Section: User Commands (1)
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ledger - Command-line, double-entry account reporting tool  


ledger [command ] [options ] [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 offers a large selection of reports, and different ways to customize them to your liking.  


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 Sx 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 against the same dataset without reparsing.

The following is a complete list of reporting commands accepted by Ledger:

accounts [report-query ]
Lists all accounts for postings matching the report-query

balance [report-query ]
Produces a balance report showing totals for all matching accounts, and aggregate totals for parents of those accounts. Options most commonly used with this command are:

--basis (-B )
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.
--empty (-E )
Also 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 (when not zero).

The synonyms bal and b are also accepted.

budget [report-query ]
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 Do periodic transactions Dc to be defined in your data file(s). See the manual for more information.
cleared [report-query ]
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.
commodities [report-query ]
Lists all commodities for postings matching the report-query
Reads data from a CSV (comma-separated values) file and generates Ledger transactions.
csv [report-query ]
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.
entry [entry-template ]
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 Sx ENTRIES .

The synonym xact is also accepted.

emacs [query ]
Outputs posting and transaction data in a format readily consumed by the Emacs editor, in a series of Lisp forms. This is used by the ledger.el Emacs mode to process reporting data from Ledger.
equity [report-query ]
Prints a series of transactions 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 transactions to carry forward those balances.
Produces a journal file suitable for use in the Emacs org mode.
payees [report-query ]
Lists all payees for postings matching the report-query
Produces a file which can be used to generate a graph with graphviz showing the relationship of commodities in the Ledger file.
prices [report-query ]
Reports prices for all commodities in postings matching the report-query The prices are reported with the granularity of a single day.
pricedb [report-query ]
Reports 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 [report-query ]
Prints 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.
push [options ]
In the REPL this command pushes a set of command-line options, so that they will apply to all subsequent reports.
In the REPL pops any option settings that have been pushed.
register [report-query ]
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:

--average (-A )
Show the running average, rather than a running total.
--current (-c )
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.
--gain (-G )
Show any gains (or losses) in commodity values over time.
--head number
Only show the top number postings.
--historical (-H )
Invert the value of amounts shown.
--market (-V )
Show current market values for all amounts. This is determined in a somewhat magical fashion. It is probably more straightforward to use --exchange commodity (-X )
--period time-period (-p )
Show postings only for the given time-period
--related (-r )
Show postings that are related to those that would have been shown. It has the effect of displaying the Do other side Dc of the values.
--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: -S 'date, amount'
--tail number
Only show the last number postings.
--uncleared (-U )
Only show uncleared (i.e., recent) postings.

There are also several grouping options that can be useful:

--by-payee (-P )
Group postings by common payee names.
--daily (-D )
Group postings by day.
--weekly (-W )
Group postings by week (starting on Sundays).
--start-of-week day
Set the start of each report grouped by week to the given day
--monthly (-M )
Group postings by month.
Group postings by fiscal quarter.
--yearly (-Y )
Group postings by year.
Group postings by the day of the week on which they took place.
--subtotal (-s )
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.
select [sql-query ]
List all postings matching the sql-query This command allows to generate SQL-like queries.
Parses a journal file and checks it for errors. Ledger will return success if no errors are found.
stats [report-query ]
Provides summary information about all the postings matching report-query It provides information such as:

xml [report-query ]
Outputs 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.



--abbrev-len INT
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.
--account STR
Prepend STR to all accounts reported. That is, the option --account Personal would tack Personal: to the beginning of every account reported in a balance report or register report.
--account-width INT
Set the width of the account column in the register report to INT characters.
--actual (-L )
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.
--amount-data (-j )
On a register report print only the dates and amount of postings. Useful for graphing and spreadsheet applications.
--amount-width INT
Set the width in characters of the amount column in the register report.
Anonymize registry output, mostly for sending in bug reports.
Ignore init files and environment variables for the ledger run.
Show auxiliary dates for all calculations. Alias for --effective
--average (-A )
Print average values over the number of transactions instead of running totals.
--balance-format FMT
Specify the format to use for the balance report.
--basis (-B )
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.
--bold-if EXPR
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.
--budget-format FMT
Specify the format to use for the budget report.
--by-payee (-P )
Group postings in the register report by common payee names.
Enable strict and pedantic checking for payees as well as accounts, commodities and tags.
--cleared (-C )
Display only cleared postings.
--cleared-format FMT
Specify the format to use for the cleared report
--collapse (-n )
By default ledger prints all accounts in an account tree. With --collapse it prints only the top level account specified.
Collapse the account display only if it has a zero balance.
Use color if the terminal supports it. Alias for --ansi
--columns INT
Specify the width of the register report in characters.
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.
--csv-format FMT
Specify the format to use for the csv report
--current (-c )
Shorthand for --limit 'date <= today'
--daily (-D )
Shorthand for --period daily
--date EXPR
Transform the date of the transaction using EXPR
--date-format DATEFMT (-y )
Specify the format ledger should use to print dates.
--datetime-format FMT
--date-width INT
Specify the width, in characters, of the date column in the register report.
Display register or balance in debit/credit format If you use --dc with either the register (reg) or balance (bal) commands, you will now get separate columns for debits and credits.
--debug STR
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.
--depth INT
Limit the depth of the account tree. In a balance report, for example, a --depth 2 statement will print balances only for account 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.
--deviation (-D )
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
--display-amount EXPR
Apply a transformation to the displayed amount. This occurs after calculations occur.
--display-total EXPR
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
--empty (-E )
Include empty accounts in report.
--end DATE (-e )
Specify the end DATE for a transaction to be considered in the report.
Related to the equity command. Gives current account balances in the form of a register report.
--exchange COMMODITY [, COMM, ... (-X ) ]
Display values in terms of the given COMMODITY The latest available price is used.
--file FILE
Read FILE as a ledger file.
--first INT
Print the first INT entries. Opposite of --tail 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.
--forecast-while EXPR
Continue forecasting while VEXPR is true. Alias for --forecast
--forecast-years INT
Forecast at most INT years into the future.
--format FMT (-F )
Use the given format string FMT to print output.
--gain (-G )
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-by EXPR
Group transaction together in the register report. EXPR can be anything, although most common would be payee or commodity The tags() function is also useful here.
--group-title-format FMT
Set the format for the headers that separate reports section of a grouped report. Only has effect with a --group-by EXPR register report.
--head INT
Print the first INT entries. Opposite of --tail INT Alias for --first
Print a summary of all the options, and what they are used for. This can be a handy way to remember which options do what. This help screen is also printed if ledger is run without a command.
Instruct ledger to evaluate calculations immediately rather than lazily.
--init-file FILE (-i )
Causes FILE to be read by ledger 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.
--inject STR
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.
--input-date-format DATEFMT
Specify the input date format for journal entries.
Change the sign of all reported values.
--last INT
Report only the last INT entries. 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.
--market (-V )
Use the latest market value for all commodities.
--master-account STR
Prepend all account names with STR
--meta EXPR
In the register report, prepend the transaction with the value of the given TAG
--meta-width INT
Specify the width of the Meta column used for the --meta TAG options.
--monthly (-M )
Shorthand for --period monthly
Aliases are completely ignored.
Suppress any color TTY output. Suppress any color TTY output.
Don't output <Rounding> postings. Note that this will cause the running total to often not add up! It's 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.
--now DATE
Define the current date in case to you to do calculate in the past or future using --current
--only EXPR
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 the file defined in FILE
--pager STR
Specify the pager program to use as STR
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.
--payee-width INT
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.
--percent (- )
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.
--pivot STR
Produce a balance pivot report around the given TAG
--plot-amount-format FMT
Define the output format for an amount data plot.
--plot-total-format FMT
Define the output format for a total data plot.
--prepend-format FMT
Prepend STR to every line of the output.
--prepend-width INT
Reserve INT spaces at the beginning of each line of the output.
--price (-I )
Use the price of the commodity purchase for performing calculations.
--price-db FILE
--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 INT (-Z )
--prices-format FMT
Set the format for the prices report.
--pricedb-format FMT
Set the format expected for the historical price file.
Show primary dates for all calculations. Alias for --actual-dates
--quantity (-O )
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.
--real (-R )
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.
--register-format FMT
Define the output format for the register report.
--related (-r )
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.
--seed INT
Set the random seed to INT for the generate command. Used as part of development testing.
--script FILE
Execute a ledger script.
--sort EXPR (-S )
Sort the register report based on the value expression given to sort.
Sort the posting within transactions using the given value expression.
--start-of-week STR
Tell ledger to use a particular day of the week to start its "weekly" summary. 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.
--subtotal (-s )
Report register as a single subtotal.
--tail INT
Report only the last INT entries. Only useful on a register report. Alias for --last INT
Display the value for a seconds based commodity as real hours and minutes, thus 8100 seconds will be displayed as 2:15h instead of 2.25h.
--total EXPR (-T )
Define a value expression used to calculate the total in reports.
--total-data (-J )
Show only dates and totals to format the output for plots.
--total-width INT
Set the width of the total field in the register report.
--trace INT
Enable tracing. The INT specifies the level of trace desired.
--truncate CODE
Indicates how truncation should happen when the contents of columns exceed their width. Valid arguments 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.
--uncleared (-U )
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 gains. 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.
Shows the values used by each tag when used in combination with the tags command.
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.
Print version information and exit.
--weekly (-W )
Shorthand for --period weekly
--wide (-w )
Assume 132 columns instead of 80.
--yearly (-Y )
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.
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 sub-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 )
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 that 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.
not term
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



Fn abs value
Return the absolute value of the given value
Fn 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 transaction code, the string between the parenthesis after the date.
Return the date of the posting.
Line number where entry for posting ends.
Character position where entry for posting ends.
The name of the ledger data file from whence the posting came.







In addition to the regular reporting commands, Ledger also accepts several debug commands:

args [report-query ]
Accepts a report-query as its argument and displays it back to the user along with a complete analysis of how Ledger interpreted it. Useful if you want to understand how report queries are translated into value expressions.
eval [value-expression ]
Evaluates the given value-expression and prints the result. For more on value expressions, see the section Sx EXPRESSIONS .
format [format-string ]
Accepts a format-string and displays an analysis of how it was parsed, and what it would look like applied to a sample transaction. For more on format strings, see the section Sx FORMATS .
Generates 50 randomly composed yet valid Ledger transactions.
parse [value-expression ]
Parses the given value-expression and display an analysis of the expression tree and its evaluated value. For more on value expressions, see the section Sx EXPRESSIONS .
python [file ]
Invokes 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.
Used only in the REPL it causes an immediate reloading of all data files for the current session.
template [draft-template ]
Accepts a draft-template and displays information about how it was parsed. See the section on Sx DRAFTS .



~/.ledgerrc Your personal ledger initializations.  


beancount(1), hledger(1)  


An John Wiegley Aq johnw@newartisans.com




This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 20:30:18 GMT, January 20, 2015