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In the GnuCash application, all error messages during the program run are redirected into a trace file. The content of this file is very important when reporting a bug, as well as a Stack Trace for bugs that crash the program.

At each program start, a new trace file will be written and all output during the program run will be appended to that file.

Trace file on Windows

On Windows these files are named gnucash.trace.ABCDEF, where the .ABCDEF suffix is changed randomly on each start of gnucash. They are usually located in the folder

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\myname\Local Settings\Temp
  • Vista and later: C:\Users\myname\AppData\Local\Temp

for a user named "myname".

Note that Windows Explorer hides the AppData directory, so after opening c:\Users\myname click in the path bar at the top and type "\AppData" and press return. The AppData folder will open and you can continue to navigate normally.

This location may change, if you set the Windows environment variables TMPDIR, TMP, or TEMP (in DOS mode, use the SET command).

Also, the folder name "Local Settings" might be named differently in your native language (e.g. in German "Anwendungsdaten"), and it might also be a "hidden system folder" which is shown only if you change the folder properties to "Not hide system files/folders" in your file manager, e.g. windows explorer.

If you experience crashes or unexpected behavior, check the latest of these files (or the one created when the problem started) and add all interesting-looking lines of that file to your error reports (e.g. in Bugzilla). Please include at least the lines with the keywords WARN (for warning) and CRIT (for critical warning).

Trace file on Linux

On Linux, the most recent gnucash.trace file is located in /tmp. Some BSD variants use /var/tmp instead. Rename or move it as you like to safeguard it against overwriting.

Trace file on OSX

On OSX, Gnucash creates the tracefile, gnucash.trace, in the operating system's current temp folder, located in /var/folders. The rest of the path has the form yy/yy_lots_more_hex_characters/-Tmp-/gnucash.trace. Most systems have several of these, so the easiest thing to do is to open Terminal and run

$ find /var/folders -name gnucash.trace

and it will print out the path for you.

Trace File Adjustments


gnucash --help

in a command shell will give you a clue of possible options:

  • --debug: Enable debugging mode: increasing logging to provide deep detail.
  • --extra: Enable extra/development/debugging features.
  • --log: Log level overrides, of the form "log.ger.path={debug,info,warn,crit,error}"
  • --logto: File to log into; defaults to "/tmp/gnucash.trace"; can be "stderr" or "stdout".

So, if gnucash --debug is not sufficient, gnucash --debug --extra might be.

Finally with --log you can fine tune the Logging capabilities and save your settings in the special file ~/.gnucash/log.conf.

See Also

Third party modules have their own log facilities. If you use AqBanking, you might also wish to read about AqBanking Debugging.