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To build this code after doing a Git clone, run:

$ ./acprep dependencies
$ ./acprep update

If anything goes wrong, see "COMMON CONFIGURE/BUILD PROBLEMS" below.

If you try to configure and build without running acprep first, you are almost certainly going to run into problems. In future, you can run acprep update again and again, and it will keep you updated to the very latest version.

Now install it:

$ sudo make install


To build and install Ledger requires several dependencies on various platforms. You can install these dependencies very simply for most of them using:

$ ./acprep dependencies

The first order of business if acprep update doesn't work is to find out where things went wrong. So follow these steps to produce a bug report I can track down easily:

$ ./acprep --debug update          # shows what acprep was thinking
$ $EDITOR CMakeCache.txt           # shows what cmake was thinking

With the contents of config.log, and the output from acprep --debug update, it's usually fairly obvious where things have gone astray.


Q: The build fails saying it can't find utf8.h

A: You didn't run ./acprep update.

Q: ./acprep update gives errors or ./acprep dependencies fails

A: You're probably missing some dependency libraries. If you tried ./acprep dependencies already and that didn't solve the problem, then you may need to install dependencies by hand. On a Debian GNU/Linux system (or Debian-based system such as Ubuntu), something like this should work (as root):

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake texinfo python-dev \
    zlib1g-dev libbz2-dev libgmp3-dev gettext libmpfr-dev \
    libboost-date-time-dev libboost-filesystem-dev \
    libboost-graph-dev libboost-iostreams-dev \
    libboost-python-dev libboost-regex-dev libboost-test-dev \
    doxygen libedit-dev libmpc-dev tzdata

Q: Configure fails saying it can't find boost_regex

A: Look in config.log and search for "boost_regex", then scroll down a bit until you see the exact compile error. Usually it's failing because your include directory is different from anything acprep is expecting to see. It could also be failing because your Boost libraries have a custom "suffix" on them.

Let's say your Boost was installed in ~/boost, and every library has the suffix -xgcc42. This is what you would run:

$ CPPFLAGS=-I$HOME/boost acprep --boost=xgcc42 update

Q: Configure fails saying it can't find MPFR

A: You need MPFR version 2.4.0 or higher. This version does not come with most Debian distributions, so you will need to build it. The relevant packages are libmpfr-dev and libmpfr-dbg. See also the question above about what to do if ./acprep update gives errors or ./acprep dependencies fails.

Q: I'm seeing a segfault deep inside the boost_regex code!

A: Actually, the real segfault is in libstdc++'s facet code. It's being caused by using a debug Boost with a non-debug build of Ledger, or vice-versa.

Q: Something else fails, or Ledger crashes on startup

A: This, I am most interested in hearing about. Please file a bug at the Ledger Issue Tracker, The more details you can provide, the better. Also, if Ledger is crashing, try running it under gdb like so:

$ gdb ledger
(gdb) run <ARGS TO LEDGER>
... runs till crash ...
(gdb) bt

Put that backtrace output, and the output from ledger --version in the bug report.

Q: Whenever I try to use the Python support, I get a segfault

A: Make sure that the boost_python library you linked against is using the exact same Python as the Ledger executable. In particular I see this bug on macOS systems where boost_python is linked against the default Python, while Ledger is linked against the version provided by MacPorts. Or vice versa.

Solution: Use one or the other. If you prefer the system Python, run port deactivate -f python26, to get MacPorts' version out of the way. You'll then need to delete the Ledger binary and run make to relink it.

Q: When I run make check, the Python unit tests always crash

A: This can happen for the same reason as above. It can also happen if you have ICU support enabled. This is a bug I'm still trying to track down.

Q: My distribution has versions of Boost and/or CMake that are too old for Ledger. How do I build my own Boost and/or CMake binaries that will work properly with Ledger? Thereafter, how do I configure Ledger properly to use those newly built verisons of Boost and/or CMake?

A: Here's commands that one user used to make this work, for Boost 1.51.0 on Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.x (aka Debian squeeze). It's likely to work ok for other versions of Boost as well. YMMV on other distributions and/or other Debian distribution versions, though.

  • Preparing and building Boost

    $ export BOOST_VERSION=1.57.0
    $ cd /somewhere/you/want/to/build/boost
    $ wget -N$BOOST_VERSION/boost_${BOOST_VERSION//./_}.tar.bz2
    $ tar xvf boost_${BOOST_VERSION//./_}.tar.bz2
    $ cd boost_${BOOST_VERSION//./_}
    $ ./
    $ ./b2 --build-type=complete --layout=tagged --prefix=/where/you/want/boost/installed
    $ ./b2 --build-type=complete --layout=tagged --prefix=/where/you/want/boost/installed install
  • Preparing and building CMake

    $ export CMAKE_VERSION=3.1.0
    $ cd /somewhere/you/want/to/build/cmake
    $ wget -N${CMAKE_VERSION:0:3}/cmake-${CMAKE_VERSION}.tar.gz
    $ tar xvf cmake-${CMAKE_VERSION}.tar.gz
    $ cd cmake-${CMAKE_VERSION}
    $ ./configure --prefix=/where/you/want/cmake/installed/
    $ make
    $ make install
  • Building Ledger using the CMake and/or Boost as installed above

    $ cd /path/to/ledger/sources
    $ env PATH=/where/you/want/cmake/installed/bin:$PATH  BOOST_ROOT=/where/you/want/boost/installed PREFIX=/where/you/want/ledger/installed $SHELL
    $ ./acprep --prefix=$PREFIX --debug --python config
    $ ./acprep --prefix=$PREFIX --debug --python make
    $ ./acprep --prefix=$PREFIX --debug --python install