Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers (IB) is a trading platform that allows trading across a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, funds, and cryptocurrencies. NautilusTrader offers an adapter to integrate with IB using their Trader Workstation (TWS) API through their Python library, ibapi .

The TWS API serves as an interface to IB’s standalone trading applications: TWS and IB Gateway. Both can be downloaded from the IB website. If you haven’t installed TWS or IB Gateway yet, refer to the Initial Setup guide. In NautilusTrader, you’ll establish a connection to one of these applications via the InteractiveBrokersClient .

Alternatively, you can start with a dockerized version of the IB Gateway, which is particularly useful when deploying trading strategies on a hosted cloud platform. This requires having Docker installed on your machine, along with the docker Python package, which NautilusTrader conveniently includes as an extra package.


The standalone TWS and IB Gateway applications require manually inputting username, password, and trading mode (live or paper) at startup. The dockerized version of the IB Gateway handles these steps programmatically.


To install the latest nautilus-trader package along with the ibapi and optional docker dependencies using pip, execute:

pip install -U "nautilus_trader[ib,docker]"

For installation via poetry, use:

poetry add "nautilus_trader[ib,docker]"


Because IB does not provide wheels for ibapi , NautilusTrader repackages it for release on PyPI.

Getting Started

Before deploying strategies, ensure that TWS / IB Gateway is running. Launch one of the standalone applications and log in with your credentials, or start the dockerized IB Gateway using InteractiveBrokersGateway :

from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.gateway import InteractiveBrokersGateway

gateway_config = InteractiveBrokersGatewayConfig(

# This may take a short while to start up, especially the first time
gateway = InteractiveBrokersGateway(

# Confirm you are logged in

# Inspect the logs

Note : To supply credentials to the Interactive Brokers Gateway, either pass the username and password to the config dictionaries, or set the following environment variables:




The adapter includes several major components:

  • InteractiveBrokersClient - Executes TWS API requests using ibapi .

  • HistoricInteractiveBrokersClient - Provides methods for retrieving instruments and historical data, useful for backtesting.

  • InteractiveBrokersInstrumentProvider - Retrieves or queries instruments for trading.

  • InteractiveBrokersDataClient - Connects to the Gateway for streaming market data.

  • InteractiveBrokersExecutionClient - Handles account information and executes trades.

The Interactive Brokers Client

The InteractiveBrokersClient serves as the central component of the IB adapter, overseeing a range of critical functions. These include establishing and maintaining connections, handling API errors, executing trades, and gathering various types of data such as market data, contract/instrument data, and account details.

To ensure efficient management of these diverse responsibilities, the InteractiveBrokersClient is divided into several specialized mixin classes. This modular approach enhances manageability and clarity. The key subcomponents are:

  • InteractiveBrokersClientConnectionMixin - This class is dedicated to managing the connection with TWS/Gateway.

  • InteractiveBrokersClientErrorMixin - It focuses on addressing all encountered errors and warnings.

  • InteractiveBrokersClientAccountMixin - Responsible for handling requests related to account information and positions.

  • InteractiveBrokersClientContractMixin - Handles retrieving contracts (instruments) data

  • InteractiveBrokersClientMarketDataMixin - Handles market data requests, subscriptions and data processing

  • InteractiveBrokersClientOrderMixin - Oversees all aspects of order placement and management.


To troubleshoot TWS API incoming message issues, consider starting at the InteractiveBrokersClient._process_message method, which acts as the primary gateway for processing all messages received from the API.

Instruments & Contracts

In IB, a NautilusTrader Instrument is equivalent to a Contract . Contracts can be either a basic contract or a more detailed version (ContractDetails). The adapter models these using IBContract and IBContractDetails classes. The latter includes critical data like order types and trading hours, which are absent in the basic contract. As a result, IBContractDetails can be converted to an Instrument while IBContract cannot.

To search for contract information, use the IB Contract Information Center .

Examples of IBContracts :

from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.common import IBContract

# Stock
IBContract(secType='STK', exchange='SMART', primaryExchange='ARCA', symbol='SPY')

# Bond
IBContract(secType='BOND', secIdType='ISIN', secId='US03076KAA60')

# Option
IBContract(secType='STK', exchange='SMART', primaryExchange='ARCA', symbol='SPY', lastTradeDateOrContractMonth='20251219', build_options_chain=True)

IBContract(secType='CFD', symbol='IBUS30')

# Future
IBContract(secType='CONTFUT', exchange='CME', symbol='ES', build_futures_chain=True)

# Forex
IBContract(secType='CASH', exchange='IDEALPRO', symbol='EUR', currency='GBP')

# Crypto
IBContract(secType='CRYPTO', symbol='ETH', exchange='PAXOS', currency='USD')

Historical Data & Backtesting

When developing strategies with the IB adapter, the first step usually involves acquiring historical data for backtesting. The HistoricInteractiveBrokersClient offers methods to request and save this data.

