Ruby interface to Interactive Brokers' TWS API
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Ruby Implementation of the Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation (TWS) API v.965-967.

Copyright (C) 2006-2015 Paul Legato, Wes Devauld, and Ar Vicco.

WARNING: This software is provided AS-IS with NO WARRANTY, express or implied. Your use of this software is at your own risk. It may contain any number of bugs, known or unknown, which might cause you to lose money if you use it. You've been warned.

This code is not sanctioned or supported by Interactive Brokers.

##ANNOUNCE: Checkout Branch »Gateway« for support of FA-(aka Friends & Family)-Accounts. Its a release-candidate for Version 0.9.3


This is a pure Ruby implementation of Interactive Brokers API. It is NOT a wrapper for a Java or C++ API, but rather uses socket API directly. So it does not have any dependencies other than TWS/Gateway itself.

Why Ruby? Many people are put off by the amount of boilerplate code/plumbing required by Java, ActiveX or C++ API to do even the simplest of things, like getting account data and placing/monitoring orders. This library intends to keep all the fluff away and let you focus on writing your business logics, rather than useless boilerplate.

No more endless definitions of obligatory methods you'd never need, no spaghetti code to divide your execution flow between multiple callbacks and interfaces.

Instead, a very simple paradigm is offered: your code interacts with the server (TWS or Gateway) via exchange of messages. You subscribe to the server messages that you're interested in, and send messages to server that request specific data from it. You wait for specific messages being received, or other conditions you define. The execution flow is under your control, rather than delegated somewhere.

Using this clear paradigm, you can hack together a simple automation of your daily TWS-related routine in just a couple of minutes. Alternatively, you can create a mechanical trading system with complex order processing logics, that contains 1/10th of code and is 500% more maintaineable than it is possible with other API implementations. The choice is yours.


From RubyGems

$ sudo gem install ib-ruby [-v version]

From Source

$ git clone
$ cd ib-ruby; rake gem:install


  1. Install Interactive Brokers connectivity software: either TWS or Gateway

  2. Configure the software to allow API connections from the computer you plan to run ib-ruby on, which is typically localhost ( if you're running ib-ruby on the same machine as TWS/Gateway. Here you can see how this is done for TWS.

  3. Make sure sure your ib-ruby gem version is compatible with your software version. As a rule of thumb, most recent ib-ruby gem only supports latest versions of TWS/Gateway API. Older versions of API are supported by previous gem versions:

    ib-ruby gem TWS version API version
    0.5.21 918-920 965
    0.6.1 921-923 966
    0.7.1 924-925 966
    0.8.1 926-930 967 beta
    0.9.0+ 931-932 967 final
  4. Start Interactive Broker's Trader Work Station or Gateway before your code attempts to connect to it. Note that TWS and Gateway listen to different ports, this library assumes connection to Gateway on the same machine (localhost:4001) by default, this can be changed via :host and :port options given to


This is an example of your script that requests and prints out account data, then places limit order to buy 100 lots of WFC and waits for execution. All in about ten lines of code - and without sacrificing code readability or flexibility.

    require 'ib'

    ib = :port => 7496
    ib.subscribe(:Alert, :AccountValue) { |msg| puts msg.to_human }
    ib.send_message :RequestAccountData
    ib.wait_for :AccountDownloadEnd

    ib.subscribe(:OpenOrder) { |msg| puts "Placed: #{msg.order}!" }
    ib.subscribe(:ExecutionData) { |msg| puts "Filled: #{msg.execution}!" }
    contract = :symbol => 'WFC', :exchange => 'NYSE',
                                :currency => 'USD', :sec_type => :stock
    buy_order = :total_quantity => 100, :limit_price => 21.00,
                                :action => :buy, :order_type => :limit
    ib.place_order buy_order, contract
    ib.wait_for :ExecutionData

Your code interacts with TWS via exchange of messages. Messages that you send to TWS are called 'Outgoing', messages your code receives from TWS - 'Incoming'.

First, you need to subscribe to incoming message types you're interested in using Connection#subscribe. The code block (or proc) given to #subscribe will be executed when an incoming message of the this type is received from TWS, with the received message as its argument.

Then, you request specific data from TWS using Connection#send_message or place your order using Connection#place_order. TWS will respond with messages that you should have subscribed for, and these messages will be processed in a code block given to #subscribe.

In order to give TWS time to respond, you either run a message processing loop or just wait until Connection receives the messages type you requested.

See lib/ib/messages for a full list of supported incoming/outgoing messages and their attributes. The original TWS docs and code samples can also be found in misc directory.

Sample scripts in example directory demonstrate common ib-ruby use cases. Examples show you how to access account info, print real time quotes, retrieve historic or fundamental data, request options calculations, place, list, and cancel orders. You may also want to look into spec/integration directory for more scenarios, use cases and examples of handling IB messages.


This gem has two operating modes: standalone and Rails-engine. If you require it in a Rails environment, it loads Rails engine automatically. Otherwise, it does not load any Rails integration.

To add ib-ruby to your Rails 3 project, follow these steps:

Add to your Gemfile:

gem 'ib-ruby', '~>0.9'

Add the require to your config/application.rb:

require File.expand_path('../boot', __FILE__)
require 'rails/all'
require 'ib'
if defined?(Bundler)

Now run:

$ bundle install
$ rake ib:install:migrations
$ rake db:migrate

This will install ib-ruby gem and copy its migrations into your Rails apps migrations.

You can now use or modify IB models, develop controllers and views for them in your Rails app.


Even if you don't use Rails, you can still take advantage of its data persistance layer (ActiveRecord ORM). In order to use data persistance, you have to set up the database (SQLite recommended for simplicity) and run migrations located at gems 'db/migrate' folder. It is recommended that you use a gem like standalone_migrations for this.

You further need to:

    require 'ib/db'
    IB::DB.connect :adapter => 'sqlite3', :database => 'db/test.sqlite3'
    require 'ib'

Only require 'ib' AFTER you've connected to DB, otherwise your Models will not inherit from ActiveRecord::Base and won't be persistent. If you are using Rails, you don't need IB::DB.connect part, Rails will take care of it for you.

Now, all your IB Models are just ActiveRecords and you can save them to DB just like you would with Rails models.


The gem comes with a spec suit that may be used to test ib-ruby compatibility with your specific TWS/Gateway installation. Please read 'spec/' for more details about running specs.


The library is continuously tested with JRuby 1.6.7 (ruby-1.8.7-p357-compatible mode) and JRuby head (ruby-1.9.3-p203-compatible mode). It is not JRuby-specific though, as it is currently used in a some MRI Ruby based projects. If there are any problems in any mode for either JRuby or MRI, please report an issue and we will work on it.

Please keep in mind that when using Ruby 1.8.7, you need to either explicitly:

    require 'rubygems'
    require 'ib'

or set the environment variable "RUBYOPT" to "-rubygems":

set RUBYOPT=-rubygems


If you want to contribute to ib-ruby development:

  1. Make a fresh fork of ib-ruby (Fork button on top of Github GUI)
  2. Clone your fork locally (git clone /your fork private URL/)
  3. Add main ib-ruby repo as upstream (git remote add upstream git://
  4. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  5. Modify code as you see fit
  6. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  7. Pull in latest upstream changes (git fetch upstream -v; git merge upstream/master)
  8. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  9. Go to your Github fork and create new Pull Request via Github GUI

... then proceed from step 5 for more code modifications...


This software is available under the LGPL.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the file LICENSE for full licensing details of GNU Lesser General Public License.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this library; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA