Getting Started

If you’re new to Beancount or double-entry accounting in general, we recommend Command-line Accounting in Context, a motivational document written by Martin Blais, the author of Beancount.

To learn how to create your beancount file, refer to Getting Started with Beancount guide. Martin Blais has written a great deal of very detailed documention for Beancount, see the Beancount Documentation page for an index of the available documentation.


There are two ways to run Fava. You can start the Fava process in a terminal and access it with you default web browser. Alternatively there is a GUI version which bundles Fava with a browser basically. If you know your way around the terminal, installation via pip (see below) is recommended, otherwise, head to the Releases page on Github and download the latest GUI version for your platform: AppImage on Linux (the file needs to be made executable after downloading) or dmg for MacOS. There is currently no build of the GUI for Windows.

Fava is known to run on MacOS, Linux, and Windows (with Cygwin). You will need Python 3 (at least version 3.4). Then you can use pip to install Fava by running:

pip3 install fava

which will also pull in all required dependencies including Beancount, if you don’t have it installed already.

If you want to export query results to Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc, use the following command to install the optional dependencies for this feature:

pip3 install fava[excel]

Starting Fava

If you installed Fava using pip, start it by running:

fava ledger.beancount

pointing it to your Beancount file – and visit the web interface at http://localhost:5000.

There are some command-line options available, run fava --help for an overview.

For more information on Fava’s features, refer to the help pages that are available through Fava’s web-interface. Fava comes with Gmail-style keyboard shortcuts; press ? to show an overview.