Here’s an example of retrieving and saving instrument and bar data. A more comprehensive example is available here .

import datetime
from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.common import IBContract
from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.historic import HistoricInteractiveBrokersClient
from nautilus_trader.persistence.catalog import ParquetDataCatalog

async def main():
    contract = IBContract(
    client = HistoricInteractiveBrokersClient()

    instruments = await client.request_instruments(

    bars = await client.request_bars(
        bar_specifications=["1-HOUR-LAST", "30-MINUTE-MID"],
        end_date_time=datetime.datetime(2023, 11, 6, 16, 30),
        duration="1 D",

    catalog = ParquetDataCatalog("./catalog")

Live Trading

Engaging in live or paper trading requires constructing and running a TradingNode . This node incorporates both InteractiveBrokersDataClient and InteractiveBrokersExecutionClient , which depend on the InteractiveBrokersInstrumentProvider to operate.


The InteractiveBrokersInstrumentProvider class functions as a bridge for accessing financial instrument data from IB. Configurable through InteractiveBrokersInstrumentProviderConfig , it allows for the customization of various instrument type parameters. Additionally, this provider offers specialized methods to build and retrieve the entire futures and options chains.

from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.config import InteractiveBrokersInstrumentProviderConfig

instrument_provider_config = InteractiveBrokersInstrumentProviderConfig(
    build_futures_chain=False,  # Set to True if fetching futures
    build_options_chain=False,  # Set to True if fetching options
    min_expiry_days=10,         # Relevant for futures/options with expiration
    max_expiry_days=60,         # Relevant for futures/options with expiration
            IBContract(secType='STK', symbol='SPY', exchange='SMART', primaryExchange='ARCA'),
            IBContract(secType='STK', symbol='AAPL', exchange='SMART', primaryExchange='NASDAQ')

Data Client

InteractiveBrokersDataClient interfaces with IB for streaming and retrieving market data. Upon connection, it configures the market data type and loads instruments based on the settings in InteractiveBrokersInstrumentProviderConfig . This client can subscribe to and unsubscribe from various market data types, including quote ticks, trade ticks, and bars.

Configurable through InteractiveBrokersDataClientConfig , it allows adjustments for handling revised bars, trading hours preferences, and market data types (e.g., IBMarketDataTypeEnum.REALTIME or IBMarketDataTypeEnum.DELAYED_FROZEN ).

from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.config import IBMarketDataTypeEnum
from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.config import InteractiveBrokersDataClientConfig

data_client_config = InteractiveBrokersDataClientConfig(
    market_data_type=IBMarketDataTypeEnum.DELAYED_FROZEN,  # Default is REALTIME if not set

Execution Client

The InteractiveBrokersExecutionClient facilitates executing trades, accessing account information, and processing order and trade-related details. It encompasses a range of methods for order management, including reporting order statuses, placing new orders, and modifying or canceling existing ones. Additionally, it generates position reports, although fill reports are not yet implemented.

from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.config import InteractiveBrokersExecClientConfig
from nautilus_trader.config import RoutingConfig

exec_client_config = InteractiveBrokersExecClientConfig(
    account_id="DU123456",  # Must match the connected IB Gateway/TWS

Full Configuration

Setting up a complete trading environment typically involves configuring a TradingNodeConfig , which includes data and execution client configurations. Additional configurations are specified in LiveDataEngineConfig to accommodate IB-specific requirements. A TradingNode is then instantiated from these configurations, and factories for creating InteractiveBrokersDataClient and InteractiveBrokersExecutionClient are added. Finally, the node is built and run.

For a comprehensive example, refer to this script .

from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.common import IB_VENUE
from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.factories import InteractiveBrokersLiveDataClientFactory
from nautilus_trader.adapters.interactive_brokers.factories import InteractiveBrokersLiveExecClientFactory
from nautilus_trader.config import LiveDataEngineConfig
from nautilus_trader.config import LoggingConfig
from nautilus_trader.config import TradingNodeConfig
from import TradingNode

# ... [continuing from prior example code] ...

# Configure the trading node
config_node = TradingNodeConfig(
    data_clients={"IB": data_client_config},
    exec_clients={"IB": exec_client_config},
        time_bars_timestamp_on_close=False,  # Use opening time as `ts_event`, as per IB standard
        validate_data_sequence=True,         # Discards bars received out of sequence

node = TradingNode(config=config_node)
node.add_data_client_factory("IB", InteractiveBrokersLiveDataClientFactory)
node.add_exec_client_factory("IB", InteractiveBrokersLiveExecClientFactory)

if __name__ == "__main__":
        # Stop and dispose of the node with SIGINT/CTRL+C