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Personal Finances on Linux with KMyMoney
OFX, HBCI, Plugins, Check Printing
January 26, 2010
Linux has several excellent personal finance applications. Today we're going to look at KMyMoney. Though specifically developed with the KDE desktop in mind, KMyMoney works with any Linux desktop.
How useful KMyMoney will be to you and how easy it will be to use depends on two factors: One, whether or not your bank uses a supported online banking protocol, like OFX or HBCI, which applies when using any type of money management program. Two, if you can get a set of plugins working, which includes check printing support.
KMyMoney Summary view
If your bank and KMyMoney are compatible, your account history and balances are automatically updated in KMyMoney. If they are incompatible for any reason, you'll be stuck with having to manually update your accounts. That isn't great if you deal with a great amount of money or transactions.
If you can successfully install a set of plugins, you can bring check printing support into KMyMoney, among a few other features. This can also be a deciding factor for if KMyMoney is a feasible option for you. With check printing support and a stack of compatible blank check paper, you can have KMyMoney print and log all your checks. If you don't go that route, you must manually input the check details to have a balanced account.
The first time you open KMyMoney, the New File Setup Wizard should appear. Follow this wizard to setup the basic settings. You'll input your personal data (name, address, etc), set the currency type, and enter checking account details. You'll also choose the account type(s) you want to track with KMyMoney, so it can create the proper database and structure.
Near the end of the wizard, you can optionally hit the Configure Preferences Now button. In the Preferences, you might consider enabling Autosave so you're better protected if the application or your computer crashes in the future. You should also consider enabling GPG encryption, so your data and sensitive information is secure if your computer is stolen or hacked into.
Finally, at the end, you'll be prompted to define a filename and location. Make sure you store the KMyMoney data file in a safe location. You might even edit the file or folder permissions. You could remove all permissions for Others and Groups, just giving yourself access to the data file.
Adding more plugins
As discussed, you can install plugins for additional features, such as check printing. If desired, download and extract the compressed folder to an accessible location, such as the desktop, and install using the following steps:
Create a new directory somewhere and then move to that directory:
Then install the plugins with the following lines of commands: