Scid vs PC installation guide - Ubuntu (Mint, Debian etc.)

Scid vs PC

Scid vs PC is definitely the best and most comprehensive chess software for Linux.  Unfortunately I struggled quite a bit to get it up and running.

Before I start: You might prefer to watch the video. Otherwise keep on reading.

Open a terminal and execute the following commands

sudo apt-get install auto-apt build-essential
sudo auto-apt update-local
sudo auto-apt update
sudo auto-apt updatedb

Now make sure you got both tcl8.5-dev and tk8.5-dev installed

sudo apt-get install tcl8.5-dev tcl8.5
sudo apt-get install tk8.5-dev tk8.5

Some users are reporting problems on Ubuntu 14.04.
sudo apt-get install tcl8.6-dev tcl8.6
sudo apt-get install tk8.6-dev tk8.6 libgcj15-dev

The 'x' refers to the current release: e.g. 4.9.tgz
download scid vs pc:
tar -xzf scid_vs_pc-4.xx.tgz
cd scid_vs_pc-4.x 
sudo auto-apt run ./configure
sudo auto-apt run make
sudo auto-apt run make install
This should work. If you encounter any problems, please let me know.


  1. thank you so much!

  2. I've been looking for this for 2 hours. Cheers.

  3. Thanks for this post. Gave up on this already once but after giving it one more go, I found this post and got the scid vs pc installed in 5 minutes.

  4. Perfect! I tried again and again to get it running, but with your guide, it actually worked! Only thing I had to add was to install "g++" (just type: sudo apt-get install g++), that was is. Thanks! :-)

  5. Could'nt install on ubuntu 14.04
    After sudo auto-apt run ./configure :

    Entering auto-apt mode: ./configure
    Exit the command to leave auto-apt mode.
    Scid vs. PC configure - Makefile configuration program
    Renaming "Makefile" to "Makefile.bak"
    Tcl/Tk version: 8.6
    Your operating system is: Linux 3.13.0-34-generic
    DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS"
    VERSION="14.04.1 LTS, Trusty Tahr"
    PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS"
    Location of "tcl.h": /usr/include/tcl8.6
    Location of "tk.h": /usr/include/tcl8.6
    Location of Tcl 8.6 library: not found
    Location of Tk 8.6 library: not found
    Location of X11 library: /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu
    Checking if your system already has zlib installed: yes.

    Not all settings could be determined! See above for details.

    And that was the end of it, cause 'sudo auto-apt run make' generated
    src/tkscid.h:58:17: fatal error: tcl.h: No such file or directory
    compilation terminated.
    make: *** [src/stored.o] Error 1

    1. I have the same issue as you do. I think this doesn't work no longer on Ubuntu 14.04. Did you find a solution yet? If so, please let me know.

    2. The libraries aren't in the right place, creationg symbolic links solves this problem :
      $ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/
      $ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/

    3. did not worked with your ln stuff sorry to inform you

  6. I was not able to install with the above instructions. Here is my solution:
    1) download the most recent version of the scid_vs_pc source package:
    2) follow the instructions on the same hyperlink:

  7. Thanks, worked for me (Linux Mint Debian Edition 201403 - 32 bits).

  8. Gracias, siguendo tus intrucciones pude instalar el softwear, no conocia el gestor de paquetes " auto-apt" Seria de gran ayuda explicaras el efecto de los comandos.mi sistema ubuntu 14.04 corrirendo en una pentium iii 512 mb ram y 800 mhz de micro procesador ( pieza de museo ..! jeje )

  9. Thanks for your instructions, now it is easy for a bloody beginner like me to install this programm. (Lubuntu 14.04)

  10. Where does the download need to be located? I guess that´s my problem as this is what I get when I try the last step:
    tar (child): scid_vs_pc-4.13.tgz: Cannot open: No such file or directory
    tar (child): Error is not recoverable: exiting now
    tar: Child returned status 2
    tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

  11. I'm using Mint17.1 Mate and needed an extra package 'xotcl-shells' to get Tcl & Tk working. As to where the Scid vs Pc package should go this easy 'how to compile' should help Deb/Ubuntu etc, users
    Many thanks for the guide.

    1. Running Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and the instructions do not install Scid_vs_PC for me.

      auto-apt run ./configure

      Returns the following error:
      Location of "tk.h" : not found

    2. Returns the following error:
      Location of "tk.h" : not found

      I've compiled this twice on mint-cinnamon-17 and once on mint-mate-17, I come back here to get a reminder of package names, if you get the above error message then you need to make sure you have the 8.6 tcl/tk pakages and xotcl-shells. Some of the commands from the original have changed so I'll go through the steps that work for me. Apart from scid-vs-pc all packages are available in Software Manager.
      2. $ sudo apt update (not sure if necessary, but I do it.)
      3. $ sudo chown $USER /usr/local/src
      4. unpack scid-vs-pc in /usr/local/src
      5. $ cd /usr/local/src/scid_vs_pc
      6. $ ./configure
      7. $ make
      8. $ sudo checkinstall (this replaces the old sudo make install cmd)
      9. $ scid (to launch)

      I like to add scid to my menu for easy launch. Right click mint menu icon, select configure, open the menu editor, Games, New Item, Name: scid, Command: scid, (you can add scid.pgn icon here too), OK.

