How to Install Thinkorswim Trading Platform on Ubuntu 24.04/22.04

This tutorial will show you how to install the Thinkorswim trading platform on Ubuntu 24.04/22.04 desktop, so you can trade stocks.

ThinkorSwim Features

  • It allows you to trade stocks, options, options on futures, ETFs, futures, and forex.
  • Free level 2 data.
  • Economic data straight from the Fed.
  • Trade select securities 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Available securities include FXI, SPY, EEM, GLD, SLV, DIA, UNG, TLT, IWM, QQQ, USO, SH, RWM, PSQ, AGG, DOG, EWA, EFA, EWJ, IJH, VTI, XLF, XLE, and XLK.
  • Practice paper trading with the paperMoney feature.
  • Track and modify your watchlist, orders, and alerts, including saved orders.
  • Live stream programming from TD Ameritrade Network and CNBC
  • Custom alerts: Choose from pre-selected lists of popular events or create your own using a powerful array of parameters.
  • Market Maker Move: Determine which stocks may be making big moves by tracking the expected magnitude of price movement based on market volatility.
  • Market Monitor: In real time, view the whole market displayed in easy-to-read heat mapping and graphics.
  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS

Step 1: Create a Brokerage Account

Thinkorswim was developed by TD Ameritrade, which was one of the big four stock brokerage firms in the United States. It was acquired by Charles Schwab in 2020.

  • U.S. traders should open a brokerage account at Charles Schwab. There’s no minimum deposit requirement to use the Thinkorwim trading platform for U.S. person.
  • If you are not a U.S. person, then you should go to the international client signup page. Note that you will need to deposit at least $25,000 in order to use its services.
  • If you don’t want to trade real money right away, Thinkorswim allows you to create a simulated trading account to practice trading before using real money. It’s free for everyone.

Step 2: Install Java on Ubuntu Desktop

Thinkorswim is written with the Java programming language. We need to install the Java runtime environment to use the Thinkorswim software.

sudo apt install openjdk-17-jre

Next, check your Java version.

java -version

Sample output:

openjdk version "17.0.11" 2024-04-16
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 17.0.11+9-Ubuntu-122.04.1)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 17.0.11+9-Ubuntu-122.04.1, mixed mode, sharing)

If you have already installed other versions of Java, then run the following command to set Java 17 as the default version.

sudo update-alternatives --config java

Sample output.

There are 2 choices for the alternative java (providing /usr/bin/java).

  Selection    Path                                         Priority   Status
------------------------------------------------------------
* 0            /usr/lib/jvm/java-17-openjdk-amd64/bin/java   1711      auto mode
  1            /usr/lib/jvm/java-11-openjdk-amd64/bin/java   1111      manual mode
  2            /usr/lib/jvm/java-17-openjdk-amd64/bin/java   1711      manual mode

Press <enter>  to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 

If you don’t use Java 17, then Thinkorswim may throw out an error message when it starts up.

Install Thinkorswim on Ubuntu Desktop

Go to the official page to download the install script for Linux. You can also download it from the command line.

wget https://mediaserver.thinkorswim.com/installer/InstFiles/thinkorswim_installer.sh

Then run the following command to install it.

bash thinkorswim_installer.sh

The install wizard will appear. First, choose your language.

Language Selection_thinkorswim

Then choose your accounty type. For this tutorial, I’m going to use a free trial account.

Setup - thinkorswim desktop

Next, agree to the license agreement.

thinkorswim license agreement

After that, choose whether you want to install Thinkorswim for yourself or for all users on the computer. I recommend installing only for yourself, because you don’t want others to mess with your stock trading.

Setup - thinkorswim desktop install only for the current user

Thinkorswim will be installed to your home directory, which is great.

install thinkorswim linux to home directory

It will create a desktop icon, so you can easily launch it next time.

install thinkorswim linux to home directory

After the setup wizard finishes installing Thinkorswim, you can launch it.

launch thinkorswim

Upon first launch, it will check if there’s any software update.

thinkorswim updater

Now you can login. (Note: Thinkorswim is under maintenance on the weekend.) Click the gear icon to choose your account type (Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Guest Pass). If you want to use the paperMoney feature for simulated trading, then choose the TD Ameritrade account type. Market data will be delayed 20 minutes for simulated trading.

Logon to thinkorswim paperMoney

Thinkorswim interface.

Thinkorswim linux user interface

Now you can create a watchlist and place orders. For more information on how to use the Thinkorswim trading platform, you can watch educational videos on the official YouTube channel, and use the Thinkorswim learning center.

Other Useful Stock Trading Tools

Install Thinkorswim on Fedora

The process is roughly the same. You need to install Java 17.

sudo dnf install java-17-openjdk

Then download the install script.

wget https://mediaserver.thinkorswim.com/installer/InstFiles/thinkorswim_installer.sh

And run the following command to install it.

bash thinkorswim_installer.sh

Enable AutoStartup

Open the “Startup Application” app and click the + button, then add the command /home/username/thinkorswim/thinkorswim to the startup list (Replace username with your real username).

Wrapping Up

I hope this tutorial helped you install Thinkorswim on Linux.

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4 Responses to “How to Install Thinkorswim Trading Platform on Ubuntu 24.04/22.04

  • Xiao Guoan (Admin)
    5 months ago

    You can use this method to install Thinkorswim on almost any Linux distribution, as long as Java 11 can be installed on your system.

  • Is there way to set Java version 11 for thinkorswim only and let everything else run the latest?

    great article. very helpful. thanks

    • I think you mean to say use java 17 for thinkorswim, not java 11.

      /usr/lib/jvm/java-17-openjdk-amd64/bin/java works today

      /usr/lib/jvm/java-11-openjdk-amd64/bin/java does NOT work today.

  • This helped me out, thanks. I’ve been running ToS on Ubuntu 20.04 for quite a long time without any issues. Suddenly though, it wouldn’t launch, and instead it would end with a dialog error saying “Zulu OpenJDK 17.0.10 is required to start the application. Please update Java and ensure it is the first JRE available in your system path.”

    When I checked `sudo update-alternatives –config java`, it showed that the currently selected version was `/usr/lib/jvm/zulu-21-amd64/bin/java`…. which confused me at first, because I couldn’t understand why it would complain about needing version 17, when I already had a superseding version installed.

    And then it clicked: I need to install the older version. I was assuming that later/newer openjdk versions would be backwards compatible, and that was a faulty belief.

    So I just installed the apt package suggested in this post, `openjdk-17-jre`, and then used the `update-alternatives` command to select that version. After that I was able to launch ToS again and it ran perfectly.

    Thank you again! I had searched several times already and this post is the one that made me realize that I should just try to install that older version.

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