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Quasar is accounting software for Linux. It's powerful and easy to use – certainly more so than commercial small business Windows-based alternatives that I've encountered in the UK – and a full range of support packages are available from the authors. It needs a Linux server, but clients are available for both Windows and Linux. This how-to only covers installation on a single Ubuntu box that acts as both client and server. If you need multi-user access but can't work out how to do it yourself, it sounds like you need to get a support package.

Unfortunately, Quasar's not straightforward to install on Ubuntu, as no pre-built packages are available. In principle, it should be possible to install one of the packages built for other distributions, but building from source is likely to be more reliable. That's the approach that I've adopted here. (Note: As of July 2008 Kubuntu 8.04 debs are on the Quasar website.)

This documentation is for Feisty (7.04) and Edgy (6.10) but will work with minor tweaking on Dapper (6.06 LTS). Quasar can be installed on earlier releases but needs a different approach as not all depenedencies are available through the package manager.

Step 1: Install and build Quasar

Go to http://www.linuxcanada.com/, and download the file quasar-1.4.7_GPL.tgz to your desktop (note that if you download a newer version you'll have to change all subsequent references to it). While you're there, also download the comprehensive product documentation provided by Linux Canada.

Now ensure that you have the Universe repositories installed, open up a terminal session, and enter the following:

For Edgy (version 6.10):

sudo apt-get install build-essential libqt3-mt-dev tcl8.4-dev tk8.4-dev libpq-dev qt3-apps-dev postgresql-8.1 libicu34-dev xinetd postgresql-server-dev-8.1

For Gutsy (version 7.10) or Feisty (version 7.04):

sudo apt-get install build-essential libqt3-mt-dev tcl8.4-dev tk8.4-dev libpq-dev qt3-apps-dev postgresql-8.2 libicu34-dev xinetd postgresql-server-dev-8.2

And then:

cd ~/Desktop
tar xvvf quasar-1.4.7_GPL.tgz
cd quasar-1.4.7_GPL/

Unfortunately, it's necessary to modify the install script before proceeding (if you prefer, replace nano with a different text editor such as Gedit or Kate):

nano install

Edit the first line to look like this:

You can now complete installation with this command:

sudo make install

Quasar installs itself to /opt rather than the Ubuntu standard for user-installed software of /usr/local, so you can't start it without entering the full path to the executable file. That doesn't matter too much, though, as we're going to create our own Gnome menu entries and /opt survives intact when you upgrade to a new Ubuntu release.

Step 2: Create the menu entries

Quasar doesn't generate menu entries by default, so we need to create our own:

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/Quasar.desktop

Paste this text into the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Quasar accounts

Now create an entry for the administration program:

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/Quasar-Admin.desktop

and paste this text into it:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Quasar Admin
Comment=Quasar accounts administration and setup tool
Exec=gksudo /opt/quasar/bin/quasar_setup

Step 3: Set up the PostgreSQL database

Next, we need to create some database users for Quasar to use. Enter the following code, answering yes to all questions and entering new passwords where appropriate:

sudo su postgres
createuser -d -E -P quasar_dba
createuser -E -P quasar

Now we need to ensure that Quasar is allowed to access the database:

For Edgy (version 6.10):

sudo nano /etc/postgresql/8.1/main/pg_hba.conf

For Gutsy (version 7.10) or Feisty (version 7.04):

sudo nano /etc/postgresql/8.2/main/pg_hba.conf

Make sure that your file contains this line; if not, add it:

host    all         all          md5

Now restart the database server to make your changes effective:

For Edgy (version 6.10):

sudo /etc/init.d/postgresql-8.1 restart

For Gutsy (version 7.10) or Feisty (version 7.04):

sudo /etc/init.d/postgresql-8.2 restart

Step 4: Connect Quasar to the PostgreSQL server

First you will need to determine the correct port that PostgreSQL is listening on:

For Edgy (version 6.10):

 grep "^port" /etc/postgresql/8.1/main/postgresql.conf

For Gutsy (version 7.10) or Feisty (version 7.04):

 grep "^port" /etc/postgresql/8.2/main/postgresql.conf

The final step is to lodge the database settings with Quasar. Open Quasar's administration tool (Applications --> Office --> Quasar Admin), go to the Drivers tab, and hit Configure. Enter these settings:

Hostname: localhost

Port: 5,433 (or possibly 5,432)

Library: /usr/lib/libpq.so

DBA username: quasar_dba

DBA password: whatever you entered earlier

Username: quasar

Username password: whatever you entered earlier

Character set: UNICODE

Now go to the Server tab and give yourself a sensible administrative password. When you start the client application, you'll first log in with the user name admin and this password.

Step 6: Start using it!

Linux Canada's documentation and mailing lists[1] are excellent, and I'm not going to attempt to explain how to use Quasar here. It might initially appear complex, but if you're an accountant or experienced bookkeeper you'll feel familiar pretty quickly. Enjoy.

[1] http://www.linuxcanada.com/mailman/listinfo


QuasarAccountingInstallation (last edited 2017-09-22 18:59:33 by ckimes)