BANAL 0.10 - or BANAL's Absolutely Not A Ledger

Matthew Rice -

Starnix Inc.

August 2000

This file serves as the announcement that goes to the comp.os.linux.announce newsgroups as well as a message to the banal mailing list


What is BANAL?

BANAL is a bookkeeping/practice management system that allows you to create and track invoices, clients, projects, suppliers and expenses. BANAL is a client/server application so you can keep one set of books on your system while allowing everyone access.

BIG NOTE: This is the last release in this series. We are about to add a suite of tables and functionality to do support and sales tracking. The next release will include significant changes to the table schema as well as optional SQL support.

What is new in this release?

This release is a minor update with an easy install for Linux folk:
  • there's a quickstart (based on Jay Copeland's) at:
  • the documentation is now online at:
  • a noarch RPM for RedHat 6.x (should work on any distro)
  • added an 'admin stop' command and a SysV-init script to cleanly shutdown the server
  • a new report called worksummary (see bk help report for info)
  • new script "bk-renumber" to put an invoice into your naming scheme
  • new script "bk-replace" to replace an arbitrary field in a form with a new value
  • fixed PostScript invoice so that they will work on Level 1 printers (the min function is a ghostscript-ism)
  • invoice charge items are now sorted by id for reproducability
  • What can it do?

    For this release, BANAL can store your information, list (and allow searching of) information and print expense cheques, generate invoices, quotations, income and expense statements. You can also make and use recurring and memorized transactions to ease the burden of creating them manually. There are also commands to tell which invoices, projects and clients are "expired" and to automatically invoice finished projects and WIP. More reports will be added.

    How do I obtain the distribution through http?

    You can get the distribution from the BANAL website. This release may be downloaded now from:

    The RPMs are also in the download directory at:

    How do I obtain the distribution through ftp?

    You can't right now.

    How do I subscribe to the mailing list?

    Simply send an e-mail to with the body of the message (NOT the subject) saying: subscribe banal

    You should receive confirmation shortly. Send your questions and comments to:

    Attention users of versions before 0.07!!!

    There have been significant changes to the table layout. Before you decide that you can use this new version please review the CHANGES file. Some stuff will be broken (not the data entry).

    I just haven't had the time to write an update script. It should be fairly straight forward, though. Especially using the 'import' function. If you write one please consider sending it to me for inclusion in the next release.

    How easy to use is it?

    Currently, there is only a command line client (bk). The client takes a subcommand to invoke some action. There are only three types of subcommands: list, edit and print (print now includes statement, expired and runbatch).

    By type of subcommand, I mean that to edit an invoice you type:
    bk invoice

    While to edit an expense you type:
    bk expense

    Once you've learned a subcommand, you've learned all of the subcommands for that type.

    How good is the documentation?

    It should be adequate enough to get you started - the server running and you running some simple commands. Let me know if this is not the case and I'll clarify the text. The documentation is not for me (I know the system) so your feedback is essential.

    What is the copyright?

    Starnix Inc. holds the copyright (I am doing it under their time), however, it is very unrestricted (read: do what you want but don't think of suing them). There is a more detailed COPYRIGHT file included with the distribution. This is akin to Berkeley licensing or the Perl Artistic License.

    Who should I contact ?

    Right now the only person (or group) to contact is:

    Alternatively, you may subscribe to the BANAL mailing list (see above) and ask questions there.