When and how should I increase the memory allocation for TWS?

Overview: 
Java Virtual Machine memory allocation

The Trader Workstation is a Java-based application. As any other Java applications, it executes within a Java virtual machine (JVM) which manages the interactions between the program and the underlying Operating System (OS).

The memory (RAM) which is allocated by the operating system to the JVM constitutes the heap space. That is the area where all the class instances and arrays needed by the application are allocated. The heap space is created when the JVM is started and it is dynamically freed-up by the Garbage Collector (GC), the Java memory manager. When the need arises, the Garbage Collector is invoked to free up the heap space by unloading Java classes and other code structures no longer used by the application.

If the heap space is undersized, the Garbage Collector may not be able reclaim memory at the needed pace or may have to be called too often, draining the processor (CPU) resources. When this happens, the application may slow down, be unresponsive or even crash completely.

To ensure a smooth TWS run, it is therefore sometimes necessary to change the memory allocation, according to the layout complexity and the needs of the application itself.

Background: 
In which case I should change the TWS memory allocation?
If your TWS layout contains a considerable number of elements (Analytical/Trading Tools, Chart windows, News panels, Watchlists, Layout tabs...) and your platform is slow or poorly responsive, you may want to increase the memory allocation in order to achieve better performances. If your TWS freezes or crashes, we also recommend increasing the heap space as the first corrective action to attempt. 
 
How much memory should I allocate to TWS?
In general we recommend to start with a conservative memory allocation and test the TWS performances with that set up. If the performances improvement is less noticeable then expected or not yet satisfactory, you can switch gradually to higher values until you find the best fit for your platform.
Please consider the following:
  • The memory you allocate to the TWS has to be available on your system. For details, please see Note 1. Allocation values above 2048 are not supported by 32-bit OS. For details, please see Note 2. 
Considering the above, we suggest to initially reserve 1.5 GB of system RAM the TWS, as explained in the guide below.
This amount of free memory is usually available on any modern computer and should be a good fit for most of the cases. Should you still notice slowness, freezing or crashes during the TWS execution, you can raise the value to 1792.
In any case, we do not recommend to set the value above 2048 since this will produce an unnecessary overhead and may thus even decrease the overall performances of the application.

 

 
How can I change the memory allocation for the TWS?

Please follow one of the links below for the instructions, according to the Operating System and TWS release you are using

 
     Any Operating System
 
     B.1 Your Operating System is Windows      
     B.2 Your Operating System is Mac OS

 

 

 

A. TWS version 972 and higher

The steps below are valid for all Operating Systems
1) In the TWS, click on the top menu File (or Edit if you are using Classic TWS) and select Global Configuration...

2) On the left side menu of the Global Configuration panel, click on General

3) In the panel on the right side, in the Memory Allocation field, replace the existing value with 1536

4) Click on Apply and then on OK

5) Shut down the TWS

6) Launch the TWS with a double click on the Desktop shortcut Trader Workstation (Should you receive an error message, please see Note 3.
 

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B. TWS versions previous to 972

B.1 Your Operating System is Windows

1) Close TWS in case it is running

2) On your keyboard, press WIN+R (the WIN key is the key with the windows flag located on the left side of tour keyboard,  between the keys CTRL and ALT) 
3) Type C:\Jts\tws.vmoptions and Click OK
4) Should the system ask you which program to use to open the file, select Notepad and click OK
5) Cut the line -Xmx768m and paste it below the line ### Keep on update
6) Change then the value of the parameter Xmx from 768 to 1536
7) Save the changes by clicking on the top menu File --> Save
8) Close the file clicking on the X icon on the right side of the toolbar
9) Launch the TWS with a double click on the Desktop shortcut Trader Workstation (Should you receive an error message, please see Note 3.
 
 

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B.2 Your Operating System is Mac OS
 
1) Close the TWS if it is running
 
2) Use the Spotlight search (the magnifier glass on the top right of your Desktop) to find the file tws.vmoptions
Normally the file is located within the Jts folder (a subfolder of your home folder)

3) On the Spotlight results panel, click on tws.vmoptions to open it. Should the system ask you how to open this file, click Choose Application... select  a text editor (TextEdit, Smultron, TextWrangler...) of your choice and click Open
 
 
4) Locate the line -Xmx768m. Cut it and paste it below the line ### Keep on update
 
6) Modify the value 768 in to 1536
 
7) Save and close the file

8) Launch the TWS with a double click on the Desktop shortcut Trader Workstation (Should you receive an error message, please see Note 3.
 

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Notes

 

1. Available system RAM
In order to check the amount of available system RAM on your computer, you can:
 - on Windows: use the key combination CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to start the Task Manager, click on the tab Performance and look for the "Available" Physical Memory. This will tell you the amount of unoccupied RAM in MB (1024 MB = 1GB)
 
 
- on Mac OS: Open Finder, go to Application --> Utilities and open Terminal. In the terminal type the command:
sudo purge
and press Enter. The system may ask you to enter your Mac user password. Enter the password. Once the command has completed, type the following command:
top -l 1| grep PhysMem
The "unused" value will tell you the amount of unoccupied RAM in MB (1024M = 1GB)

 

 

 2. Limitations of 32-bit Operating Systems
Please notice that 32-bit Operating Systems can normally only address a maximum of 2 GB of RAM per process (see table below for details). Because of this OS architecture limitation, if you have a 32-bit OS, the maximum memory allocation for the TWS must not exceed 2048 Mb.

