Scripts

This document is the README in the hledger repo's bin directory, and is also published as Scripts on hledger.org. Here we collect hledger scripts: additional small tools which complement hledger in some way. These can be:

  • shell aliases or functions, defined eg in your shell's startup file
  • shell script files
  • programs written in other languages, like Python or Haskell. Haskell scripts are the most powerful since they can call hledger's Haskell API (we'll call these hledger-integrated).
  • script files or programs named hledger-*, which show up in hledger's commands list as add-on commands.

The most common types of hledger script are:

  1. shell aliases/functions/scripts which run hledger with custom options and arguments, eg to produce a particular report
  2. Haskell add-on command scripts implementing variants of the built-in commands, or new kinds of report.

Scripting hledger has more on this general topic.

The current "bin scripts" are listed in the page contents and below, categorised by how they invoke hledger. They are either useful as is, or can be examples/inspiration for making your own. Contributions welcome! Following the list are install instructions and other tips.

hledger-running scripts

These run hledger via its command line interface, and perhaps process its output:

bashrc

bashrc contains many example bash aliases and functions. After installing the bin scripts: as a bash user,

# customise FINDIR and LEDGER_FILE at the top of bin/bashrc
$ . bin/bashrc
$ fin        # list the scripts available

hledger-simplebal

hledger-simplebal shows how to reliably report a single machine-readable number with hledger. This and the other "hledger-" scripts are add-on commands.

$ hledger simplebal

hledger-git

hledger-git provides easy version control for your journal files, using git. Run it with no arguments for help.

$ hledger git log
$ hledger git status
$ hledger git record [MSG]

hledger-pijul

hledger-pijul provides the same thing using the pijul version control system..

$ hledger pijul log
$ hledger pijul status
$ hledger pijul record [MSG]

hledger-integrated scripts

These call hledger as a Haskell library, and so must be written in Haskell. They can use hledger's internal data types and can do anything hledger's built-in commands can do:

hledger-addon-example

hledger-addon-example.hs is a starter template for a common type of script: a hledger-integrated add-on command. It has the same structure as most of the other add-ons here:

  • implemented as a stack script for robustness
  • provides command line help
  • accepts common hledger options

Further cleanup and documentation is ongoing.

hledger-print-location

hledger-print-location.hs is a variant of hledger's print command that adds the file and line number to every transaction, as a tag:

$ hledger print-location -f hledger/examples/sample.journal desc:eat
2008/06/03 * eat & shop
  ; location: /Users/simon/src/hledger/examples/sample.journal:30
  expenses:food                  $1
  expenses:supplies              $1
  assets:cash

hledger-swap-dates

hledger-swap-dates.hs prints transactions with their date and date2 fields swapped.

hledger-check-tagfiles

hledger-check-tagfiles.hs interprets all tag values containing a / (forward slash) as file paths, and checks that those files exist. hledger-check-tagfiles.cabal.hs is the same command implemented as a cabal script rather than a stack script.

hledger-check-postable

hledger-check-postable.hs check that no postings are made to accounts declared with a postable:n or postable:no tag. This can be used as a workaround when you must declare a parent account to control display order, but you don't want to allow postings to it. Eg, to allow postings to assets:cash but not assets (remember that account tags are inherited):

account assets         ; postable:n
account assets:cash    ; postable:

hledger-check-fancyassertions

hledger-check-fancyassertions.hs checks account balances over time in more complex ways than hledger's built-in balance assertions.

hledger-combine-balances

hledger-combine-balances.hs shows balance reports for two different periods side by side.

hledger-balance-as-budget

hledger-balance-as-budget.hs uses one balance report to set budget goals for another balance report.

hledger-smooth

hledger-smooth.hs is an incomplete attempt at automatically splitting infrequent/irregular transactions.

These don't run hledger, but are probably related to it in some way:

paypaljson

paypaljson downloads the last 30 days of Paypal transactions (requires a free developer account & API key).

paypaljson2csv

paypaljson2csv (python) converts paypaljson's output to CSV, with format similar to Paypal's manually-downloaded CSV.

More scripts

plaintextaccounting.org has a longer list of PTA tools, not hledger-specific.

Installing the bin scripts

These bin scripts are not automatically installed along with hledger; if you want them you must download them separately. Here's a suggested method:

# go to wherever you keep financial files
$ cd ~/finance

# get the hledger repo (the fast way, without version control)
$ curl -LOJ https://github.com/simonmichael/hledger/archive/refs/heads/master.zip && unzip hledger-master.zip && mv hledger-master hledger

# (or the slow way, with version control for easy diffing/updating/contributing)
# git clone https://github.com/simonmichael/hledger.git

# make a more convenient symlink to the bin directory
$ ln -s hledger/bin

# add the bin directory to your PATH. Eg as a bash user:
$ echo "export PATH=$PATH:$PWD/bin" >>~/.bash_profile"
$ export PATH=$PATH:$PWD/bin

# check that hledger's command list now shows the hledger-* scripts
# (they will be listed with a + prefix):
$ hledger

Scripts with no file extension are mostly bash scripts except where noted. if you don't want to install bash you might have to adapt them to your shell.

Scripts with a .hs file extension are usually stack scripts, requiring stack to run. If you don't want to install stack you can adapt them to be cabal scripts, or install their required libraries yourself and run/compile them with suitable runghc/ghc commands. See also Working with hledger-*.hs scripts below.

Working with hledger-*.hs scripts

The hledger-*.hs add-on commands are mostly implemented as stack runghc scripts. See the comments in hledger-check-fancyassertions.hs for more about how to run or compile them. Short version: run bin/compile.sh to compile all scripts, and add this directory to your $PATH so they show up in hledger's command list.

How to:

Install all add-on commands

$ git clone https://github.com/simonmichael/hledger
$ hledger/bin/compile.sh
$ export PATH=$PATH:$PWD/hledger/bin

$ hledger                           # scripts now appear in commands list
$ hledger-print-location --help     # run a script directly
$ hledger print-location -- --help  # or run it via hledger. -- is needed before script options

Create a new script

The example scripts follow a template that implements hledger's standard command line options and help, so it's a good idea to use one as your starting point. The hledger- naming is not required, but it causes scripts to show up in the hledger commands list. On unix, your new script should be marked executable. This should do it:

$ cd hledger
$ cp bin/hledger-swap-dates.hs bin/hledger-foo.hs  # and edit, at least the command name and help
$ stack install string-qq     # ensure any extra script deps are installed
$ bin/hledger-cmd.hs --help
foo [OPTIONS]
  My new foo command.
  ...
$ stack ghc bin/hledger-cmd.hs
$ hledger foo -- --help
foo [OPTIONS]
  My new foo command.
  ...

Run ghcid on a script

$ stack install string-qq     # ensure any extra script deps are installed
$ stack exec -- ghcid bin/hledger-foo.hs 
...
Ok, one module loaded.
All good (1 module, at 10:50:48)

Run ghci on a script

$ stack install string-qq     # ensure any extra script deps are installed
$ stack ghci bin/hledger-foo.hs 
...
Ok, one module loaded.
...
ghci>