Building

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Contents

General Instructions

Disclaimer

This page deals with building the developers version of GnuCash from the Git repository. If you are searching instructions for the stable version, you should read GnuCash#Installation.

This page deals also not with optional modules of third parties like the Perl module Finance::Quote.

Get and Configure the Sources

For the very latest source code, get the sources from Git or use the latest release source file of type gnucash-<version>.tar.gz. Examine the Dependencies wiki page and the README.dependencies file for the list of build dependencies for your distribution, the README.git file for notes on compiling gnucash, and the HACKING file for notes on hacking the code.

Here are the basic steps one might end up taking:

1. Change to gnucash directory

 cd gnucash

2. If this code was retrieved from Git, generate the configure script (otherwise skip this step)

 ./autogen.sh 

3. Look at available configure options

 ./configure --help
(Note: There are issues with the guile configuration of slib which will cause configure to fail on many distributions. See: #slib Issues)

4. For an "in-tree" build (where the compiled files are located in the same directories as the source code files), run configure with the appropriate options. Alternatively, create a separate build directory as explained below. Some example options for configure might look as follows

 ./configure --prefix=/opt/gnucash-devel \
    --enable-debug --enable-doxygen \
    --enable-error-on-warning --enable-compile-warnings \
    [--enable-ofx [...]]

5. Compile and install

 make
 make install

6. Run

 /opt/gnucash-devel/bin/gnucash

Using separate build directory

It is possible, and even preferable, to separate the directories containing source code, build files, and installed files.

To build in another directory, cd to it before starting, then call the configure script by the relative path. For example:

cd gnucash
./autogen.sh

These steps were identical to the description above. Now the part which is different:

mkdir build        # Create the separate build directory
cd build

From within the build directory, you now have to call configure by its relative path. In this example, this is

../configure --prefix...    # and all the other options

Then you can run make, and make install as normal.

Distro-specific Information

See the README.dependencies file for library dependency notes. Also check out the dependencies page.

Slackware

Slackware installation is covered on this page.

Debian

If you are lucky, running

 aptitude build-dep gnucash

will install everything you need to build gnucash.

On Debian, the packages you'll probably need are (among many others):

guile-1.6-dev
swig
libgnome2-dev
libgnomeui-dev
goffice-0-dev
libgsf-1-dev
libgtkhtml3.2-dev (3.6, 3.8, or 3.14 will also do)
libofx-dev (to enable ofx support)
libaqbanking16-dev (to enable aqbanking support. Don't use the newer libaqbanking20-dev - see AqBanking#Compatibility)
postgresql-dev (to enable sql support)

If you are building from git, you will also need the following installed before running autogen.sh:

automake
intltool
libtool
guile-1.6-dev

For the 2.0-branch of GnuCash you need additionally:

libgwrapguile-dev OR
guile-g-wrap

If you see the error "<unnamed port>: no code for module (g-wrap gw standard)" at runtime, see this particular FAQ.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu releases are supported for various lengths of time; Wikipedia has a handy chart showing which versions are still supported.

Note: Dear Ubunteros, please do not copy and paste whole paragraphs. Instead adjust single sections in the form

Version x and newer:
do this
Version x-1 and before:
do that.
Can someone of you clean up this chapter and later remove this note?

Compiling Newer Ubuntu Packages on an Older Release ("self-backporting")

If you are on an older version of Ubuntu (or Debian for that matter) such as Precise 12.04 LTS, but a newer package isn't available for your Ubuntu (or Debian) release, you may be able to compile a newer version yourself (essentially backporting it yourself).

If the newer package is available in Raring 13.04, add a line in your /etc/apt/sources.list (or for newer versions of Ubuntu, include a new file in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory) with the correct format. For Raring, the line would be:

deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu raring main restricted universe

You want the version (Raring in above example) to be newer than the system release you have installed. Then you can use the following lines to compile and install whatever software version is in the newer Ubuntu release, "backporting" the newer software to your older release of Ubuntu.

cd ~/src/
sudo aptitude update
sudo apt-get install build-essential fakeroot
sudo apt-get build-dep gnucash gnucash-common
apt-get --compile source gnucash gnucash-common
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Easy as 1-2-3!*

  • If apt-get build-dep fails on the gnucash packages with a message like "E: Build-Depends dependency for gnucash cannot be satisfied because the package XXXXX cannot be found" then that means you need additional updated libraries on your system in order to backport the software. Unless you know there are only one or two new libraries needed, it's most likely MUCH easier just to build GnuCash from source. (See directions below.)

