Python Bindings

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Python in gnucash has two main aspects:

Python bindings provide SWIG wrapper functions for some of gnucashs C/C++ parts. They can be used to write standalone scripts to work with the gnucash financial data. In the source tree they are located at bindings/python.

The python shell opens at gnucash startup and provides a python environment to use with the running gnucash instance. In the source tree it is located at gnucash/python. You use the python bindings in this shell. Be careful: gnucash is not designed to have multiple instances changing the data at the same time, reading should be secure.

Note, that there is also a pure python client, piecash, to read and manipulate GnuCash books if saved in of the three SQL backends (sqlite, MySQL, Postgres). Currently (Oct 2020), piecash supports files created up to GnuCash 4.2.

General notice

Python bindings have been added to gnucash in 2008 or earlier. There is still very little documentation and probably few people would know how to use it. While not a manual, this page was created in the hope to provide information for those interested in gnucash and python.

See also

Setting things up

Gnucash 4.x requires Python 3.6.
GnuCash's Python bindings has been known to work with CPython version 3.2 or later as of GnuCash 3.0.



The easiest way to install the GnuCash Python bindings is via apt-get:
sudo apt-get install python3-gnucash


The python bindings are install with the gnucash package.

Other Linux distributions / GnuCash from source

To configure with Python

I use IPython for an interactive shell. If you prefer something else, let us know if there is any difference.
export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:/opt/gnc/git/lib/python{{Python_Version}}/site-packages

This adds the gnucash python bindings to your PYTHONPATH assuming that your gnucash resides in /opt/gnc/git/. Notice that if even if you install to the default CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX of /usr/local, the Ubuntu/Debian python is compiled to search for packages in dist-packages and does not find them in site-packages.

You can then either start up an interactive python session with ipython or call your script to be executed:
gnucash-env ipython
gnucash-env python /path/to/script
To install ipython run
sudo pip ipython
pip is the package installer for Python.


Install GnuCash via MacPorts:
sudo port install gnucash +python{{Python_Version_short}}

Note: at the time of writing, only the non-quartz environment is supported.

Setup the PYTHONPATH to point to your macports install:
export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:/opt/local/lib/python{{Python_Version}}/site-packages
You can then either start up an interactive python session with ipython or call your script to be executed:
python /path/to/script


As pointed out in the introductory paragraph, the documentation is rather slim at this point in time. Here are some sources where you might be able to find what you are looking for. Generally speaking, this is not yet end-user friendly stuff.

Again,[1] contained some more hopefully useful pointers, but the page is no longer available.

Example Usages

This section should contain some pointers to scripts using the GnuCash Python bindings:

GnuCash uses DeprecationWarnings, which are disabled by default in Python. Be sure to test periodically with python -Wd or with PYTHONWARNINGS=default set in the environment so that you know about API that will disappear in the next major release. See Development_Process#LibGnuCash API Stability for the policy.
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