The stock market is a volatile place on a good day but as of late, trying to win big can be a gamble that many just aren’t willing to take. However, with so many companies taking massive financial hits, some traders are looking to take advantage of reduces share prices. While I’m not here to solicit financial advice, I am ALWAYS willing to aid users in getting the most out of their Chromebooks. That said, I received a request from one such reader who was looking to install a TD Ameritrade’s trading software on their device.
I’ll admit, I was not familiar with the “thinkorswim” application and at first glance, I thought this was some sort of game software the user was trying to install on a Chromebook. I inquired as to where I could find the Linux packages and when he responded, I quickly learned that thinkorswim is actually a realtime trading platform for TD Ameritrade. So, I quickly dug in to see what we could do to get the application up and running. Unlike a lot of Ubuntu/Debian-based applications, thinkorswim doesn’t come with a one-click install method that will work on Crostini Linux. Instead, you have to add the repository and then download an installer that is in the form of a shell script or
To install and run thinkorswim, there is a decent amount of prep work that must be done out of the gate. So, if you’re looking to get your trade on and want to use your Chromebook, here’s the breakdown of how to get thinkorswim up and running. First and foremost, you will need to make sure you have Linux installed and updated on your device. You can read more about getting started with Linux on Chrome OS here. Next, head over to the thinkorswim website and download the installer file for Linux users. You can find that here. Once you’ve grabbed that, drag it into your Linux folder in the file manager. Now, we’ll get your system ready to run the installer.
We will be adding a third-party repository in this process but before we do, we need to add the
add-apt-repository command to Crostini. You can do so by installing the software-properties-common package from the Buster repository. Use the following command in the Linux terminal to install the package.
sudo apt-get install -y software-properties-common
Next, we will import the public key and add the repository so we can install the Zulu OpenJDK. This java development kit that handles running the thinkorswim software. You can add the keys and the repository with the following two commands and then run
apt update to update the packages.
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys 0xB1998361219BD9C9 sudo apt-add-repository 'deb http://repos.azulsystems.com/debian stable main' sudo apt-get update
Now we will install Zulu8 from our freshly added repository.
sudo apt-get install zulu-8
If you are using a fresh install of Crostini and have added no other software or packages, you should probably be able to skip the following two steps. For the sake of thoroughness, I recommend doing it anyway. Run the following two commands one at a time and when prompted, select the number that corresponds with the Zulu-8 java platform and then hit enter.
sudo update-alternatives --config java sudo update-alternatives --config javac
If you only have Zulu installed, the terminal will tell you that there are no alternative options and you can move on. If you do have multiple Java packages installed, you should see something similar to the image above. Select the Zulu package and confirm to move to the next step. Now it’s time to execute the installation script. Make sure that you have moved the thinkorswim shell script to the Linux folder and then, execute it with the following command.
You will now walk through the installation process and a new folder labeled “thinkorswim” will be created inside the Linux folder. Once it’s finished, you should land on the login screen for the application. Log in to your account and you’re on your way. One last important note. This installation script does NOT create a desktop/launcher icon for thinkorswim. I have attempted multiple methods of creating an executable icon to launch the app but unfortunately, it is hit or miss. Sometimes the icon will launch the application and other times it just loads the icon and spins with no results. I’ll keep working on this to find a soluting but in the meantime, you can launch thinkorswim from the command line by opening your terminal and typying
cd thinkorswim and hitting enter to move to the applications folder. Then, you can launch the app using the launcher’s .jar file with the command below.
java -jar launcher.jar
I’m not a day trader or stock handler of any sort but I hope that some of you out there find this a helpful resource. I want to thank Amr G. for sending the email that led me down this path of discovery. If you are trying to find a way to install a Linux package on your Chromebook and have hit a dead-end, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to see what we can come up with.