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Ledger is a powerful, double-entry accounting system that is accessed from the UNIX command-line. Ledger, begun in 2003, is written by John Wiegley and released under the BSD license.


There are several ports of ledger to various languages. ledger is the original. hledger is a port to haskell, which is also popular.


The online documentation contains a tutorial to help new users get started.

Tip: To avoid having to type --file /path/to/finances.ledger every time you invoke ledger, consider setting LEDGER_FILE as one of your Environment variables

Emacs users may be interested in using ledger-mode. ledger-mode is available on MELPA and comes with info, accessible via C-h i m Ledger mode RET.

Tips and tricks

Assign commodity during ledger convert

By default, ledger does not assign a commodity when it converts from csv files to ledger format. To have it assign a currency when one is missing, you can make a currency the default commodity of a ledger file by adding something like this to the file:

commodity $
  note US Dollar
  format $1,000.00