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BrowseX Packaging and ZVFS

BrowseX Packaging and ZVFS

BrowseX  uses a new unified form-factor that packages everything as a single standalone executable. There is no longer any need to install Tcl/Tk. In fact, all support Tcl files are appended as a zip file to the end of the executable. At runtime, BrowseX  use zvfs to mount the zip file as a private filesystem on /zvfs and accesses all the required scripts. You can use the zip program to extract/change/add files by simply renaming the executable to a .zip suffix. Or if you prefer you can even browse the private filesystem as file:/zvfs/. For your convienience the Help/Tcl-Tree menu entry points you there.

All this means that BrowseX  is a modifiable standalone executable. Cool huh? This format may use a bit more memory, but is vastly easier to install/manage. Binaries in the new format are provided only for Linux and Win32 at the moment. More information about the packaging can be found in the ZVFS documentation.


The Unpacker button in Edit/Prefs/Other provides a means of extracting all sources for BrowseX  and/or Tcl to the local filesystem. WARNING: unpacking BrowseX  can mean that new versions of BrowseX  will be confused and will still run the old scripts. See NOTE below:

There are several reasons you might want to do this: the ability to modify the Tcl sources is one. Basically you just hit the unpacker button and optionally check what you want to extract. By default just BrowseX will extract. You also are given the option of converting text files for windows. Then click Unpack. If you accept the default directory, BrowseX  will automatically run from the unpacked sources, at future startups.

Alternatively, you can unpack to an alternate directory. If you do so, there is a bin directory in the unpacked directory that contains a browsex script (browsex.bat on Windows) that will permit you to run the unpacked version from alternate locations. Here are the commands contained in the bin directory.

browsex run BrowseX .
wish run a Tk gui program.
tclsh run a Tcl program.
All of these are just scripts that set certain environment variables. Available variables include:
TOBEWISH=1 run wish shell
TOBETCL=1 run tcl only.
TOBECONS=1 start with Tk console (See below).
BRXCONS=1 start with BrowseX  console (See below).
BRXTREE=path path to BrowseX  source and tcl dir tree.
BRXHOME=path path to users cache/conf/etc dir (.brx on unix)
BRXDEBUG=2 turns on command tracing. output is in ~/brxtrace.log


  • After unpacking BrowseX  in the default location, new versions of BrowseX  will still run scripts from the unpacked location unless you rename or remove the unpacked directory.
  • Tkconsole will not work from the standalone binary. The BrowseX  console appears in its place when the console command is not working. You can even force the use of the BrowseX  console by using BRXCONS=1. A workaround is to unpack Tcl/Tk from the binary (but see above).
  • Also, if you decide to unpack Tcl/Tk, then you must unpack both Tcl and Tk if you want them to be used.

Copyright © 1999-2001   Browsex Systems Inc