LEDGER(1) BSD General Commands Manual LEDGER(1)
ledger — Command-line, double-entry account reporting tool
ledger [options] [command] [arguments]
ledger is a command-line accounting tool based on the power and completeness of double-entry accounting. It is only a reporting tool, which means it never modifies your data files, but it does offer a large selection of reports, and different ways to customize them to your needs.
ledger accepts several top-level commands, each of which generates a different kind of basic report. Most of them accept a report-query argument, in order to determine what should be reported. To understand the syntax of a report-query, see the section on QUERIES. In its most basic form, simply specifying one or more strings produces a report for all accounts containing those strings.
If no command is given, ledger enters a REPL, or command loop, allowing several commands to be executed on the same dataset without reparsing.
The following is a complete list of accepted reporting commands:
List all accounts for postings that match the report-query.
Print a balance report showing totals for postings that match report-query, and aggregate totals for parents of those accounts. Options most commonly used with this command are:
Report in terms of cost basis, not amount or value. This is the only form of report which is guaranteed to always balance to zero, when no report-query is specified. Only show totals for the top-most accounts.
Show accounts whose total is zero.
Rather than display a hierarchical tree, flatten the report to show subtotals for only accounts matching report-query.
Suppress the summary total shown at the bottom of the report.
The synonyms bal and b are also accepted.
A special balance report which includes three extra columns: the amount budgeted during the reporting period, how spending differed from the budget, and the percentage of budget spent (exceeds 100% if you go over budget). Note that budgeting requires one or more “
periodic transactions ” to be defined in your data file(s). See the manual for more information.
A special balance report which adds two extra columns: the cleared balance for each account, and the date of the most recent cleared posting in that account. For this accounting to be meaningful, the cleared flag must be set on at least one posting. See the manual for more information.
List all commodities for postings matching the report-query.
Reads data from a CSV (comma-separated values) file and generates ledger transactions.
Report of postings matching the report-query in CSV format (comma-separated values). Useful for exporting data to a spreadsheet for further analysis or charting.
Generate and display a new, properly formatted ledger transaction by comparing the entry-template to the transactions in your data file(s). For more information on draft templates and using this command to quickly create new transactions, see the section ENTRIES.
The synonym xact is also accepted.
Output posting and transaction data in a format readily consumed by the Emacs editor, in a series of Lisp forms. This is used by the Emacs ledger-mode to process reporting data from ledger.
Print a transaction with a series of postings that balance current totals for accounts matching the report-query in a special account called Equity:Opening Balances. The purpose of this report is to close the books for a prior year, while using these equity postings to carry forward those balances.
List all payees for postings matching the report-query.
Produce a file which can be used to generate a graph with graphviz showing the relationship of commodities in the ledger file.
Report prices for all commodities in postings matching the report-query. The prices are reported with the granularity of a single day.
Report prices for all commodities in postings matching the report-query. Prices are reported down to the second, using the same format as the ~/.pricedb file.
Print out the full transactions of any matching postings using the same format as they would appear in a data file. This can be used to extract subsets from a ledger file to transfer to other files.
In the REPL, push a set of command-line options, so that they will apply to all subsequent reports.
In the REPL, pop any option settings that have been pushed.
List all postings matching the report-query. This is one of the most common commands, and can be used to provide a variety of useful reports. Options most commonly used with this command are:
Show the running average, rather than a running total.
Don’t show postings beyond the present day.
−−exchange commodity (−X)
Render all values in the given commodity, if a price conversion rate can be determined. Rates are always displayed relative to the date of the posting they are calculated for. This means a register report is a historical value report. For current values, it may be preferable to use the balance report.
Show any gains (or losses) in commodity values over time.
Only show the top number postings.
Value commodities at the time of their acquisition.
Invert the value of amounts shown.
Show current market values for all amounts. This is determined in a somewhat magical fashion. It is probably more straightforward to use −−exchange option.
−−period time-period (−p)
Show postings only for the given time-period.
Show postings that are related to those that would have been shown. It has the effect of displaying the "other side" of the postings.
