[Tutor] Need help with a virtual environment mess

boB Stepp robertvstepp at gmail.com
Sun May 6 18:16:34 EDT 2018

On Sun, May 6, 2018 at 11:05 AM, Jim <jf_byrnes at comcast.net> wrote:
> In a prior thread you guys helped me fix a problem with pip after I upgraded
> an installed version of python 3.6 on my Mint 18 system. Pip would not run
> in my python 3.6 virtual environment. The fix was to use synaptic to install
> python3-distutils. I thought everything was ok until I tried to run a old
> script from a different VE using python 3.5 which could not import tkinter.
> I have 4 versions of python on this system:
> system Python2 = 2.7.12 (default)
> system Python3 = 3.5.2 (default)
> a VE called env = 3.5.2
> a Ve called env36 = 3.6.5
> This is the error I get trying to import tkinter in env, I also get the same
> error if I try to import it in system python3.
> jfb at jims-mint18 ~ $ source /home/jfb/EVs/env/bin/activate
> (env) jfb at jims-mint18 ~ $ python
> Python 3.5.2 (default, Nov 23 2017, 16:37:01)
> [GCC 5.4.0 20160609] on linux
> Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>>> import tkinter as tk
> Traceback (most recent call last):
>   File "/usr/lib/python3.5/tkinter/__init__.py", line 36, in <module>
>     import _tkinter
> ImportError: No module named '_tkinter'
> During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:
> Traceback (most recent call last):
>   File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
>   File "/usr/lib/python3.5/tkinter/__init__.py", line 38, in <module>
>     raise ImportError(str(msg) + ', please install the python3-tk package')
> ImportError: No module named '_tkinter', please install the python3-tk
> package
> If I go to synaptic and install the python3-tk it installs version 3.6.5 of
> the package and I can still not import tkinter in env with python 3.5.2, but
> I can in env36 with python 3.6.5.

As I have not yet tried to play around with virtual environments, I
may be about to do more harm than help, but I will plow ahead anyway!

My primitive understanding of installing Python versions that are
different from the system Python version into a virtual environment,
is that you have to install all dependencies you need from within that
virtual environment you created.  If I am correct about this then your
error messages suggest you need to install the tkinter stuff from
within that virtual environment using that virtual environment's pip.
Hopefully I am too far off from the truth here, but in any event, I
hope this helps you in your problem!


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