Book Review: Heads You Win

gnucash and Indian stocks

I have been using gnucash - an open source finance management software to manage my personal finances for several years now.  When I started using it, it was only available on linux.   In fact, it was yet another reason for me to have a linux partition in my personal desktop.  Subsequently, a Windows version was available and I have been using it on my home/office systems.   In fact, there is a Mac version as well which was of use, when I used a Mac.

It is arguably not a simple software to use, especially if you do not have your finance and accounting concepts right.  For all you know, I just use those features that I understand!

Anyway, among various assets that you can add in gnucash is your stocks.  It gives you the current value of the stocks by querying for the data from the internet.  

For the last few days, I have been observing that gnucash has been unable to retrieve this data.  I thought it was some temporary error, especially when the internet is slow or down.  But then when this persisted, I decided to look around.

gnucash, uses a perl package Finance::Quote to retrieve quotes.  It, in turn, does this using the Yahoo finance API.  When I ran the test scripts to retrieve quote, I realised that it was returning data for US stocks (MSFT, GOOG) but not for Indian ones.

There was no information in gnucash mailing list on this - possibly because there are not too many Indian gnucash users!  

Then I hit upon this link and was disappointed with the answer provided:(

We're aware of this issue and have been informed by engineering that we no longer have that information so the .csv requests will be blank.

On a related note, gnucash uses data from Association of Mutual Funds in India (amfi) for mutual fund NAVs.  It would have been great if BSE/NSE provided an equivalent feature.  Or do they?   There is no requirement for real time data - just end of day values.

Oh, by the way, I have not been able to figure out how to get the Rupee symbol to show up, despite trying out various things mentioned in the 'Net.  I just get question marks!

Update: 28 Nov 2013.  There is a way to get this working now, courtesy scripts provided by Manoj (as commented below).  Read about it here.


  1. I too am a user of GnuCash, and have been using to retrieve stock prices of BSE and NSE scrips.

    Since the service for indian exchanges has been stopped by Yahoo, the only option left is to manually update the stock prices once a month.

    but GnuCash is still good for tracking of sale and purchase of equity shares.

    if you are keen to valuate the position of your portfolio on day to day basis, Yahoo finance is one option

    1. hii,

      manoj kumar has updated finance::quote to get nse- bse quotes from icicidirect and nse sites. yahoo , for some reason, does not work, but the new icic direct source works fine for me. try updating f::q.

    2. Hi Al, Yes, I got that working. I plan to blog about it. Thanks.

  2. Thanks so much for the comment. I try to put together my learning and experiece in terms of blog and feel great if this helps others.



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