Gitk error: Unknown color name lime

I’m prepping for a Girl Develop IT workshop on Tuesday called Intro to Git and Github. The newbie that I am, I’m trying to prep as much as I can in advance of the class. The instructor sent out an email with a ‘to-do’ list on how to prepare.

  • Laptop (√)
  • Git installed (√)
  • XCODE installed (√)
  • Signed up for Github (√)
  • Reviewed commands (√)

Now I’m ready. She also sent over a link to the slidedeck, so I started working through it. Since I know nothing about git, I wanted to at least know some of the verbiage and understand a little more about what it actually does. There was a command that threw a very strange error, gitk:


There is a file referenced in the error called gitk. It’s looks like a conf file for the gitk utility. After looking around, there doesn’t appear to be a ‘lime’ in OS X 10.9.5. I’m running Git 2.10.0.  There are a few posts that reference the same issue, but a I’m not familiar with a few of the commands.  When in doubt: Google it.

wish: A simple windowing shell used to process Tcl commands. Returns a % prompt.

info patchlevel: Returns the version of Tcl you have installed. I’m running version 8.5.9.

The post mentions running $ brew cast install tcl. I don’t have brew installed and up to a moment ago, I had no idea what it was. Homebrew is a package manager for OS X. If you visit the install page, it wants you to do a curl in /usr/bin/ruby and I don’t have ruby installed. Also, this is why it pays to RTFM.  this isn’t supported on my version of OS X 10.1o and higher is recommend.

There are posts about installing brew on 10.9, but since this a work machine and it’s very old, I’ll defer this to the mac admins.

In the meantime, to get gitk to work, I made a copy of gitk before editing it. To replace all occurrences of lime with #99FF00, from vi:


6 occurrences were found and replaced. I saved the file and ran gitk without error.

On to the rest of the slide deck before the workshop!