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin)

To build using the git repository first install git

sudo apt-get install git

then in an appropriate directory run

git clone  git://github.com/Gnucash/gnucash.git gnucash

which will make a git repository in a directory gnucash.

Next install the build dependencies

sudo apt-get build-dep gnucash

and a few required or useful tools

sudo apt-get install libtool swig git libgnomeui-dev xsltproc libxslt-dev doxygen

if want to use the alternative database backends then:

sudo apt-get install libdbd-{sqlite3,pgsql,mysql}

In a terminal cd to the gnucash directory and checkout the version that you want, so to get the latest 2.4 branch version:

git checkout 2.4

or to build a released version, for example:

git checkout 2.4.9

Then to build it

./autogen.sh
./configure --prefix=/path/to/install/to/gnucash --enable-compile-warnings --with-html-engine=webkit --disable-error-on-warning
make
sudo make install

The prefix might be, for example,

--prefix=/usr/bin/gnucash2.4

Then to run it, assuming there were no errors

/usr/bin/gnucash2.4/bin/gnucash

Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)

To build using the git repository first install git-core

sudo apt-get install git-core

then in an appropriate directory run

git clone  git://github.com/Gnucash/gnucash.git gnucash

which will make a git repository in a directory gnucash.

The main branch in git is conventionally named master, whereas in this repository it is named trunk (due to the fact that it is derived from a subversion repository I believe). This is not a problem but if you would rather have it named master then cd into the gnucash directory and

git branch -t master refs/remotes/origin/trunk
git checkout master 

Next install the build dependencies

sudo apt-get build-dep gnucash

and a few required or useful tools

sudo apt-get install libtool swig git

if want to use the alternative database backends then:

sudo apt-get install libdbd-{sqlite3,pgsql,mysql}

In a terminal cd to the gnucash directory and checkout the version that you want, so to get the latest 2.4 branch version:

git checkout 2.4

or to build a released version, for example:

git checkout 2.4.7

Then to build it

./autogen.sh
./configure --prefix=/path/to/install/to/gnucash --enable-compile-warnings --with-html-engine=webkit
make
sudo make install

The prefix might be, for example,

--prefix=/usr/bin/gnucash2.4

Then to run it, assuming there were no errors

/usr/bin/gnucash2.4/bin/gnucash

Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

Follow the steps described for #Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx).

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx)

First, we need install all dependencies of building GnuCash.

sudo aptitude build-dep gnucash
sudo aptitude install texinfo git intltool libdbi0-dev libdbd-{sqlite3,pgsql,mysql} guile-1.8 guile-1.8-dev doxygen libwebkit-dev

Since Ubuntu/Debian doesn't have guile-1.8-slib, which is actually just a softlink to slib, we create the softlink and generate the catalog manually.

cd /usr/share/guile/1.8
sudo ln -s ../../slib slib
sudo guile -c "(use-modules (ice-9 slib)) (require 'new-catalog)"

And then we create the directories for source code and installation, and check out source code from git master

mkdir -p ~/unstable ~/development
rm -rf ~/unstable/gnucash ~/development/gnucash
cd ~/development
git clone https://github.com/Gnucash/gnucash/ gnucash
cd gnucash

Then, we build it by following commands:

./autogen.sh
./configure --prefix=$HOME/unstable/gnucash --enable-debug --enable-doxygen --enable-error-on-warning --enable-compile-warnings
make all install

If there are no errors, we can run it:

~/unstable/gnucash/bin/gnucash

Gentoo

Gentoo instructions can be found on Gnucash-svn installation on Gentoo.

Mac OS X

Mac OS X instructions can be found on MacOSX/Quartz (This is the procedure used for building the binary packages) or gnucash installation from source on Mac OS X.

Fedora

Fedora Core 5

At least the following packages are required to build GnuCash from source on FC5:

libtool-ltdl-devel
guile-devel
g-wrap-devel
libgnomeprint22-devel
libgnomeprintui22-devel
gtkhtml3-devel

Suggested way to satify all requirements:

# yum install libtool-ltdl-devel guile-devel g-wrap-devel libgnomeprint22-devel \
  libgnomeprintui22-devel gtkhtml3-devel

Please note that while the configure script only checks for GtkHTML up to 3.8, recent versions of GtkHTML ship with "libgtkhtml-3.8.pc" so yes, you CAN use gtkhtml3-3.10 on FC5.

