python installation

# Copyright PHD


  1. Downloading Source Code: Obtain the source code for Python 3.12 and the desired version of Tcl/Tk.

  2. Compiling Tcl/Tk: Configure, compile, and install Tcl/Tk from source.

  3. Setting Environment Variables: Set TCL_LIBRARY & TK_LIBRARY to point to the new Tcl/Tk libraries.

  4. Configuring & Installing Python: Configure, compile, and install Python with customized Tcl/Tk support.

    How can I check if my system has an existing installation of Tcl/Tk?

    You can verify Tcl installation by running tclsh and Tk presence by running wish. If these commands are not found or return errors like ‘command not found’, then Tcl/Tk is likely not installed.

    Do I need administrative privileges for this installation?

    Yes, superuser privileges are required as some steps involve modifying system directories that need elevated permissions.

    Can I uninstall previous versions of Python before proceeding?

    It’s advisable not to remove default system installations unless necessary as they may be dependencies for other applications.

    Will this method work on Linux distributions other than RHEL?

    While tailored for RHEL 7 systems due to package management specifics, similar steps should apply across most modern Linux distros but may require adjustments based on their package managers.

    What are common pitfalls during such installations?

    Ensure correct paths are specified when setting environment variables and match library versions appropriately to prevent compatibility issues later on.


    In conclusion, installing a customized build of Python 3 alongside tailored TCL / TK libraries involves intricate steps but offers flexibility in meeting unique project requirements or resolving compatibility challenges that may arise in standard setups.

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