Frequently Asked Questions - 1.1

Yes. IBANs are very long, bank account numbers. LedgerSMB has no problems storing, retrieving and using these without any issue.

Yes. SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) requires support for very long bank account numbers (IBANs or International Bank Account Numbers). LedgerSMB can store and use these numbers without problems.

Assuming you have created a backup file using, you can restore your database using the command:

 $ pg_restore [options] your_backup.bak

It should be pointed out that it's not possible to restore a backup to a database with a different name than the one you made the backup from!

If the database to restore into doesn't exist: replace [options] with -C new_database.
If you want to restore replacing an existing database: replace [options] with --clean -C new_database.

Note: You need to restore the roles backup before restoring the data backup.

FAQ Category: 

The table below lists the compatibility of LedgerSMB versions with Perl versions. Products for which support has ceased due to End-of-Life date being reached are not listed and should not be used.

PostgreSQL compatibility
PostgreSQL 1.4.x 1.5 planned 1.6 planned
5.10 yes yes no
5.12 yes yes no
5.14 yes yes yes
5.16 yes yes yes
5.18 yes yes yes
5.20 yes yes yes
5.22 yes yes yes
5.24 yes yes yes

Versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 are not in this table due to the fact that they're past End of Life.

FAQ Category: 

In the '' administrative interface, there are 2 buttons:

  • Backup database
  • Backup roles

One creates a backup of the content of your database. The other creates a backup of the roles.

Roles are elements which are required to exist before creation of a database, and assign fine-grained access control.

When restoring, you need both files and you need to restore the roles before the database.

FAQ Category: 

The answer to this question depends on what using means to you.

As a user of the web application, yes, there should be absolutely no problem using a recent (as in: no more than 2 or 3 years old) web browser in order to take advantage of all the features available.

As a platform for running a LedgerSMB server, it's simply been too long since it has been last tested. You might be able to make it work at the expense of considerable effort. If you do, please comment on this FAQ or contact the mailing list to let us know about your process and results!

Those running a LedgerSMB server on the Windows platform - that we know of - do so with virtualization techniques such as VirtualBox.

Operating system: 

The short answer is that TeX doesn't know how to deal with UTF-8 (or rather non-ASCII) characters. XeTeX has been designed to work around these limitations. The easiest way to generate PDFs is to install Xe(La)TeX and use the 'xedemo' templates - these templates have been 'ported' from LaTeX to XeLaTeX.

Distribution specific install instructions listed below.

Debian / Ubuntu 

Install texlive-xetex that includes xelatex

apt-get install texlive-xetex

but you need to patch LaTeX::Driver
Install liblatex-{driver,encode,table}-perl for latex

apt-get install liblatex-{driver,encode,table}-perl

and libmoosex-followpbp-perl for Template::Plugin::Latex

apt-get install libmoosex-followpbp-perlafter that:

apt-get install libtemplate-plugin-latex-perl  (or cpan Template::Plugin::Latex)


LedgerSMB xelatex configuration

Install xelatex and change the LedgerSMB configuration from the menu:
System -> System Defaults -> Templates directory
Change to "xedemo"

Change a path

From the mailing list: (Chris Travers)
Right now, I am open to suggestions on a better approach, as the Template::Latex api's don't seem to work to do this, but I resorted to changing the paths in LaTeX::Driver::Paths directly (find the location with locate LaTeX/Driver/ This file gets written at installation time for the LaTeX::Driver module and so I consider it reasonably editable.

locate LaTeX/Driver/

If locate is not installed you can do:  find /usr . |grep "LaTeX/Driver/"
/usr/share/perl5/LaTeX/Driver/  ( Debian / Ubuntu )

Make a backup copy of  LaTeX/Driver/ (you have to have root priviliges to do this or use sudo)

cp /usr/share/perl5/LaTeX/Driver/ /usr/share/perl5/LaTeX/Driver/ the path to your path for LaTeX/Driver/

User your text editor to edit LaTeX/Driver/  (you have to have root priviliges to do this or use sudo)

In LaTeX/Driver/ change

$program_path{pdflatex} = '/path/to/pdflatex;


$program_path{pdflatex} = '/path/to/xelatex';


This is the error you get, if you do not change:
/usr/share/perl5/LaTeX/Driver/  (Debian path)  :


latex error - pdflatex exited with errors:
l.26 \RequireXeTeX
! Fatal fontspec error: "cannot-use-pdftex"
! The fontspec package requires either XeTeX or LuaTeX to function.
! You must change your typesetting engine to, e.g., "xelatex" or "lualatex"
! instead of plain "latex" or "pdflatex".
! See the fontspec documentation for further information.
! For immediate help type H <return>.
l.38 }


The utf8 character "hack fix"

Before making this change will UTF8 characters appear as squares in the PDF file. To print utf8 characters in pdf files, you must make the following change:

These are the steps:
su root
open /usr/share/perl5/LaTeX/
in your text editor
go to line 174 on Debian Squeeze (6.x) and line 176 on Debian Wheexy (7.x)
you see "write_file( ..." there

".tex", $source


".tex", {binmode=>':utf8'}, $source


Font fix

In order for Verdana to work, install the package ttf-mscorefonts-installer (Debian/Ubuntu)

apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

In versions 1.3.28 and up, the demo templates no longer depend on Verdana though, but use the non-proprietary Liberation font set, which can be installed using

apt-get install fonts-liberation


Code reference to LedgerSMB

The code for this is LedgerSMB/Template/


Active support

Versions 1.4 and higher are under active development and are supported by the community.

