5.9. Expect-5.43.0

The Expect package contains a program for carrying out scripted dialogues with other interactive programs.

Approximate build time: 0.1 SBU
Required disk space: 4.0 MB
Installation depends on: Bash, Binutils, Coreutils, Diffutils, GCC, Glibc, Grep, Make, Sed, and Tcl

5.9.1. Installation of Expect

First, fix a bug that can result in false failures during the GCC test suite run:

patch -Np1 -i ../expect-5.43.0-spawn-1.patch

Now prepare Expect for compilation:

./configure --prefix=/tools --with-tcl=/tools/lib \
   --with-tclinclude=$TCLPATH --with-x=no

The meaning of the configure options:


This ensures that the configure script finds the Tcl installation in the temporary tools location instead of possibly locating an existing one on the host system.


This explicitly tells Expect where to find Tcl's source directory and internal headers. Using this option avoids conditions where configure fails because it cannot automatically discover the location of the Tcl source directory.


This tells the configure script not to search for Tk (the Tcl GUI component) or the X Window System libraries, both of which may reside on the host system but will not exist in the temporary environment.

Build the package:


To test the results, issue: make test. Note that the Expect test suite is known to experience failures under certain host conditions that are not within our control. Therefore, test suite failures here are not surprising and are not considered critical.

Install the package:

make SCRIPTS="" install

The meaning of the make parameter:


This prevents installation of the supplementary expect scripts, which are not needed.

Now remove the TCLPATH variable:


The source directories of both Tcl and Expect can now be removed.

5.9.2. Contents of Expect

Installed program: expect
Installed library: libexpect-5.43.a

Short Descriptions


Communicates with other interactive programs according to a script


Contains functions that allow Expect to be used as a Tcl extension or to be used directly from C or C++ (without Tcl)