−−sort value-expression (−S)
Sort postings by evaluating the given value-expression. Note that a comma-separated list of expressions is allowed, in which case each sorting term is used in order to determine the final ordering. For example, to search by date and then amount, one would use:
ledger reg --sort ’date, amount’
The sort order may be controlled with the ’-’ sign. For example, to sort in reverse chronological order:
ledger reg --sort ’-date’
Only show the last number postings.
Only show uncleared (i.e., recent) postings.
There are also several grouping options that can be useful:
Group postings by common payee names.
Group postings by day.
Group postings by week (starting on Sundays).
Set the start of each report grouped by week to the given day.
Group postings by month.
Group postings by fiscal quarter.
Group postings by year.
Group postings by the day of the week on which they took place.
Group all postings together. This is very similar to the totals shown by the balance report.
The synonyms reg and r are also accepted.
This command requires that Python support be active. If so, it starts up an HTTP server listening for requests on port 9000. This provides an alternate interface to creating and viewing reports. Note that this is very much a work-in-progress, and will not be fully functional until a later version.
List all postings matching the sql-query. This command allows to generate SQL-like queries, e.g.:
ledger select date,amount from posts where account=~/Income/
Parse a journal file and checks it for errors. ledger will return success if no errors are found.
Provide summary information about all the postings matching report-query. It provides information such as:
Time range of all matching postings
Days since last posting
Posts in the last 7 days
Posts in the last 30 days
Posts this month
Output data relating to the current report in XML format. It includes all accounts and commodities involved in the report, plus the postings and the transactions they are contained in. See the manual for more information.
Set the minimum length an account can be abbreviated to if it doesn’t fit inside the account-width. If INT is zero, then the account name will be truncated on the right. If INT is greater than account-width then the account will be truncated on the left, with no shortening of the account names in order to fit into the desired width.
Prepend EXPR to all accounts reported. That is, the option −−account "’Personal’" would tack Personal: and −−account "tag(’VAT’)" would tack the value of the VAT tag to the beginning of every account reported in a balance or register report.
Set the width of the account column in the register report to INT characters.
Report only real transactions, with no automated or virtual transactions used.
Show only un-budgeted postings.
−−amount EXPR (−t)
Apply the given value expression to the posting amount. Using −−amount EXPR you can apply an arbitrary transformation to the postings.
On a register report print only the dates and amount of postings. Useful for graphing and spreadsheet applications.
Set the width in characters of the amount column in the register report.
Anonymize registry output, mostly for sending in bug reports.
Use color if the terminal supports it. Alias for −−color
Ignore init files and environment variables for the ledger run.
When generating a ledger transaction from a CSV file using the convert command, automatically match an account from the Ledger journal.
Show auxiliary dates for all calculations. Alias for −−effective
Print average values over the number of transactions instead of running totals.
Report the average price at which each commodity was purchased in a balance report.
Specify the format to use for the balance report.
Reduce convertible commodities down the bottom of the conversion, e.g. display time in seconds.
Report the cost basis on all posting. Alias for −−cost
−−begin DATE (−b)
Specify the start DATE of all calculations. Transactions before that date will be ignored.
Print the entire line in bold if the given value expression is true.
Only display budgeted items. In a register report this displays transaction in the budget, in a balance report this displays accounts in the budget.
Specify the format to use for the budget report.
Group postings in the register report by common payee names.
Enable strict and pedantic checking for payees as well as accounts, commodities and tags.
Display only cleared postings.
Specify the format to use for the cleared report
Print only the top level accounts.
Collapse the account display only if it has a zero balance.
Use color if the terminal supports it. Alias for −−ansi
Make the register report INT characters wide. By default ledger will use all available columns in your terminal.
Report the cost basis on all posting. Alias for −−basis.
Direct ledger to report the number of items when appended to the commodities, accounts or payees commands.
Format csv report according to FMT.
Shorthand for −−limit ’date <= today’.
Shorthand for −−period daily.
Transform the date of the transaction using EXPR.