End of life

If you're looking for help on how to use EOL-ed versions, please try mailing the users mailing list. If you're looking someone to create bugfixes, please check with one of the parties providing commercial support.

Version 1.3 has been declared end-of-life on 2015-12-23. The last release in the series is 1.3.47. No further releases will be made by the community.

LedgerSMB versions 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 won't be maintained any further due to the fact that there are some known security issues which can't be fixed.

FAQ Category: 

Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 [ ]

Perl 5 is a highly capable, feature-rich programming language with over 24 years of development.

Learn Perl

The Bernard Chan Perl Tutorial

In general: neither. The advice is to have the full source tree in /opt/ledgersmb/<version>.

Installing the LedgerSMB modules in the standard Perl search path works, but interferes with running different versions side-by-side.

To undo installation in /usr/local:

  • remove /usr/local/share/perl/5.XX.X/LedgerSMB/
  • delete /usr/local/share/perl/5.XX.X/; and
  • find and remove the .pl files that come in LedgerSMB's project root directory and bin/ and LedgerSMB/Scripts/ directories.
FAQ Category: 

How the LaTeX templates work and what is usually needed to get them up and working.

  [work in progess...]&#13;&#13;

The PDF and PS invoices are generated using a program called LaTeX which handles the layout and typesetting. The actual LaTeX files are creating using Template Toolkit with extensions for LaTeX. These extensions are in the Template::Latex package available from CPAN. The software then generates a LaTeX file which is then processed to create a PDF or PS.

Typically the first thing to do is to install a LaTeX distribution like TexLive (distributed with many Linux distributions and available for OSX and Windows). This provides LaTeX and many of the modules needed. In general I recommend that if your distro has a texlive-extras package that you install this too.

After this is installed, you must then install Template::Latex. This can be done by typing on the command line:

Note: Debian & Ubuntu look below.

cpan Template::Latex

This will also install a number of dependencies including LaTeX::Driver, which will need to know where your LaTeX binaries are. It is usually pretty good at finding them.

If things go wrong and you can't get it to work, the following commands may provide useful diagnostic information when requesting help:

>From the LedgerSMB application directory:
perl -MLedgerSMB::Template::Latex -e print

>From the doc/manual directory in the LedgerSMB application directory:
pdflatex LedgerSMB-manual

Debian & Ubuntu note:
Template::Latex is included in Template::Plugin::Latex which is now in Debian as
libtemplate-plugin-latex-perl. (It has migrated to Debian Testing ('wheezy')).
Install with apt-get install libtemplate-plugin-latex-perl

Ref: Latex in templates & Debian squeeze and xelatex

How the LaTeX templates work
<a href="


With answers from Chris Travers, Robert James Clay

FAQ Category: 

Copy db :
In psql or your sql client:

Note this will clone everything.
If you want to get rid of the transactions, you will need to delete everything in the acc_trans, ar, ap, and gl tables.

Also if goods and services are used, delete from invoice and inventory as well, and if wishing to clear out all orders, delete from
orderitems and oe.

FAQ Category: 

Is there a place where we could buy some consulting for LedgerSMB?
or a minimal setup according to our specs?

Take a look at Commercial Support

FAQ Category: 

Yes, its Open source. The tools we use (Perl, PostsgreSQL, Apache ++) is also Open source.
Open source means that the source code of the software is available for free to everyone and you can modify the code and distribute it yourself.

Look for a place to contribute. This means not only programming, but also documentation, theme design, art work, or architectural design. Join the mailing list.


Short answer: Yes

LedgerSMB can tie product sales to a tax class so that VAT can automatically be split off into the required VAT accounts on a sale, and when cancelling an invoice, automatically perform the reverse bookings.

Each product can be 'attached' to an account and the associated % will be applied automatically.

FAQ Category: 

( is replaced with in LedgerSMB v. 1.3.x and upwards)

I am trying to install ledgerSMB on SuSE 11.1 and have followed the INSTALL and README documents to do so, and have also installed all dependencies.

When I get to the following instruction I get some errors.

$ ./Build test

The errors are seen in the last few lines of output following the instruction. I list them below. Note that prior to these last few lines are many lines starting with "BEGIN failed--compilation aborted ..."

Also note the last line "Failed 6/6 test programs. 58/76 subtests failed." Clearly something is wrong here.

BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at LedgerSMB/ line 8.
Compilation failed in require at LedgerSMB/ line 37.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at LedgerSMB/ line 37.
Compilation failed in require at t/99-versioning.t line 8.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at t/99-versioning.t line 8.
# Looks like your test died before it could output anything.
Test returned status 255 (wstat 65280, 0xff00)
DIED. FAILED tests 1-9
Failed 9/9 tests, 0.00% okay
Failed Test Stat Wstat Total Fail List of Failed
t/01-load.t 12 3072 30 12 1-3 5 11-12 14 16 20 26-27 29
t/02-number-handling.t 255 65280 ?? ?? ??
t/03-date-handling.t 255 65280 ?? ?? ??
t/10-form.t 255 65280 ?? ?? ??
t/12-menu.t 255 65280 37 74 1-37
t/99-versioning.t 255 65280 9 18 1-9
Failed 6/6 test scripts. 58/76 subtests failed.
Files=6, Tests=76, 1 wallclock secs ( 0.93 cusr + 0.12 csys = 1.05 CPU)
Failed 6/6 test programs. 58/76 subtests failed.

After restarting both postgresql and apache, I tried to go to http://localhost/ledgersmb/ and received the following error on Firefox:

Server error!

The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request.

Error message:
Premature end of script headers:

If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.
Error 500
Mon Nov 2 08:59:41 2009
Apache/2.2.10 (Linux/SUSE)

PROBLEM SOLVED ==> See below for the solution to this installation problem.

The problem was solved with the help of irc.freenode #ledgersmb. Here is how:

The error message says, "BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at LedgerSMB/ line 8." Line 8 in LedgerSMB/ is "use Config::Std;" This suggests that there was something wrong with Config::Std. Either it was not installed or there was some problems with its installation.

So, I tried reinstalling Config::Std and I received error messages suggesting problems with dependencies that were not reported when I ran "perl Build.PL" allows you to look up modules, such as Config::Std. Once found, there is a "dependencies" link, which lists dependencies, each of which have further dependencies, which have dependencies... . Well, you get the idea. Be patient and follow through noting all the dependency modules and dependent on dependent modules. Download and install each of these. I started installing those with least dependencies themselves.

I then reran "perl Build.PL" and "./Build test" and then restarted Apache and PostgreSQL. Voila! When I went to http://localhost/ledgersmb/, I received the login page with no error!!

Written by: Joe

FAQ Category: 

We ask that all IRC members follow the Ubuntu Code of Conduct.

We also ask that you always use a paste site when pasting more than 2-3 lines. Paste sites include:

FAQ Category: 

The LedgerSMB community follows the Ubuntu Code of Conduct.

FAQ Category: 

Q: How could I set it up ledgersmb to support SSL connection?

SSL support on Apache is handled by configuring Apache. For having LedgerSMB connect to PostgreSQL using SSL, you can set the PGSSLMODE environment variable to 'require' in the ledgersmb.conf. Note that by default, LedgerSMB will try to connect to PostgreSQL via SSL and fall back to unsecured connections if this is not available.

We highly recommend using SSL for any access to LedgerSMB over the network.

FAQ Category: 

Make sure you have TexLive installed. Older TeTeX was recommended but according to Ubuntu repositories, TexLive is the new package to install.

You can install this with the following command:

apt-get install texlive-latex-extra


FAQ Category: 
Operating system: 

NOTE: LedgerSMB has a Fixed assets module as of 1.3. The FAQ below is out-dated.

LedgerSMB does not have a built-in assett tracking / depreciation feature. Depreciation can be managed manually using General Ledger Transactions. You should probably confirm this with your accountant, but the basic procedure (kindly suggested by Tony Fraser) is, assuming a computer asset over 5 years:

Set up 3 accounts:

  • An asset account such as "Computers"
  • An asset account such as "Accumulated Amortization, Computers" that is normally a negative balance therefor it is a contra account
  • An expense account such as "Computer Depreciation"

Upon purchasing a depreciable asset (in this case, a computer):

Account Debit Credit Notes
On purchasing the computer
Computers 1000.00    
Bank Account   1000.00  
End of Year 1
Computer Depreciation 400.00   (40% of $1000)
Accumulated Amortization, Computers   400.00  
End of Year 2
Computer Depreciation 240.00   (40% of $600)
Accumulated Amortization, Computers   240.00  
End of Year 3
Computer Depreciation 144.00   (40% of $360)
Accumulated Amortization, Computers   144.00  
Bank Account 75.00   (sale of computer)
Accumulated Amortization, Computers 784.00   (reversing entry)
Computer Depreciation 141.00   (residual value)
Computers   1000.00 (reversing entry)


FAQ Category: 

Quite a few users find some of the terminology and accounting processes a little confusing at first. Some of the more popular small business accounting packages tend to hide these aspects of book-keeping from users for simplicity, so with the current user interface there is often some new ideas to grasp.

First step is the manual - the LedgerSMB manual is free and highly recommended reading.

If you would like some background on general accounting practices, there is an (unassociated) tutorial So, you want to learn Bookkeeping" which seems a good place to start.

Another excellent resource is second-hand book stores. Lots of MBA studends sell off their textbooks (presumably to finance their first business rather than pay of gambling debts) so second-hand bookstores will often have very good texts on accounting at bargain prices - these can make great reference books.

Finally it would be remiss not to recommend securing the services of an accountant to help you out with the finer points from time to time, should you feel the need or have a legal obligation to do so.

Wikipedia articles:

FAQ Category: