November 6, 2006

Special Report: Managing your money with Linux

Author: Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier

If there's any job best suited for a computer, it's keeping track of finances. This week we're taking a look at personal and small-business accounting software like GnuCash, SQL-Ledger, Ledger, KMyMoney. We'll also cover how to keep track of your money the old-school way with free software spreadsheet apps. Each day this week we'll be running one or more articles on how you can manage your money using open source software.

Accounting software is an area where free software has long been anemic, at best. However, in the past few years, the options available to Linux users have improved to the point where it's now possible for individuals and organizations to balance the books without having to keep a Windows machine lurking in the corner.

We're kicking off our series today with a review of GnuCash 2.0, which is fitting since GnuCash was the first real attempt at providing a free software answer to Quicken. Later this week, we'll provide a guide to using GnuCash to track a checking account, a detailed look at SQL-Ledger, and a look at balancing the books at the command line with Ledger. By presenting a range of options, we hope you'll find at least one Linux application that meets your accounting needs.

This is's second special report, following our special report on Exchange replacements in September. We received a lot of reader feedback about messaging servers for Linux, and we'll be sure to revisit that topic in the future. We'd also like to hear what other topics you'd like to see covered. If you have a suggestion for another topic, like virtualization, storage, games, or maybe content management software, please let us know what you'd like to read more about.

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