−−date-format DATEFMT (−y)
Print dates using DATEFMT. Refer to strftime(3) for details on the format string syntax.
Print datetimes using DATETIMEFMT. Refer to strftime(3) for details on the format string syntax.
Specify the width, in characters, of the date column in the register report.
Break up register report of timelog entries that span multiple days by day.
Group transactions by the days of the week. Alias for −−dow.
Display register or balance in debit/credit format If you use −−dc with either the register or balance commands, you will now get separate columns for debits and credits.
If ledger has been built with debug options this will provide extra data during the run.
Direct ledger to parse journals using the European standard comma as decimal separator, vice a period.
Limit the depth of the account tree. In a balance report, for example, −−depth 2 will print balances only for accounts with two levels, i.e. Expenses:Entertainment but not Expenses:Entertainment:Dining. This is a display predicate, which means it only affects display, not the total calculations.
Related to convert command. Synonym to −−rich-data option.
Report each posting’s deviation from the average. It is only meaningful in the register and prices reports.
−−display EXPR (−d)
Display lines that satisfy the expression EXPR.
Apply a transformation to the displayed amount. This occurs after calculations occur.
Apply a transformation to the displayed total. This occurs after calculations occur.
Group transactions by the days of the week. Alias for −−days-of-week.
Cause quotes to be automagically downloaded, as needed, by running a script named getquote and expecting that script to return a value understood by ledger. A sample implementation of a getquote script, implemented in Perl, is provided in the distribution. Downloaded quote price are then appended to the price database, usually specified using the environment variable LEDGER_PRICE_DB.
Show auxiliary dates for all calculations. Alias for −−aux-date.
Include empty accounts in report.
−−end DATE (−e)
Constrain the report so that transactions on or after DATE are not considered.
Related to the equity command. Gives current account balances in the form of a register report.
Report beginning and ending of periods by the date of the first and last posting occurring in that period.
, COMMODITY, ...] (−X)
Display values in terms of the given COMMODITY. The latest available price is used.
−−file FILE (−f)
Read journal data from FILE.
Print the first INT entries. Opposite of −−last INT. Alias for −−head.
Force the full names of accounts to be used in the balance report. The balance report will not use an indented tree.
Output TTY color codes even if the TTY doesn’t support them. Useful for TTYs that don’t advertise their capabilities correctly.
Force ledger to paginate its output.
Continue forecasting while VEXPR is true. Alias for −−forecast.
Forecast at most INT years into the future.
−−format FMT (−F)
Use the given format string FMT to print output.
Report net gain or loss for commodities that have a price history.
Include auto-generated postings (such as those from automated transactions) in the report, in cases where you normally wouldn’t want them.
Group transaction together in the register report. EXPR can be anything, although most common would be payee or commodity. The tag() function is also useful here.
Set the format for the headers that separate reports section of a grouped report. Only has effect with a −−group-by EXPR register report.
Print the first INT entries. Opposite of −−tail INT. Alias for −−first
Print this man page.
Evaluate calculations immediately rather than lazily.
Import FILE as Python module.
−−init-file FILE (−i)
Read FILE before any other ledger file. This file may not contain any postings, but it may contain option settings. To specify options in the init file, use the same syntax as the command-line, but put each option on its own line.
Use STR amounts in calculations. In case you know what amount a transaction should be, but the actual transaction has the wrong value you can use metadata STR to specify the expected amount.
Specify the input date format for journal entries.
Change the sign of all reported values.
Report only the last INT entries. Opposite of −−first INT. Only useful on a register report. Alias for −−tail.
−−leeway INT (−Z)
Alias for −−price-expr.
−−limit EXPR (−l)
Limit postings in calculations.
Report the date on which each commodity in a balance report was purchased.
Report the tag attached to each commodity in a balance report.
Report the price at which each commodity in a balance report was purchased.
Report the date and price at which each commodity was purchased in a balance report.
Preserve the uniqueness of commodities so they aren’t merged during reporting without printing the lot annotations.
Use the latest market value for all commodities.