 

3. Error: "Could not create the Java Virtual Machine"
This error may be displayed upon TWS startup if you set the memory allocation to a value higher than the available RAM of your system or if you set it higher than 2048 on a 32-bit Opertaing System. To overcome the error, you would need to decrease the memory allocation to a lower value using this procedure
 

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Information regarding high precision forex quotes

Overview: 

Clients wishing to see forex (IDEALPRO) market data in a more detailed way can now control the order book display mode via the Global Configuration. In order to access this feature you must use TWS release 944.2b or higher. The display mode selection allows the order book to be viewed either as:

  • Rounded prices (default): market data is rounded out to the next 0.5 pip. This is identical to the current display functionality for the IB trading platforms. This setting provides a more stable visible quote and a larger ‘top-of-book’ size since it includes the available size at multiple price levels up to the rounded price.
  • Unrounded prices: market data is visible in 0.1 pip increments. This allows you to see prices in a more granular fashion, but the displayed values will change more rapidly and the sizes for the top-of-book may appear to be smaller.

It is important to understand that either display mode accesses the same IDEALPRO order book. Order submission will still be in 0.5 pip increments and orders submitted in either display mode will execute in exactly the same way. As in the past (and currently), in cases where the order book has prices at better than your order’s limit price, you will receive the full price improvement.
 

Instructions on how to display high precision forex quotes

In Global Configuration go to Display, choose Ticker Row and then at the bottom of the window in the Market Data section tick Show high precision quotes for Forex. Then press apply or ok to enable the new setting.

 

Rollover Option Tool

How to use the Option Rollover Tool

If using Mosaic, use the New Window dropdown to select More Advanced Tools at the bottom of the list, then Rollover Options.

Option Strategy Lab

General overview of the Option Strategy Lab

How to install the Offline version of Trader Workstation (TWS) on a Windows PC

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you were previously storing your TWS settings to the cloud (by keeping the checkbox Use/Store Settings on Server on the TWS login screen activated), you can now recover those settings after TWS has been installed. If this is the case, it is important that, immediately after the TWS installation, before you login the first time, you remember to activate again the checkbox Use/Store Settings on Server on the login screen of the TWS. You can find more details here.

In this tutorial we describe the TWS installation using the Internet Explorer browser,  which is installed by default on every Windows PC. If you prefer to use another browser (such as: Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) please take into account that the disposition and/or the content of the messages appearing during the first three steps might slightly differ.

How to install Offline TWS Latest:

  1. Open the page www.ibkr.com in your browser, then click on the menu Technology --> TWS Software

  1. Scroll down the page, until you find the button for OFFLINE TWS LATEST. Click on it.
    Offline TWS Latest Installation 
     
  2. Below Offline TWS Latest for Windows, click the button DOWNLOAD

  3. At the bottom of your browser, a pop-up Security Warning bar will appear, click Run.Security Warning Bar - click RUN
  1. The Installation Wizard will now initialize, click Next>
    Installation Wizard - Next
  1. After the Installation completes, click Finish
    Installation Wizard - click Finish
     
  2. A TWS icon will now appear on your desktop. Double-click it to launch the Login box. Please notice that the icon will inlclude the actual build number (Build #) of the TWS you installed. Therefore you could see Trader Workstation 960 or Trader Workstation 961 etc.
    Trader Workstation Icon - Double-click to launch.

 

Recovering your Settings

  1.  Launch the TWS. Once the login screen has loaded, tick the checkbox Use/Store Settings on ServerCheck the box "Use/Store Settings on server"
     
  2. Enter your username and password and click Login. The TWS will now attempt to download your settings stored on the cloud and load them into the TWS
    Enter Username and Password then proceed to login
     

 

TWS Order Presets: Primary Order Fields

Brief video on Presets that are relevant to your Primary Order

Cloud Watchlists

Overview: 

This article explains how to setup Cloud Watchlists.

Background: 

It is now possible to synchronize the watchlists on your mobile devices with the watchlists of Trader Workstation on your computer. You will no longer need to worry about adding same tickers over and over again. The Cloud Watchlists feature is available in Trader Workstation build 936 and higher. Once the Cloud Watchlists have been enabled, they can be then imported in mobileTWS using the "Import" option from the Configuration menu.

Enable the Cloud Watchlists in Trader Workstation

  1. Login into the Trader Workstation
  2. Click on Edit in top menu, then on Global Configuration (or File -> Global Configuration if TWS is in the Mosaic layout)
  3. In the left column of the configuration window, click on Lock and Exit
  4. In the right pane, mark the checkbox "Save watchlists to cloud" (as shown in the screenshot below)
    Enable Cloud Watchlists in the TWS
  5. Click Apply, then OK to close the configuration window

Enable Cloud Watchlists on a mobile device

 

iPhone

  1. After the Cloud Watchlists feature has been enabled in TWS, login into mobileTWS
  2. Upon login, you will be prompted with a screen asking you to try the new feature
  3. Select "Try It", and then select the device/computer to import the watchlist from
  4. If you are not shown the "Try It" prompt, please go to the Configuration menu and select Watchlist Import and select the device/computer to import from
  5. In the Configuration meny, enable the option "Save Cloud Watchlists"

iPad

  1. After the Cloud Watchlists feature has been enabled in TWS, login into mobileTWS
  2. Upon login, you will be prompted with a screen asking you to try the new feature
  3. Select "Try It", and then select the device/computer to import the watchlist from
  4. If you are not shown the "Try It" prompt, tap on "Setup" in top left corner and enable "Save cloud watchlists"
  5. Back in the main screen, in top left section, tap on the Import button and select the device/computer from which to import the Cloud Watchlist

Android mobile or tablet

  1. After the Cloud Watchlists feature has been enabled in TWS, login into mobileTWS
  2. Upon login, you will be shown the Watchlist Import wizard
  3. Select the device/computer from which to import the watchlist
  4. To see the imported watchlists, navigate to Quotes and Charts from the main menu and select an imported watchlist from the dropdown

Please note that it is not possible to sync watchlists from mobileTWS to your desktop TWS.

 

 

 

 

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