      Again many thanks to Mike M.

    3. Thank you very much, Sir! It worked for me! :)

  12. Solved Install for Mint users:
    sudo apt-get install tk8.6-dev tk8.6 libgcj14-dev

  13. Mint fix, mentioned above (sudo apt-get install tk8.6-dev tk8.6 libgcj14-dev) still works!!

  14. Thanks, worked for me ubuntu 15.10

  15. Hello, thanks a lot for your tutorial.
    I'm trying to install Scid vs Pc on Ubuntu 16.04, but I don't understand why, the command line sudo auto-apt run doesn't work, :(
    Do you have any idea about how fix it ??


  16. Re no "tcl.h" - I had the same problem with make not finding "tcl.h" and exiting. To fix-it just edit the "TCL_INCLUDE" var in the Makefile and make it point to the correct dir where tcl.h actually resides and all is good. I just had to add the "tcl8.6" dir to the include path and then make worked like a charm. Took me a while to work it out as I'm not a programmer. Hope this helps someone.

    1. Thanks so much for this tutorial. Running Ubuntu 16.04 here, and I also had the "tcl.h" problem. Fixed now thanks to the above advice from Anonymous. To be clear, Makefile's "TCL_INCLUDE" line now looks like this: "TCL_INCLUDE = -I/usr/include/tcl8.6"

  17. Using Ubuntu 16.02, everything worked fine exept for the last command "sudo auto-apt run make install". Then I simply used the command "sudo apt install scid" and it worked! Thanks for the help.

  18. Thank you!
    I use Ubuntu 16.04 but I got a compilation error during the make
    phase. I just commented a line (nr 391) in features.h
    and then it was ok. (it says in a comment that that include is unneccesary)

  19. Hi, I am running Linux Mint Cinnamon. I have been following this guide, but when running the configure command, I get this error:

    Location of Tcl 8.6 library: not found
    Location of Tk 8.6 library: not found

    Any suggestions, please?

  20. I've worked as a programmer, but I'm new to Linux Ubuntu 16.04, so it has taken me a while.

    I noticed one person suggested apt-get for scid, but we want scid_vs_pc. Now that I've got it installed properly (I think), I'm wondering if we actually start scid_vs_pc by running simply 'scid'?

  21. Thats work for me after update and then upgrade my system..I was with 14.04.2 and upgrade to 14.04.5.

    I didn't install libgcj14-dev previosly so when I was installing the system asked me to install libgcj14-dev and that works for me too.


  22. Under Linux Mint and Linux Lite:

    sudo apt-get install tk8.6-dev tk8.6 libgcj16-dev

    tar -xzf scid_vs_pc-4.18.1.tgz
    cd scid_vs_pc-4.18.1
    sudo make install

    Works perfect for me.

  23. I couldn't get Scid vs PC to work at all. I do have regular Scid. Why don't they just put S vs PC in the repository? Until they do I will do without it.


    1. Hi Frank.
      Just my 2 cents. My case was exactly the opposite. I had Scid vs PC working flawlessly... and I decided to install Scid too, but from repositories.
      It installed perfectly. Surprise came when I couldn't initiate Scid because Scid vs PC showed instead.
      The problem is running "scid" is how Scid (and Scid vs PC *too*) is invoked.
      So I uninstalled Scid and "problem" solved (or not solved at all if you wish).

  24. I see I didn't thank you for these instructions. Following them I could install Scid vs PC long time ago. Delayed thanks!

  25. I have followed all the instructions but I have not succeeded. I tried several times but I always get "can not find package libgcj15-dev", I do not know how I can solve this. I'm using Ubuntu 18.04

    1. You could solve this adding repositories of Ubuntu 16.04.

      sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list


      deb xenial main restricted
      deb xenial universe
      deb xenial multiverse


      sudo apt-get update

      sudo apt-get install libgcj15-dev

  26. Hey dudes,

    Overcame some issues to install on Linux Mint 19.1 and wanted to share, hoping it will help.

    apt-cache search tcl8 (to see which Tcl/Tk are available, here we 8.5 and 8.6)

    sudo apt-get install tcl8.5-dev tcl8.5
    sudo apt-get install tk8.5-dev tk8.5
    sudo apt-get install tcl8.6-dev tcl8.6
    sudo apt-get install tk8.6-dev tk8.6
    sudo apt-get install build-essential

    tar -xzf scid_vs_pc-4.19.tgz
    cd scid_vs_pc-4.19
    sudo checkinstall (creates a .deb file which is automatically installed)



    1) sudo apt-get install auto-apt did not work, but is not necessary

    2) sudo apt-get build-dep scid : could have helped, but did not work

    3) I got a "Error: compiler g++ does not support C++11.", fixed by
    installing build-essential package

    4) On "./compile", I got
    "Location of "tk.h": not found"
    coupled with
    "The default Makefile was written.
    You will need to edit it before you can compile Scid."

    5) sudo apt-get install apt-file could help determining which package
    contains a given file, for instance apt-file search tk.h (see

    6) To uninstall package created with checkinstall: dpkg -r scid-vs-pc

    7) To install to Mint menu, following comment on this page could help:
    Anonymous19 April 2015 at 22:40


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