Prepend all account names with STR
In the register report, prepend the transaction with the value of the given tag STR.
Specify the width of the Meta column used for the −−meta TAG options.
Shorthand for −−period monthly.
Aliases are completely ignored.
Suppress any color TTY output.
Disables the pager on TTY output.
Stop ledger from showing <Revalued> postings.
Don’t output "<Adjustment>" postings. Note that this will cause the running total to often not add up! Its main use is for −−amount-data (−j) and −−total-data (−J) reports.
Suppress the output of group titles.
Suppress printing the final total line in a balance report.
Use DATE as the current date. This affects the output when using −−period, −−begin, −−end, or −−current to decide which dates lie in the past or future.
This is a postings predicate that applies after certain transforms have been executed, such as periodic gathering.
Display the options in effect for this ledger invocation, along with their values and the source of those values.
−−output FILE (−o)
Redirect the output of ledger to FILE.
Use STR as the pager program.
Sets a value expression for formatting the payee. In the register report this prevents the second entry from having a date and payee for each transaction.
Set the number of columns dedicated to the payee in the register report to INT.
Accounts, tags or commodities not previously declared will cause errors.
Use only postings that are marked pending.
Calculate the percentage value of each account in a balance reports. Only works for account that have a single commodity.
−−period PERIOD (−p)
Define a period expression that sets the time period during which transactions are to be accounted. For a register report only the transactions that satisfy the period expression with be displayed. For a balance report only those transactions will be accounted in the final balances.
Sort the posting within transactions using the given value expression.
Quiet balance assertions.
Produce a balance pivot report "around" the given TAG.
Define the output format for an amount data plot.
Define the output format for a total data plot.
Prepend FMT to every line of the output.
Reserve INT spaces at the beginning of each line of the output.
Use the price of the commodity purchase for performing calculations.
−−price-exp STR (−Z)
Set the expected freshness of price quotes, in INT minutes. That is, if the last known quote for any commodity is older than this value, and if −−download is being used, then the Internet will be consulted again for a newer price. Otherwise, the old price is still considered to be fresh enough. Alias for −−leeway.
Set the format for the prices report.
Set the format expected for the historical price file.
Show primary dates for all calculations. Alias for −−actual-dates
Report commodity totals (this is the default).
Shorthand for −−period quarterly.
In the print report, show transactions using the exact same syntax as specified by the user in their data file. Don’t do any massaging or interpreting. Can be useful for minor cleanups, like just aligning amounts.
Account using only real transactions ignoring virtual and automatic transactions.
Causes ledger to try to expand aliases recursively, i.e. try to expand the result of an earlier expansion again, until no more expansions apply.
Define the output format for the register report.
In a register report show the related account. This is the other side of the transaction.
Show all postings in a transaction, similar to −−related but show both sides of each transaction.
Report discrepancy in values for manual reports by inserting <Revalued> postings. This is implied when using the −−exchange (−X) or −−market (−V) option.
Show only <Revalued> postings.
Display the sum of the revalued postings as the running total, which serves to show unrealized capital in a gain/losses report.
When generating a ledger transaction from a CSV file using the convert command, add CSV, Imported, and UUID meta-data.
Set the random seed to INT for the generate command. Used as part of development testing.
Execute a ledger script.
−−sort EXPR (−S)
Sort the register report based on the value expression EXPR.
Sort the posting within transactions using the given value expression.
Use STR as the particular day of the week to start when using the −−weekly option. STR can be day names, their abbreviations like "Mon", or the weekday number starting at 0 for Sunday.
Accounts, tags or commodities not previously declared will cause warnings.
Report register as a single subtotal.
Report only the last INT entries. Only useful on a register report. Alias for −−last INT
Display the value for commodities based on seconds as hours and minutes. Thus 8100s will be displayed as 2:15h instead of 2.25h.
Add two columns to the balance report to show the earliest checkin and checkout times for timelog entries.
−−total EXPR (−T)
Define a value expression used to calculate the total in reports.
Show only dates and totals to format the output for plots.
