Get IDLE to use /Library/Frameworks rather than /System/Library/Frameworks

Posted by mnx-lxv on 2016-11-17 11:39

I have been getting an error that says Tcl/Tk 8.5.9 is unstable with IDLE (for both Python 2.7 & 3.5). I installed ActiveTcl, which installed in the /Library/Frameworks directory, but, according to the following post (, tkinter and Tkinter are linked with the Apple-supplied versions (in /System/Library/Frameworks).

The post suggests a number of actions. My problem is that I need to know how to actually do one of the suggestions.

The suggestions are:
- rebuild _tkinter
- override DYLD_FRAMEWORK_PATH, which I tried by adding it to my .bash_profile file, but nothing changed
- use install_name_tool to modify the path to the framework

If someone could provide steps to perform any of the above on macOS 10.12 (Sierra), I would greatly appreciate it.

ActiveState Staff
Fri, 2016-11-18 08:27

You need to uninstall Python (both 2.7 and 3.5) as well after installing ActiveTcl because they only link to the newer ActiveTcl during installation. This link cannot be changed after installation.

This article on stackoverflow describes the above in more detail:

mnx-lxv | Fri, 2016-11-18 10:07

The other thing that I realize I failed to mention is that I'm using Python and Python3 from Homebrew. Does that change anything?

mnx-lxv | Tue, 2016-11-22 09:53

I tried the suggestions you provided but I still get the same there something else I need to do for the Homebrew versions?

mnx-lxv | Tue, 2016-11-22 11:29

WARNING: The version of Tcl/Tk (8.5.9) in use may be unstable.

brew remove python3

brew install homebrew/dupes/tcl-tk

brew install python3 --with-tcl-tk

brew linkapps python3