Tksystray: dock in system tray

Please note well that if you use Debian or Ubuntu you should probably use Sergei Golovan's Debian repository instead of manually building this package.

Here we will see how to install Tksystray to allow Tkabber docking in the system tray.
This method is likely to be more compatible with standards than Tk_theme.

  1. Install Tcl/Tk development files

    Tksystray needs some files from the Tcl/Tk development package.

    • using apt

      apt-get install tcl8.4-dev tk8.4-dev

    • using apt on Debian woody

      apt-get install tcl8.3-dev tk8.3-dev

  2. Install Imlib

    Imlib is not maintained for several years. Good luck installing it.

    • using apt

      apt-get install imlib1 imlib-base imlib11-dev

  3. Install Tksystray

    • from source

      Download and uncompress the package:

      tar xzvf tksystray_0.1.orig.tar.gz
      cd tksystray-0.1

      Now you can configure the compilation specifying the correct routes to Tcl and Tk:

      • on Mandrake

        ./configure --with-tcl=/usr/lib/ --with-tk=/usr/lib/

      • on Debian sarge

        ./configure --with-tcl=/usr/lib/tcl8.3/ --with-tk=/usr/lib/tk8.3/

      • on Debian sid

        ./configure --with-tcl=/usr/lib/tcl8.4/ --with-tk=/usr/lib/tk8.4/

      Compile the package:


      We will have to install it manually (you may want to change the destination directory):

      cp -R tksystray-0.1 /usr/local/lib/

      Finally we will add the destination directory to $TCLLIBPATH so Tkabber can find it.
      Edit the file /etc/profile and add this line at the end of it:

      export TCLLIBPATH=/usr/local/lib

      Now tell the system to load the file immediately:

      source /etc/profile

    • using apt on Debian unstable

      Add Teopetuk's unofficial Debian APT repository if you don't have it.
      Then update the list of available packages:

      apt-get update

      Now you can download and install the program:

      apt-get install tksystray

    Check it's installed:

    % package require Tray
    % exit

  • Configure Tkabber

    Let's configure Tkabber to load tksystray. Edit your $HOME/.tkabber/config.tcl file and add at the end of it this line:

    set systray 1

  • Using it

    If Tkabber is able to load the system tray plugin it will show the corresponding icon.

    Now you will have a new possibility in the menu Tkabber -> Customize -> Main Interface -> closebuttonaction: Minimize to systray.

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    Debian sid package

    Debian sid package for tksystray is available at

    To install it add

    deb ./

    to /etc/apt/sources.list and type

    apt-get install tksystray

    On FreeBSD

    On FreeBSD x11-toolkits/tktray port could help.

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