Set the width of the total field in the register report.
Enable tracing. The INT specifies the level of trace desired.
Indicates how truncation should happen when the contents of columns exceed their width. Valid arguments for STR are leading, middle, and trailing. The default is smarter than any of these three, as it considers sub-names within the account name (that style is called "abbreviate").
Show only un-budgeted postings.
Use only uncleared transactions in calculations and reports.
Show generated unrealized gain and loss accounts in the balance report.
Allow the user to specify what account name should be used for unrealized gains. Defaults to Equity:Unrealized Gains. Often set in one’s ~/.ledgerrc file to change the default.
Allow the user to specify what account name should be used for unrealized losses. Defaults to Equity:Unrealized Losses. Often set in one’s ~/.ledgerrc file to change the default.
Perform all calculations without rounding and display results to full precision.
Show the values used by each tag when used in combination with the tags command.
Set a global value expression annotation.
Print detailed information on the execution of ledger.
Enable additional assertions during run-time. This causes a significant slowdown. When combined with −−debug CODE ledger will produce memory trace information.
Verify that every constructed object is properly destructed. This is for debugging purposes only.
Print version information and exit.
Shorthand for −−period weekly.
Assume 132 columns instead of the TTY width.
Shorthand for −−period yearly.
Pre-commands are useful when you aren’t sure how a command or option will work. The difference between a pre-command and a regular command is that pre-commands ignore the journal data file completely, nor is the user’s init file read.
args / query
Evaluate the given arguments and report how ledger interprets it against the following model transaction:
; This note applies to all postings. :SecondTag:
Expenses:Books 20 BOOK @ $10
; Metadata: Some Value
; Typed:: $100 + $200
; Here follows a note describing the posting.
Evaluate the given value expression against the model transaction.
Print details of how ledger uses the given formatting description and apply it against a model transaction.
parse / expr
Print details of how ledger uses the given value expression description and apply it against a model transaction.
Randomly generates syntactically valid ledger data from a seed. Used by the GenerateTests harness for development testing.
Evaluate the given period and report how ledger interprets it.
Shows the insertion template that the xact command generates. This is a debugging command.
The syntax for reporting queries can get somewhat complex. It is a series of query terms with an implicit OR operator between them. The following terms are accepted:
A bare string is taken as a regular expression matching the full account name. Thus, to report the current balance for all assets and liabilities, you would use:
ledger bal asset liab
payee regex (@regex)
Query on the payee, rather than the account.
tag regex (%regex)
Query on tags.
note regex (=regex)
Query on anything found in an item’s note.
code regex (#regex)
Query on the xact’s optional code (which can be any string the user wishes).
term and term
Query terms are joined by an implicit OR operator. You can change this to AND by using the and keyword. For example, to show food expenditures occurring at Shakee’s Pizza, you could say:
ledger reg food and @Shakee
term or term
When you wish to be more explicit, use the OR operator.
Reverse the logical meaning of the following term. This can be used with parentheses to great effect:
ledger reg food and @Shakee and not dining
( term )
If you wish to mix OR and AND operators, it is often helpful to surround logical units with parentheses. NOTE: Because of the way some shells interpret parentheses, you should always escape them:
ledger bal \( assets or liab \) and not food
Return the absolute value of the given value.
Return the posting’s account.
Return the base account, i.e. everything after the last account delimiter ’:’.
Return true if the transaction is real, i.e not an automated or virtual transaction, false otherwise.
Return the amount of the posting.
Return the calculated amount of the posting according to the −−amount option.
ansify_if(value, color, bool)
Render the given value as a string, applying the proper ANSI escape codes to display it in the given color if bool is true. It typically checks the value of the option −−color, for example:
ansify_if(amount, blue, options.color)
Line number where entry for posting begins.
Character position where entry for posting begins.
Return the next integer of value toward +infinity.
Return true if the posting was cleared, false otherwise.
Return the transaction code, the string between the parenthesis after the date.
Return the commodity of value or the posting amount when value was not specified.
Return the date of the posting.
