I am learning tkinter and trying to place an image on a Button, but I cannot get past the import.

My code:

from tkinter import *
from PIL import Image, ImageTk

The error:

No module named 'ImageTk'

Based on a post I saw when researching this I tried sudo apt-get install python-imaging-tk

which says I already have the latest version.

I am on a Raspberry Pi3, with a new install of Raspbian and I did an upgrade and update to be sure.

Any suggestions?

Here is the output of apt-cache show python-pil requested in a comment below:

Package: python-pil
Source: pillow
Version: 2.6.1-2+deb8u3
Architecture: armhf
Maintainer: Matthias Klose <[email protected]>
Installed-Size: 1050
Depends: python (<< 2.8), python (>= 2.7~), python:any (>= 2.7.5-5~), mime-support | python-pil.imagetk, libc6 (>= 2.11), libfreetype6 (>= 2.2.1), libjpeg62-turbo (>= 1.3.1), liblcms2-2 (>= 2.2+git20110628), libtiff5 (>= 4.0.3), libwebp5, libwebpdemux1, libwebpmux1, zlib1g (>= 1:1.1.4)
Suggests: python-pil-doc, python-pil-dbg
Breaks: python-imaging (<< 1.1.7+2.0.0-1.1)
Replaces: python-imaging (<< 1.1.7+2.0.0-1.1)
Provides: python-pillow, python2.7-pil
Multi-Arch: same
Homepage: http://python-pillow.github.io/
Priority: optional
Section: python
Filename: pool/main/p/pillow/python-pil_2.6.1-2+deb8u3_armhf.deb
Size: 277856
SHA256: 9f4e54fbe21fde51c13f4c875a09045a05a61abb55db723c4b09c14ce125eb4d
SHA1: 1e0369561c91e3d8fcaced1027f281ffc05fda32
MD5sum: ec0be47a97ef8aea42211eb1c19ce6bf
Description: Python Imaging Library (Pillow fork)
 The Python Imaging Library (PIL) adds an image object to your Python
 interpreter. You can load images from a variety of file formats, and
 apply a rich set of image operations to them.
 Image Objects:
  o Bilevel, greyscale, palette, true colour (RGB), true colour with
    transparency (RGBA).
  o colour separation (CMYK).
  o Copy, cut, paste operations.
  o Flip, transpose, resize, rotate, and arbitrary affine transforms.
  o Transparency operations.
  o Channel and point operations.
  o Colour transforms, including matrix operations.
  o Image enhancement, including convolution filters.
 File Formats:
  o Full (Open/Load/Save): BMP, EPS (with ghostscript), GIF, IM, JPEG,
  o Read only (Open/Load): ARG, CUR, DCX, FLI, FPX, GBR, GD, ICO, IMT, IPTC,
  o Save only: PDF, EPS (without ghostscript).
Description-md5: 7fb415befc961c94ce8c999eb6902e95
  • What version of P{ython are you using? Jul 14, 2017 at 21:19
  • Have you tried this import ImageTk Jul 14, 2017 at 21:20
  • After installing this sudo apt-get install python-pil python-imaging python-imaging-tk the above import statement works in 2.7.9. Note: the above command does not require from Pil Jul 14, 2017 at 22:55

3 Answers 3


I've just checked on my own pi and installing python-pillow does not install the extra libraries that I believe are needed (same goes for python-pil if you are using that one).

I think you need to install both: python-imaging and python-imaging-tk as suggested here: http://effbot.org/imagingbook/imagetk.htm

  • Thanks - still not working. I went into terminal and did sudo apt-get install python-imaging which did install some new code, but I still get the same error when I try my code. So it appears that ImageTk is no longer in PIL????
    – Glenn
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:40
  • That is interesting it worked for me. Did you also install the python-imaging-tk module?. I'm using python 2.7.9 and pillow rather than pil.
    – flynnstone
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:49
  • Yes I did. It reports python-imaging-tk is already the newest version. How can I see what is in that module (sorry - Linus newbie)
    – Glenn
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:57
  • I'm at a loss I'm afraid. Can you run: apt-cache show python-pil from the terminal and copy in the output please. The only thing that come to mind is you might be installing it for Python 2 and trying to import it into Python 3. Can you run python --version as well.
    – flynnstone
    Jul 14, 2017 at 21:50
  • Thanks for your help. Seems I am running python 2.7.9 although I don't know why. Here is the info you requested:
    – Glenn
    Jul 14, 2017 at 22:44

I am currently using the raspberry pi and I realized that the latest version of python that it uses is python 3 or 3.5, so if you don't download ImageTk for python 3 or higher, it will not work. you can do this by using this code:

sudo apt-get install python3-pil.imagetk

I did this:

sudo apt-get install python-imaging python-imaging-tk

and got:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Note, selecting 'python-pil.imagetk' instead of 'python-imaging-tk'

and it installed the new library and it worked for me.

  • .. and 'python-imaging' no longer exists, although 'python-imaging-doc-html' and 'python-imaging-doc-pdf' do
    – Paul Wratt
    Oct 8, 2023 at 0:39

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