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Getting started current branch

Short guide to get started for newcomers to GCompris/Linux development. This is tested with ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04. It's from scratch to your first own activity.

Git download

git clone git://
cd gcompris

If you want an update of the current repository (like svn update):

git pull

build gcompris development dependencies:

sudo apt-get build-dep gcompris

If you get the message 'E: You must put some 'source' URIs in your sources.list' you will need to put some deb-src lines in the sources.list so you can install these dependencies from source. To do so:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Enter your password

This displays the text of the sources.list file in the terminal. You should see the following (or something similar), where YOUR_DISTRIB_CODENAME has been replaced with your appropriate ubuntu version (precise for example):

# /etc/apt/sources.list

deb YOUR_DISTRIB_CODENAME main restricted universe multiverse
deb YOUR_DISTRIB_CODENAME-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb YOUR_DISTRIB_CODENAME-updates main restricted universe multiverse

Duplicate these lines, replacing 'deb' with 'deb-src'. Be sure that YOUR_DISTRIB_CODENAME is replaced with your actual ubuntu codename. Type cat /etc/lsb-release to see your codename if you don't know it.

Then, update and build dependencies.

sudo apt-get update
apt-get build-dep gcompris

make sure you have the package "gnome-common" installed:

sudo apt-get install gnome-common
in gcompris folder:
sh && make

if you want do a 'sudo make install' You should be able to test a GCompris-Activity by running the following command in the 'src' directory:

sh connect4-activity

Create a new own activity

In the 'src' directory:

sh basuracatcher
sh basuracatcher-activity/

You are also able to try the installed version by running:

make clean
sudo make install
gcompris --experimental --reread-menu

Then happy coding in 'src/basuracatcher-activity/'

You can continue reading here

Setting up the IDE

When developing GCompris, it is important to maintain the standards of format established by other activities. Using an advanced editor with developmental features can aid in this process. Eclipse, for example, is an excellent open source IDE for Mac, Windos, and Linux platforms. Follow the steps below to configure GCompris with Eclipse.

1) Download Eclipse C/C++:
2) Install the Python Plug-in:
Open eclipse and goto Help->Install new Software->Add Site:

Select the pydev plugin and follow the steps. After restarting you should be able to open and edit Python files.
3) Import GCompris as an eclipse project:
File->new->Project->C/C++-->"Makefile project with existing code" -> choose GCompris source directory
After restarting you should be able to open your created python file in src/basuracatcher-activity/
4) Configure PyDev
Goto Window->Preferences->Interpreter Python and select your interpeter (e.g: /usr/bin/python)
5) Run your activity as an "External Tool" If you prefer the Terminal to run and test your activity, this step is not necessary. But eclipse is an "Integrated Development Environment" so you will find it useful to take full advantage of its features.

  • Goto: "Run->External Tools->External Tools Config". Create new
  • Name: Your activity name
  • Location: (the location of script in src directory): e.g. /home/USER_NAME/GCompis/src/
  • Working Directory: (locaiton of src directory): e.g. /home/USER_NAME/GCompris/src
  • Arguments: ${selected_resource_name} or hardcoded "NAME_OF_ACTIVITY" ("chat-activity" for example)
  • click 'Build' tab, select 'The project containing the selected resources' which decreases the time it takes to run the project (only builds the specified activity rather than all activities)
  • Click close, then click the green run button (with red thingamajig) below the menu bar. Your activity window should appear 6) Formatting: For any editor you're using to develop with GCompris, it is important to change the settings to "remove trailing whitespaces". These can cause issues when committing code. Also tell your editor to apply formatting upon saving, thus keeping your code formatted constantly as you save. Also remember to keep each code line no longer than 80 characters
  • Window --> preferences --> expand the following tabs on left: PyDev --> Editor --> Code Style --> Code Formatter --> click on 'Right trim lines?' --> also click on 'Auto-Format editor contents before saving' --> Apply -->OK
  • Eclipse can help you keep you code within 80 characters by putting a line at 80 characters: Window --> preferences --> expand: General --> Editors --> TextEditors --> click 'Show print margin (set to 80) --> also click 'Show line numbers' (will help with debugging --> Apply --> OK
  • activity idea

    activity implementation