Line number where entry for posting ends.
Character position where entry for posting ends.
Return the next integer of value toward -infinity.
The name of the ledger data file from whence the posting came.
Evaluate string as format just like the −−format option.
Return the date as a string using format. Refer to strftime(3) for format string details.
Return the datetime as a string using format. Refer to strftime(3) for format string details.
Return value at index from seq. Used internally to construct different reports.
Return true if the posting has metadata named tag, false otherwise.
Return true if the posting has metadata named tag, false otherwise.
Return true if value is a sequence. Used internally.
Replace all newlines in value with \n.
justify(value, first_width, latter_width, right_justify, colorize)
Right or left justify the string representing value. The width of the field in the first line is given by first_width. For subsequent lines the width is given by latter_width. If latter_width is -1, first_width is used for all lines. If right_justify is true then the field is right justified within the width of the field. If it is false, then the field is left justified and padded to the full width of the field. If colorize is true, then ledger will honor color settings.
Return the price of value at datetime. Note that datetime must be surrounded by brackets in order to be parsed correctly, e.g. [2012/03/23].
Return the value of metadata named name.
Return the note for the posting.
Return the current datetime.
A variable that allows access to the values of the given command-line options using the long option names, e.g. to see whether −−daily (−D) was given use option.daily.
Return the payee of the posting.
Return the percentage of value_a in relation to value_b (used as 100%).
Return true if the posting is marked as pending, false otherwise.
Return the percentage of value_a in relation to value_b.
Print value to stdout. Used internally for debugging.
Return the quantity of value for values that have a per-unit cost.
Surround expression with double-quotes.
Surround expression with double-quotes, compatible with rfc 4180.
Return true if the transaction is real, i.e not an automated or virtual transaction, false otherwise.
Return value rounded to n digits. Does not affect formatting.
Return true if expression given to −−bold-if evaluates to true. Internal use only!
Clean value using various transformations such as round, stripping value annotations, and more.
Strip value annotation from value.
Return the value of tag named name.
Convert value to an amount. Internal use only!
Convert value to a balance. Internal use only!
Convert value to a boolean. Internal use only!
Convert value to a date. Internal use only!
Convert value to a datetime. Internal use only!
Return the integer value for value.
Convert value to a mask. Internal use only!
Convert value to a sequence. Internal use only!
Convert value to a character string.
Return today’s date.
Return the total of the posting.
Return the calculated total of the posting according to the −−total option.
Trim leading and trailing whitespace from value.
truncated(string, total_len, account_len)
Truncate string to total_len ensuring that each account is at least account_len long.
Return true if the transaction is virtual, e.g automated, false otherwise.
In addition to the regular reporting commands, ledger also accepts several debug commands:
Display complete analysis of how ledger interpreted the given report-query. Useful if you want to understand how report queries are translated into value expressions.
Evaluate the given value-expression and prints the result. For more on value expressions, see the section EXPRESSIONS.
Display an analysis of how format-string was parsed, and what it would look like applied to a sample transaction. For more on format strings, see the section FORMATS.
Generate 50 randomly composed yet valid ledger transactions.
Parse the given value-expression and display an analysis of the expression tree and its evaluated value. For more on value expressions, see the section EXPRESSIONS.
Invoke a Python interpreter to read the given file. What is special about this is that the ledger module is builtin, not read from disk, so it doesn’t require ledger to be installed anywhere, or the shared library variants to be built.
Reload all data files for the current session immediately. Can only be used in the REPL.
Display information about how draft-template was parsed. See the section on DRAFTS.
Every option to ledger may be set using an environment variable if the option has a long name. For example setting the environment variable LEDGER_DATE_FORMAT="%d.%m.%Y’ will have the same effect as specifying −−date-format ’%d.%m.%Y’ on the command-line. Options on the command-line always take precedence over environment variable settings, however.
Your personal ledger initializations.
The full documentation for ledger is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info program is installed on your system, the command
should give you access to the complete manual.
John Wiegley 〈[email protected]〉
BSD March 15, 2019 BSD