Actual - A Privacy Focused Self Hosted Finance Management Platform Now Open Source

Actual finance and budget platform goes 100% Open Source and Self Hosted. Let's take a look.

Actual - A Privacy Focused Self Hosted Finance Management Platform Now Open Source

Organizing your spending is no fun task. Not many people want to face the music when it comes to how much money they spend and what they spend it on. But let's face it, keeping a good budget is a good way to lower blood pressure and save money for important things you need.

Actual is just the tool for the job. It's uncomplicated layout makes it a perfect solution to manage your finances and manage your budget. It's now 100% open source and can even be self hosted using Docker.

James Long, the project owner and developer states:

Actual is now open-source and 100% free. New signups are currently disabled until we figure out a plan for a potential hosted option. Go to the repo to learn more. You can self-host it and modify it however you want. See the blog post.

The doors have been opened to Actual code and now "everybody can help." Β It's great to see a project like this stay alive by making it open source for other developers to continue the project development.

Running via Docker

To run Actual using a Docker container, you can use following commands

git clone
cd actual-server
docker build -t actual-server .
docker run -p 5006:5006 actual-server

This is the main project to run Actual, a local-first personal finance tool. It comes with the latest version of Actual, and a server to persist changes and make data available across all devices.

Actual does have mobile and desktop applications however, they do not seem to let you connect to your self hosted instance of Actual. It is unclear if this will change in the near future or if another developer will take on this effort.

Connecting to banks in Actual is not yet available but there was a mention on the website about it "coming soon". It's not clear however if this is being handed over to open source developers or not though.

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Final Notes and Thoughts

Actual server was very easy to spin up using the provided Docker image on the Github repo. I was up and running in less than 2 minutes and was quite surprised how simple the dashboard is. This made it easy to navigate and learn the application. And there's not much to learn other than how to add your accounts to manage.

I plan to follow the project to see where it goes and I have high faith that the desktop and mobile apps will be adjusted to allow connections to self hosted Actual instances. This is a key component that will determine if I use Actual moving forward.

If you find Actual useful, head over to the Actual Github repo and give it a star!