Fedora 13

On Fedora 13, the build instructions are very similar to the ones for Ubuntu 10.04 (above). First, we need install all dependencies of building GnuCash.

sudo yum-builddep gnucash -y
sudo yum install texinfo git intltool libdbi-devel libdbi guile guile-devel doxygen gtkhtml3-devel -y

And then we create the directories for source code, and check out source code from git master

mkdir -p ~/development
cd ~/development
git clone https://github.com/Gnucash/gnucash/ gnucash
cd gnucash

Then, we build it by following commands:

./autogen.sh
./configure --prefix=$HOME/unstable/gnucash --enable-debug --enable-doxygen --enable-error-on-warning --enable-compile-warnings
make all install

If there are no errors, we can run it:

~/unstable/gnucash/bin/gnucash

slib Issues

Ubuntu Hardy and Intrepid, and if the mailing lists are to be believed, many other distributions as well, produce the following error when running the configure script:

configure:27495: checking for SLIB support
configure:27509: error:
Cannot find SLIB. Are you sure you have it installed?
See http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=347922
...

This is not a problem with gnucash! The issue seems to be that the slib installation does not properly configure guile. Two items need to be fixed: a guile initialization file has an incorrect path, and the initialization of the slib catalog is not done. On Ubuntu, the initialization file is /usr/share/guile/1.8/ice-9/slib.scm. There is no guarantee that this will be the same on another distribution. This file references the guile.init file supplied by slib to hook slib into guile. Look in the file to find:

(load-from-path "slib/guile.init")

This line must be changed to reflect the correct location of the guile.init file:

(load-from-path "/usr/share/slib/init/guile.init")

This path is correct for Ubuntu. It will probably not be the same on other distributions. Once this is fixed, slib must be invoked from guile to initialize the catalog:

sudo guile -c "(use-modules (ice-9 slib)) (require 'printf)"

Then, if there were no errors, the returned status will be "0". We can check this by echoing the status variable from the environment:

echo $?

Which should return 0. If it does, then the configure script should now get past the section which checks for slib. Note that since standard users probably do not have write permissions to the slib and guile directories, the catalog initialization will fail unless you sudo! I recently discovered (7/1/09) that upgrading Ubuntu from Hardy to Intrepid silently breaks slib by undoing this change, forcing you to repeat the fix.

Finally, there are several additional suggestions that can be gleaned from others who have had this problem. I've listed these below in case they are needed on some distributions. As far as I can tell, on Ubuntu at least, all of these additional actions are superfluous.

Environment Strings:
export SCM_INIT_PATH=/usr/share/slib/init/guile.init
export SCHEME_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/share/slib
export GUILE_LOAD_PATH=/usr/share/guile/site /usr/share/guile/1.8 /usr/share/guile
Symbolic Links:
ln -s /usr/share/guile/1.8/ /usr/share/guile/site
ln -s /usr/share/slib/ /usr/share/guile/1.8/slib

Obviously, the paths here refer to the Ubuntu install. Yours may differ.

Tutorial on Plugins

This section describes how to build a plugin from scratch.

A plugin is a runtime loadable module which provides optional functions for GnuCash. There are a couple of plugins plus a skeleton example in src/plugins. To add your own plugin:

  • Copy the example to a new plugin subdirectory:
 cd src/plugins
 cp -R example your-plugin-name
  • edit Makefile.am to add your-plugin-name to the subdirs list
  • edit configure.ac, inserting the following line near the end just before AC_OUTPUT:
 AC_CONFIG_FILES(src/plugins/your-plugin-name/Makefile src/plugins/your-plugin-name/ui/Makefile src/plugins/your-plugin-name/glade/Makefile)
  • edit the source files in your-plugin-name to actually do what you want, rename them to make sense, and adjust the filenames in the three Makefile.am to match.
  • Rebuild GnuCash:
 cd ../..
 ./autogen.sh
 ./configure --whatever options you usually use
 make
 make install
  • to force GnuCash to load the plugin upon start
 echo '(gnc:module-load "gnucash/plugins/your-plugin-name" 0)' >> ~/.gnucash/config.user

The result will be your new plugin being available in the Tools menu, or wherever you added it in the UI file.

Microsoft Windows

Compiling GnuCash in Windows is possible, but much more difficult than in linux. For details, see GnuCash on Microsoft Windows.