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The glossary explains some often used terms.

Since version 2.6.15 GnuCash's Tutorial & Concepts Guide includes a glossary. This page contains additional terms useful for developers, documentation writers, and translators.

" " ... @

is the starting symbol of variable names under Linux, similar to %variable% under Windows.
contains the path to your home directory.
Windows Note: $HOME is at %SYSDRIVE%\Documents and Settings\%USER%\.
For example, if your system is installed on drive "C:" and your username is "foo", $HOME is C:\Documents and Settings\foo.


a library, which implements the german Home Banking Computer Interface HBCI and Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard EBICS, besides OFX Direct Connect and Paypal. It is the successor of openHBCI. See AqBanking for use in GnuCash.


The Business Identifier Codes are international routing codes registered at SWIFT.


Chart of Accounts (CoA)
A listing of all the accounts available in the data file. The chart of accounts consists of balance sheet accounts (assets, liabilities, stockholders' equity) and income statement accounts (revenues, expenses, gains, losses). The chart of accounts can be expanded and tailored to reflect the operations of the company. The GnuCash chart of accounts can be selected from the File menu.
Constant special item ID list values provide a unique system-independent way to identify special folders used frequently by applications, but which may not have the same name or location on any given system. For example, the system folder may be "C:\Windows" on one system and "C:\Winnt" on another. These constants are defined in Shlobj.h. Windows Dev Center
Microsofts equivalent to XDG.
Stands for Comma Separated Values. CSV files are used to store a table of data in plain text. Each line of the file is a record and each record can be comprised of multiple fields separated by commas. More information can be found at Wikipedia


Data Base Management System, like mySQL or PostgreSQL
a Semantics markup language for technical documentation based on XML. The content can then be published in a variety of formats, including HTML, XHTML, EPUB, PDF, man pages, Web help and HTML Help, without requiring users to make any changes to the source. Urs Lindegger has a nice introduction while the official documentation is available with DocBook: The Definitive Guide.
a tool for the automated generation of source code documentation. says that "Doxygen is a documentation system for C++, C, Java, IDL (Corba and Microsoft flavors) and to some extent PHP and C#."


The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are the rules by which Business Accounting has to be done, especially in the U.S. and some other countries. For international standards see International Accounting Standards (IAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). You should also compare your locale standards like e.g. for Germany Grundsätze ordnungsmäßiger Buchführung.
Gnome's Configuration Sytem has been used by GnuCash <=2.4 to store its configuration. In 2.5.x it was replaced by GSettings.
pristine derived from GNU Network Object Model Environment is a desktop environment, from which Gnucash uses a bunch of libraries.
Since GnuCash 2.5 the tool to store the users configuration data. It uses the native data store of the operating system:
DConf since Gnome 3.0 dropped GConf. Use the command-line dconf-editor to modify prefs when GnuCash isn't running.
Defaults. Use the command-line defaults(1) to modify prefs when GnuCash isn't running.
the GIMP Tool Kit. It is the underlying graphical library that is used by GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, but also by the whole Gnome desktop. says that "GTK+ is a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces. Offering a complete set of widgets, GTK+ is suitable for projects ranging from small one-off projects to complete application suites."
GNU Ubiquitous Intelligent Language for Extensions is an interpreter for the Scheme programming language, packaged as a library which can be incorporated into your programs. Other interpreters for Scheme are e.g. MIT Scheme, UMB Scheme, Luna, Hobbit, and many others.
a tool for creating Scheme interfaces to C libraries and vice versa. (replaced by swig for gnucash >= 2.2.0)


a bank-independent online banking protocol used by German banks. HBCI (Home Banking Computer Interface) has been developed by the German Central Banking Committee ZKA (Zentraler Kredit-Ausschuss). The standard is publicly available and is used by almost all German banks, but nowhere else in this world. Since 2002 it is called „Financial Transaction Services“ (FinTS). In GnuCash it can be used via AqBanking.
The HyperText Markup Language is usually used for websites, but also the GnuCash reports.


The International Bank Account Number consits of up to 34 alphanumeric characters, as follows:
  • country code using ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 – two letters,
  • check digits – two digits, and
  • Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN) – up to 30 alphanumeric characters that are country-specific. It is often a concatation of the former national bank code and the account number.
The standard is ISO 13616.
See also
Internet Relay Chat is a form of instant communication over the Internet. It is used for GnuCash to enable group (many-to-many) communication in a discussion forum, called channel. IRC in itself additionally also allows one-to-one communication. you can find the connection information at IRC


an Open Source library for OFX (see below). It was created by one of the GnuCash developers (Benoit Gregoire), originally to be the OFX interface for GnuCash.


Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions are also used to register document types and associate them with applications in desktop environments like Gnome, KDE, ...
SWIFT Message Types are a bunch of financial information standards defined by SWIFT and used for international exchange. Several (European) banks offer interfaces for some of them to their clients, too.
  • GnuCash can import some MT94x files.
  • It is also used internally in HBCI.
Unfortunately, you can't download the MT940 standard from SWIFT, but some banks (like this one) publish it on their website.
Changes will be published at


the Open Financial eXchange format. This is a financial information standard (i.e. a file format standard) documented at
was an Open Source implementation of the German HBCI. It was replaced in 2004 by AqBanking.


PAS 76
A software standard for VAT tax reporting for UK businesses created by British Standards. The full name of this standard is "Publicly Available Specification Accounting software standard - PAS 76."
originally Personal Home Page, now PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is the server sided scripting language in the pages of
a programming language, which can be used to write extensions to GnuCash, if support was enabled at build time.


Abbreviation of the Gnucash internal module Query Object Framework.


Scheduled Transactions 
are templates for entries that will occur in the future: for example, regularly recurring bills, such as utility or mortgage payments. SX's are meant to make it easier to enter in anything that recurs on a regular basis.
a functional programming language, a dialect of Lisp. There's a little more information at, where they'll tell you that "Scheme is a statically scoped and properly tail-recursive dialect of the Lisp programming language invented by Guy Lewis Steele Jr. and Gerald Jay Sussman.", but there are several tutorials like anotherSchemeTtutorial. Use your preferred web search to find them.
In the Single Euro Payments Area the IBAN replaced national routing and accounting numbers.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is among other things the editor of the Message Type file standards.
The Simplified Wrapper and Interface Generator is 'a tool that connects programs written in C and C++ with a variety of high-level programming languages', here for creating Scheme interfaces to C libraries and vice versa. (Replacement for g-wrap since gnucash 2.2.0)
Abbreviation of scheduled transaction, IRC slang.


Travis CI
is a hosted, distributed continuous integration service used to build and test software projects hosted at GitHub. See Testing#Travis CI about our usage.
Abbreviation of transaction, IRC slang.


Abbreviation of XAccountant.
The Motif based ancestor of Gnucash.
X Desktop Group, former name of, a "collaboration zone" for standards and specifications where users can freely discuss ideas, is building a base platform for desktop software on Linux and UNIX.
Important is their XDG Base Directory Specification, which defines $XDG_DATA_HOME, $XDG_CONFIG_HOME, ...
The eXtensible Markup Language can be seen as an abstraction of HTML. It is often used to store e.g.
  • structured data like your GnuCash file or
  • technical documentation in Docbook.
For details see the W3C Recommendation.
The eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations is a language for transforming XML documents into other XML documents, or other formats such as HTML for web pages, plain text or XSL Formatting Objects, which may subsequently be converted to other formats, such as PDF...

[ ... ~

In a path name it has the same meaning as $HOME.