Pocket Tcl Environment: Installation Instructions


These are the instructions for installing Pocket Tcl on a Compaq iPAQ running GNU/Linux. Pocket Tcl requires a base Linux operating system with X-Windows, If you have not done so already, please install the Familiar Linux Distribution by carefully following the Familiar v0.4 Installation Instructions.

Currently, these instructions assume installation on top of a fully-working Familiar Linux system, including X-Windows. At some stage in the future, the intention is to replace the binaries and libraries for Python, Gtk, and all the window managers, with Tcl equivalents. Ideally, the whole of Pocket Tcl will be installed into the iPAQ's 16Mb flash RAM. At the moment, however, it is necessary to install Pocket Tcl either into RAM (i.e. on the /mnt/ramfs filesystem) or onto a secondary filesystem (such as a Compact Flash card, MicroDrive or equivalent). The latter option is preferred, as the program memory requirements have not really been determined. (Of course, if you happen to have more than 32Mb RAM, you should have no problems.)

The following instructions assume installation into the directory /usr/local. If you choose a different location (e.g. /mnt/ramfs), please substitute that directory in the steps outlined below. The packages are currently only available as gzip'ed tar files, with relative path names (i.e. lib/tcl8.3, etc). This means that the files must be accessible on a filesystem which is visible to the iPAQ (i.e. on a local filesystem, flash card etc, or perhaps on an NFS-mounted filesystem). Hopefully soon, I will create ipkg files for simpler installation. Watch this space!

Step 1. Download all the required files for Pocket Tcl. Please refer to the Download Instructions. I recommend (for the time-being) that you install all the optional extensions

Step 2. Make the files accessible to the iPAQ, either by copying them onto a local filesystem (via ssh/scp, or on a flash card) or onto an NFS-mounted filesystem.

The following steps assume you have a command prompt for the iPAQ, either by remote access (ssh, telnet, rlogin) or through a serial console (minicom, HyperTerminal).

Step 3. Select your installation directory and change to it

  > cd /usr/local
OR
  > cd /mnt/ramfs

Step 4. Extract all the gzip'ed tar files from their current location. (NOTE: you can't wildcard the files, you have to specify each filename explicitly.)

  > tar xvfz /path/to/tcl-8.3.3-ipaq.tgz
  > tar xvfz ...

Step 5. It is helpful (but not necessary) to add the 'bin' directory to your PATH environment variable. (The following syntax is for Bourne shells, or equivalents.)

  > export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH

You may choose to add this step into your ~/.profile

Step 6. (Optional) If you have a more complicated setup, such as installing the Tcl/Tk binaries/libraries into a different location than the Tcl extensions and the Pocket Tcl files, you may need to tell Tcl where to load its packages from. For instance, if you have installed Tcl and Tk into the directory /usr/local, but chose to install the extensions and Pocket Tcl into the directory /mnt/ramfs, then Tcl will only look in the directory /usr/local/lib/* and will not find packages in /mnt/ramfs/lib/*

Option 1 Create the environment variable TCLLIBPATH which points to the location of optional packages

  > export TCLLIBPATH=/mnt/ramfs/lib
OR

Option 2 Create the file ~/.wishrc , and add the line:

  lappend auto_path /mnt/ramfs/lib

Step 7. You should now be set to start Pocket Tcl. If you performed Step 5, you should be able to type:

  > pte

Otherwise, you will have to specify the full path name:

  > /usr/local/bin/pte

This should start the Pocket Tcl Environment, and you should see a desktop background with icons. If this does not happen, and/or you get error messages, please send me an email describing the problem, with any error messages you get. Thanks!

If you have any comments, criticisms, suggestions, please feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think.


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