After ten years of everyday use of GnuCash, I finally came to the true Unix technology: plain text for the log, and command line utilities to query it.

There are my concerns with GnuCach:

  • Transactions can be logged and queried only within the application
  • The log consumes space on the encrypted storage (~4 MB after 3 years)
  • Takes time to open
  • Once hit a bug: couldn’t save new transactions, had to go for sqlite file format
  • I need a tiny fraction of GnuCash functionality.

And there I came across a post ledger is awesome. The idea is brilliant! There are tools to create ledger log from GnuCash: on the wiki. Three-year history occupies 800 Kb of plain text (Cyrillic, utf8). It took a minute to start new log with the same equity.

One more goody: vim-ledger to let vim know syntax and semantics of the log file. Illustration:

ledger in vim