Compiling GNUCash under Debian

John Ralls jralls at
Thu Apr 6 12:19:26 EDT 2017

> On Apr 5, 2017, at 1:50 AM, Stephen Brown <StephenBrown165 at> wrote:
> Hi John,
> I have a question for you.
> On Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:12:10 PM John Ralls wrote:
>> Since it seems to be a great effort for you to even work a build system,
>> I've got a question for you. How much programming experience in what
>> languages and what platforms do you have?
> I have learnt the basics of C programming thirty years ago.
>> Regards,
>> John Ralls
> Does a young lady need to be a top grade mechanic before being granted a 
> license to drive a car on a public road?
> I can download the Debian source package of gnucash, compile it, run it, 
> modify the source code, compile it, run it  and debug it in ddd.
> On my Debian machine running in a Oracle virtual machine under Windows 10, 
> gnucash from git does not compile flawlessly at this point in time.
> One thing I cannot do (without much study) is to debug a broken build system. 
> My definition of a broken build system is one that does not cleanly compile 
> gnucash source code which I have not modified myself.

Neither a young lady nor anyone else needs to be a mechanic in order to drive a car. On the other hand, unlike using a computer program anyone wishing to drive on the public roads must prove to the state that they are fully qualified to do so. To continue the car analogy, you're trying to take the engine apart without reading the manual or learning to use the necessary tools while phoning the mechanics at the local garage with questions about how to use the socket set you bought at a charity shop.

"without much study" seems to be the core of the problem. Programming is a complicated discipline that does require much study. If you're not willing to put in the study then you'll have to find a different hobby.

There's no need to debug the GnuCash build system, it's not broken. It does error out when the system on which it's run doesn't meet the requirements for building, and being able to understand and correct those errors is a prerequisite for using it.

John Ralls

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