How to clean the recently used file list in GnuCash (was: Re: getting rid of accounts)

Geert Janssens janssens-geert at
Sun Oct 30 05:43:16 EDT 2011

On zaterdag 29 oktober 2011, John Ralls wrote:
> On Oct 29, 2011, at 10:50 AM, fastsnip-bcard at wrote:
> > Tried deleting the file you specified.
> > 
> > Doing so had no effect on the list of accounts under 'file'. They are
> > still there.
> > 
> > Must be something else.
> > From: John Ralls <jralls at>
> > To: "fastsnip-bcard at" <fastsnip-bcard at>
> > Cc: "gnucash-user at" <gnucash-user at>
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 8:43 PM
> > Subject: Re: getting rid of accounts
> > 
> > On Oct 26, 2011, at 2:33 PM, fastsnip-bcard at wrote:
> > > Moved from Kubuntu 11.04 to Kubuntu 11.10.
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Booted gnucash and was playing around with new accounts. Now I want to
> > > get rid of the new accounts, but can find no way to do so. I deleted
> > > the account files, but gnucash insists on keeping the accounts listed
> > > under the 'File" topic. If I click on the accounts whose file were
> > > deleted, I get an error message that file cannot be found. This is
> > > confusing and un-needed.
> > > 
> > > 
> > > How do I get rid of the accounts that I created to play around with
> > > features?
> > 
> > The list in the file menu is of recently accessed files. Deleting the
> > file has no effect on it.
> > 
> > The list is stored in ~/.gconf/apps/gnucash/history/%gconf.xml. You could
> > probably delete that with no ill effects -- but to be safe, rename it
> > instead, so that if Gnucash complains you can put it back.
> Please remember to copy the list on your replies (use "Reply All" or, if
> your mailer supports it, "Reply List"
> I dunno. It certainly worked for me. (I also found it useful to "touch" the
> file after deleting it so that Gnucash would show the "new user" dialog.)
> Regards,
> John Ralls

Note that I changed the subject to clarify the actual topic of this thread.

The list of recently used files is stored in gconf, which is a database to 
store settings, part of the Gnome desktop. John points at the proper file that 
contains the entries, but simply removing that file is not how it should be 
cleaned on linux. This may work on Windows and OS X because gconfd is 
generally not running on those systems, unless GnuCash is started.

On linux gconfd is running as soon as you log into the system (a slight 
simplification, but good enough for the issue at hand here).

If you remove that file while gconfd is running, gconfd will rewrite it when 
it closes, because the actual information is kept in memory.

Instead, to clean all the recently used file entries, issue this command from 
the command line:
gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/gnucash/history


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