GCompris in UK


I am the author of the educational software GCompris (http://gcompris.net) . It is very popular in many places all over the world but sadly, not that much in UK.

I am trying to understand why. Have you ever used GCompris, do you know why it is not used in UK?


Honestly, I’ve never heard of it.

I don’t have any children and I doubt we would ever require it in work so it is unlikely I’ll be using it any time soon.

Good work though bdoin!

Hi bdoin, and welcome to the forum … great software suite, keep up the good work :slight_smile:

I couldn’t really comment on the Windows/Mac versions … but as far as the Linux version goes, it’s probably because (outside the server room) the UK is amazingly backwards where Linux/FOSS is concerned … schools, and businesses seem to know nothing but Windows/Mac and can be very “suspicious” of anything “free”.

I’m afraid to admit that the UK generally hasn’t got its head around the idea of “open source”, or “libre”, and still has the mindset that if it’s open source it must be less secure and/or inferior … both wrong, specially the security part.

And I don’t suppose it helps that the government seem intent on backroom deals with Microsoft, and pushing Windows (and other Microsoft software) into schools … and colleges that do deals with Apple … our teachers are being blinkered from the outset.

My 14 year old sons ITC teacher didn’t even know what Linux was … and my 17 year olds college “requires” him to use OS X, and commercial software … kind of makes you wonder who’s being paid to push this situation.

Sure I understand that without children GCompris won’t help you.


I saw this kind of news but I was not aware it was that bad. In France also Microsoft does a lot of lobbying but we have been able to find a small user base, even in the education sector. This is enough that when a teacher ask for software in a teacher forum, there will always be a free software advocate to suggest good free software.


@Mark - Businesses using M$, colleges using Apple? What do you think will happen when all these college kids start working for the businesses? I have a feeling Apple are looking more long term than M$ :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, your kids college requires he uses OS X? I didn’t know that was happening! I’m glad I’m not in college any more!

The college/Mac thing is AFAIK for a particular course … everything else is probably Windows … but I can see no need for even his course to not use FOSS, rather than force people to buy a Mac, hell even Windows would be better but you can guarantee the college is getting a deal from Apple.

Sommat like … force the kids to use an Apple only piece of software to complete their course, so they all have to buy Macs, and we’ll do you a good deal on your kit/support/etc. … I doubt it’s as blatant as Apple “paying” the college, that could be construed as corrupt, but I bet they get some backroom deal such as free kit/software

Yeah that sounds like Apple!

They obviously took lessons from Microsoft … then did it better :wink:

Microsoft can only do backroom deals on software … Apple can offer kit too.

Yeah that’s true. Plus kids tend to go for what looks cool with their friends. Everybody has an iPhone but they don’t know why… if that makes sense.

Speaking of Apple, they do Forces Discount… 2%! WOW, I’m sold! holds up sarcasm sign

i’ve tried it with my son (age 6) and he just prefers other things like tux typing / paint etc i dont understand why it’s not poplar as it looks neat clean and easy to understand

I’d be surprised if this is the case over here … more likely they (generally) wouldn’t be allowed to use “unapproved” software.

I can’t say this “is” the case, but it’s what I’d expect … I know I once offered to install some FOSS software for a primary school teacher (who’d seen it and liked it … can’t remember what it was now), but it was knocked back by the headmaster (no reason given).

Plus kids tend to go for what looks cool with their friends. Everybody has an iPhone but they don't know why... if that makes sense.

Couldn’t agree more … I’m TOTALLY baffled by scenes of people sleeping outside Apple stores to get the iPhone5 a day before their friends, that used to be the reserve of rock concert tickets (which DID make sense).

Conversation between someone in their late teens/early twenties, and someone in their thirties ..

I slept outside the Apple store last Wednesday and bought the new iPhone … that’s because you’re a stupid git, I had a great nights sex on Wednesday, slept in on Thursday, and got my iPhone on Friday 8)

I know which makes more sense to me :wink: … well neither actually, I’d get a Nexus/Galaxy :slight_smile:

Speaking of Apple, they do Forces Discount... 2%! WOW, I'm sold! *holds up sarcasm sign*

I “do” like sarcasm :slight_smile: … 2% of a stupidly inflated price, WOW indeed.

Slightly at a tangent, but possibly a sign of some improvement…

I’m at Uni at the moment, studying law. Today I needed to access the House of Commons video/audio archive.
They use silverlight.


However, upon clicking on their Help page, I discovered that there is help for Linux users. Not the best Help I’ve ever come across, but the point is - they knew what Linux was and had made the effort to try and offer some support.

I emailed them asking them to please, please, please, stop using Silverlight, and got a reply within about 15 minutes. A very typical civil service type reply - “we use silverlight (yes I know that’s why I emailed you saying ‘please don’t’) on our site but are looking into html5 as a delivery system for future use”.

I managed to get the mozilla-plugin working (the Fedora 16 rpm package and rpm2tgz to the rescue).

There just might be some light on the horizon…

Oh I’ve seen numerous examples where our government have made all the right noises, researched open source, written reports on how it would save money whilst improving services and security, then immediately ignored them and bought more Microsoft stuff ???

Microsoft themselves are dropping Silverlight, otherwise I’m not convinced you’d have got the same response.

Personally I think our government mentions open source just often enough to keep M$ offering them deals.

Yes, you’re probably right. One tries to be optimistic. God knows why with the current bunch of clowns and miscreants in charge.


The situation seems much more blocked than it is in France. Like in many places it is not popular to have GNU/Linux desktop in schools but at least concerning the application that are proposed to the children the schools are almost free to choose.

As you have seen, I propose a shareware like version of GCompris on Windows and MacOSX (GCompris is free software whatever the platform). I have been able to be included in a french government sponsored catalog where schools can buy. This is not as good as running a GNU/Linux desktop but at least it allows GCompris to be present in numerous schools and it finances a little bit of the development.



I have it installed for my grandchildren and they love it,


If any person wishes to try Gcompris without having to install anything they can download this .iso file to create a Boot CD from here:

Hope this is of use.

As my kids are past that age, I cannot offer any useful insight.
I would guess that if your software does not appear on the RM site, then you would be out of luck.