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Trading Using Linux

30 August 2007, 08:13
Bazilevich Vadim
1 090


Trading in financial markets is not principal earner for all users of the online trading platform MetaTrader 4. It is not always convenient to keep the trading terminal open all the time, and sound alerts require either continuous keeping loudspeakers on (what can provide problems if you have, for example, little children) or wearing headphones all the time which is not always comfortable or healthy. The way out may be provided by operating system Linux.

The largest provider of reliable information about situation on financial markets is search engine Yahoo. Programs described below in this article use information provided by this specific service. The author analyzed the list of indicators working under linux. The present article is the result of this analysis.

List of Indicators

1. Any Internet browser capable of displaying graphical objects can be used as indicator of exchange activity. Service Yahoo! Finance provides comprehensive information about situation in stock exchange, security markets, banks. It is possible to view online indexes of Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and S&P 500. Other indexes of economic activity can also be found here. To get to know of the symbol of a company included in the index lists, one should use the corresponding services at Yahoo! Finance. Using these indexes and symbols of companies, one can monitor practically every area of world economy using a common browser.

Using this link, a trader can find necessary source information about a company or an industry. For example, below is information about the company producing printer Lexmark.

Screenshot 1

The author would like to draw readers' attention to the fact that search in services of Yahoo! Finance is performed by symbols (suffixes) given to companies. The stock suffixes of companies can be found here.

Screenshot 2

The program named GkrellStock is used to view quotes. The program is an external plugin to be connected to another program GkrellM widely used in the world of "open source software".

It is shown below how GkrellM will look after installation and setup of plugin GkrellStock:

Screenshot 3

In the program settings, it is possible to select location of the server providing information, stock indexes/suffixes alternating, updating time. The server providing information and located in the USA is shown in the screenshot below, updating time selected as 30 seconds and 5 minutes, respectively.

Screenshot 4

Stock index or suffix is shown in the toolbar of plugin GkrellStock. In the screenshot below, it can be seen how things are going with General Electric Co. If the mouse cursor is pointed at its toolbar, information about the company's quotes will be displayed in a pop-up window.

Screenshot 5

The screenshot below shows the situation with DowJones index. Like in the previous case, more details are given in a pop-up window.

Screenshot 6

To use this plugin, graphical server X-Window library gtk2, GkrellM, and the plugin itself must be installed. The plugin can be found at If the user does not want to compile, the ready rpm-package can be utilized that can be found here or another source may be found using Google search engine.

For Linux-Users Utilizing Distributives Other Than RPM

The author reckons, first of all, Slackware among non-rpm distributives. For those who uses distributives built like Slackware or based on it, the author would recommend to use utilities rpm2targz or rpm2tgz included into Slackware standard delivery. Applying these utilities, one can create a package in this distributive native format, which is necessary to facilitate live updates of packages and to maintain the file arrangement in the system.

3. Gtik is a program that is also a plugin, but this plugin is used for window manager, Gnome, embedded in the toolbar. Plugin gnome-applets-gtik-2. 14.2 is in the package of gnome-applets that can be downloaded from here. After installation

Screenshot 7

Screenshot 8

and setup

Screenshot 9

the user gets one more tool to watch the market situation.

Screenshot 10

The sequence of searching for stock indexes and suffixes described above is used here, as well. To apply this plugin, it is necessary to have installed graphical server X-Window, window manager Gnome and gtik.

4. Program Wmjstock is a plugin, too. It differs from those described above through the fact that it can work independently. Experienced Linux-users will immediately see by the name that this module belongs to plugins developed for window managers. This is easily to detect from letters wm the name begins with. These are so-called dockapps (dockapplets). Their list will impress even a WinXP-user. The above-mentioned plugin can be taken here or by this, more exact link. One can get lost among the plentiful existing dockapplets.
After plugin installation and setup, the user will obtain the following result:

Screenshot 11

Like in all previous programs, the order of search for stock indexes or suffixes does not change. The program allows one to change colors in this dockapplet. After the program has been modified, it must be recompiled.

Screenshot 12

To use this plugin, it is necessary to install graphical server X-Window, any window manager, and the program itself.

5. Tclticker is not a plugin or dockapplet, it is a fully independent application. It can be downloaded at Tom Poindexter's Tcl Page. Its latest version is Tclticker-1.3. To the author's opinion, this program must be one of the most useful ones in trader's work. It allows traders to get information about the stock news and situations as a stock ticker.

Screenshot 13

In this program, there is a possibility to add necessary stock indexes and suffixes, as well as to use a proxy server. To find stock indexes and suffixes, the user may apply methods describe above in the article.

Screenshot 14

To install this program, X-server is necessary. The packages of tcl and tk can be taken from here.


The author himself uses in his trading practice the last program from the above list - Tclticker. It can be placed in the upper part of the desktop as shown in Screenshot 13. This allows the author to be always in touch with the situation on the market, this program setup flexibility providing the point sampling of market positions the trader is interested in. This allows the user to predict the Forex development. And this, in its turn, allows to fit the Expert Advisors for automated trading using MetaTrader 4 Client Terminal.

Translated from Russian by MetaQuotes Software Corp.
Original article:

Last comments | Go to discussion (1)
808 | 8 Nov 2015 at 16:31
Or you could use Wine :) It's working very well with MT4.
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