backing up main data file

David Reiser dbreiser at
Wed Nov 26 14:00:26 EST 2008

On Nov 26, 2008, at 12:46 PM, zed wrote:

> Doug Laidlaw <laidlaws at> wrote:
>>>> Then it dawned on me that I didn't know what the main data file  
>>>> is and
>>>> where it is stored. I looked in my home folder and I have a list of
>>>> files that are zipped, .xac, and .log. The first file in the list  
>>>> of
> the
>>>> afore mentioned files is a zip file that 16.6 KB in size and  
>>>> bears my
>>>> and my wife's name because I gave it that name. It seems to stay  
>>>> the
>>>> same size. I would think that the main data file would grow  
>>>> larger as
>>>> you add transactions.
>>>> There are several log files that are larger. I looked in  
>>>> the .gnucash
>>>> folder but didn't see what I thought might be the main data file.  
>>>> So
> my
>>>> questions are, where is the main data file located and what is the
> name
>>>> of it?
>> Hi Harold.
>> The .xac files are your backups.  They are generated automatically  
>> after
>> each session.  Your main data file has the name that appears before  
>> the
>> date part of the .xac and .log files.  It should be in the same  
>> directory.
> Oh!  Have just checked my GnuCash directory and find that ALL the  
> xac files
> are prefixed with the date and time (e.g. GnuAccounts. 
> 20081124152701.xac).
> So which is the main one - the last generated?
> Zed
> -- 
> zed

That's right. ALL the .xac files are backups. The most recent one has  
the most recent timestamp in the file name.

Your main file is the file without the .xac extension. In your case,  
it looks like your current data file is named "GnuAccounts".

David Reiser
dbreiser at

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