How to Run cTrader for Linux

Desktop Version of cTrader for Linux

One of the downsides of cTrader is that Spotware hasn’t created any downloadable and installable version of the desktop application for other operating systems besides Windows. There is no native support for Linux or MacOS. 

While MetaQuotes provides a native version for Apple Mac devices, there is also no native Linux version of either MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5. We were previously misled to believe that there were native Linux versions of MT4 and 5. That was mostly due to lazy research. Luckily this was pointed out to us by a visitor and we have thus updated this article not only with this correction but some of their suggestions. Thank you. 

MetaTrader Operating Systems
Operating Systems Promoted on MetaQuotes Website

In fact, the Linux link in the MetaQuotes website (see above) actually points to a post in their forum. This post instructs users on how to run the MetaTrader applications with Wine. 

Introduction to Linux

This article is mostly for tech-savvy traders who have chosen the Linux operating system for its advantages over Windows. Typically Linux users come from software development or IT backgrounds. They would be the type of trader interested in building their own automated trading software, likely using high-performance setups. The best advice we could give to Mac users is to try cTrader Web. However, the web-based version of the platform isn’t equipped with Automated Trading functionality. This means that particular piece of advice won’t be much help for most cTrader Linux users. Let’s explore what else is possible.  

Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system which is open-source. This means it’s free to use, unlike Windows which bust be purchased under a license agreement. 

There are multiple forms of the Linux OS, such as Debian, Mint, Gentoo and Ubuntu, these are known as distribution packs. Ubuntu is the most popular one. 

Wine is also open-source and free to use software that allows users of Linux to run applications developed for Microsoft Windows systems. There is a specific version of Wine for Ubuntu.

Run cTrader with Wine

Wine is a compatibility layer that can be installed on different operating systems such as Linux or MacOS so they can run Windows applications. This is an important development since many software companies neglect to develop native versions for the Linux operating system. One of the main obstacles Linux users who wanted to use cAlgo or what is now known a cTrader Automate was that Wine didn’t support Windows Presentation Foundation technology. WPF is used by the cTrader applications. Despite Wine’s mission of enabling all Windows applications on other operating systems, there has been a specific lack of interest in supporting WPF. This means that running cTrader with Wine will not work out of the box. Users who have tried running cTrader on Linux this way have reported GUI problems. 

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Run cTrader with VirtualBox

VirtualBox is virtualization application which can be installed on pretty much any computer, running most operating systems. It allows you to run additional operating systems inside of virtual machines. This means you can run Windows on your Linux desktop or server. And therefore, you can install cTrader. VirtualBox is free to use. This advice can be extended to MacOS users as well. VirtualBox can be used as an alternative to Parallels, which was suggested in a previous article.

Alternatives for Running cTrader on Linux

A final alternative is to run cTrader from a VPS. You can access the VPS remote desktop from your Linux System and install cTrader on a Windows Server VPS. For active day trading or active development and testing of your trading robot, this solution trumps the option of using a VPS. A VPS is only really good for running applications, like an automated trading strategy. They are not friendly for actively using applications. 

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