Downloading and Installing tk500
on Linux-Based Systems

Version 1.5

tk500 runs in the X Windows System graphical environment and is independent of your desktop manager (e.g., KDE or Gnome). tk500 has been tested on a 1400 MHz AMD Athlon® based computer running Red Hat® Linux® 9.0 and Tcl/Tk version 8.3, patchlevel 8.3.3.

This is experimental software and probably contains defects. It remains under development. When available, newer versions of tk500 will be made available for download at this web site.

Downloading and Installing tk500 for Linux

  1. Download and install the free tcl and tk RPMs for your system. You can search for download locations at If the rpmfind server is unavailable, you can download them from the Tcl Developer Xchange at or from
  2. Create a new installation directory on your system, e.g.,
    mkdir /home/username/tk500
  3. Download the gzipped/tar version of tk500, tk500-1.5.tgz into the installation directory you created earlier.
  4. Extract the file after downloading it:
    cd /home/username/tk500
    tar -zxvf tk500-1.5.tgz
    This will create a new subdirectory, named tk500.1.5 and place the files there.
  5. Define and export tk500, a new environment variable to point to the installation subdirectory just created.
    export tk500
    To make the change permanent, you must add the two lines above to your shell's profile, e.g., /home/username/.bash_profile if you use the bash shell.
  6. Remove the .tk500rc configuration file if you have one from a previous installation.
  7. To ensure the tk500 environment variable is made known within X Windows, you should logout, login again, then restart your graphical user interface before using tk500 for the first time.


  1. Make sure your serial port has both read and write permissions for the user who will run the program.

    For example, I use /dev/ttyS1 as the serial port to connect the radio. If I type in a console window:

    ls -l /dev/ttyS1
    the output shows the permissions:
    crw-rw-rw-    1 root     uucp       4,  65 Aug 15 06:40 /dev/ttyS1
    Notice that /dev/ttyS1 is readable and writeable by everyone (user, group, and others).

    Login as root or run the su program to assume root privileges. Then, change the permissions and exit.

    chmod   ugo+rw   /dev/ttyS1
  2. See the Release notes.
  3. tk500 presumes the wish windowing shell is in your PATH.

Revised January 16, 2004