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 Python 3.6.3, Tcl/Tk, and Mac, stability issues
Hi (new to this forum so I hope I am positing in the right section)

I have significant stability problems with python 3.6.3 on my MacBook Pro (MacOS Sierra, late 2016 with touch bar) and the problems appear as the python kernel freezing/time-outs, primarily when using matplotlib. Using Jupyter console is not possible really since it times-out often. I know this is not a very detailed problem description, but I have yet to see the patterns clearly. However, this is not my primary question, just the background and context.

My current theory is that this could be the issue described on I have installed the Mac binary from and then the recommended Tcl/Tk is ActiveTcl However, on only version is available for download. As I understand it, the build is linked against Tcl/Tk version 8.5 and I can't get it to use the new version of Tcl/Tk.

So, my questions that I hope someone has details for me are:
1. Is there a way around this (or am I doing something stupid) and get python to use Tcl/Tk version 8.6?
2. Is the Tcl/Tk issue a plausible reason for my stability issues with marplotlib? I have traditionally used the backend TkAgg.
3. Which is the preferred backend for matplotlib on Mac?

All the best,
Have you tried any of the Apple forums?
Frankly, I have never heard about this problem until now, which surprises me.
Is Active state python the only version that is affected?
I haven't used an apple product since the 1980's so my response here is only speculation.
I have searched, including in Apple forums, but haven't found anything (perhaps because it is not yet clear to me what to search for).

To be clear, it is not the Active state python I have installed, I downloaded the standard installer from (or is that Active state python?)

Thanks for the reply,
#4 is the standard python.
I found this:, which claims the problem was fixed back in 2013.
Has it come back in the latest version? If so, you need to inform

Also this more recent blog:

The idle issue is easy, don't use it. It's not all that good anyway. Use some other IDE.
I don't use IDLE so that is not a problem. It is when I use matplotlib with the TkAgg backend that there are severe problems (I think, I am not entirely sure the reason for my problems)

I don't know which bugs that are fixed, but states in their latest download that Apples Tcl/Tk should not be used and they suggest to use ActiveTcl/Tk. However, the version linked in the python binary is not possible to download for Mac so I am a little stuck at the moment.
Not being familiar with the Apple, I don't think I can be of anymore help either.
Hopefully someone else will pick up.
(Oct-18-2017, 09:09 AM)ErikFrisk Wrote: 1. Is there a way around this (or am I doing something stupid) and get python to use Tcl/Tk version 8.6?

Not a Mac user either, but ready the doc, you should not use the 8.6 version. You should be able to download the ActiveState v Mac Disk Image for the Mac 10.5 + (32 & 64 bit) from here: ActiveState TCL Download (look at last column, bottom entry).
If it ain't broke, I just haven't gotten to it yet.
OS: Windows 10, openSuse 42.3, freeBSD 11, Raspian "Stretch"
Python 3.6.5, IDE: PyCharm 2018 Community Edition
Ah! I looked in the wrong column on the download page all along and couldn't find the download link.

Sorry about the noise, I will try and see if it helps.

Thank you,

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