First, what is GCompris?
GCompris is an educational software suite comprising of numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10. Some of the activities are game orientated, but nonetheless still educational.
My wife requires GCompris for a textbook she is writing but since we do not have a spare non-Mac machine at home, I have decided to install Edubuntu as a guest OS in Parallels Desktop for Mac. Whilst installation was smooth, getting GCompris to run properly at first try wasn't. Apparently, GCompris tries to run the application in full-screen mode and requires a lower resolution display setting. This always messes up the display (granting that it is running as a guest OS). My wife and I thought that it might be the fact that GCompris did not come with and Edubuntu was relatively new so we opted for the latest version of Knoppix LiveCD, which come with GCompris pre-loaded.
After several hours of downloading the DVD image (4GB+), we ran it as a LiveCD in Parallels Desktop but when we invoked GCompris, same thing happened.
I was so frustrated considering that it should not be functioning this way since it was only a simple application suite. I was on the brink of re-compiling it from source until I ran xterm and tried to consult the man pages for GCompris. Luckily, it came with man pages! I discovered a parameter, "-w", that invokes GCompris in window-mode! Tried it and it worked! w00t! Now, GCompris defaults to window-mode when opening – even when using the GUI launcher. :)
Moral of the story – not all things GUI are good, CLI still is important. :)