Installation and setup. Cloud services.

Some tips for installing Zorro on your home PC or on a remote server:

Zorro on Linux or Mac

Although Zorro is a Windows program, users are also running it under Linux and OS X with Wine. We currently only support the Windows version, but you can find threads on the Zorro forum where Linux and Mac installations are discussed. The basic steps:

A supposed incompatibility of the current Wine version with the Windows COleDateTime class causes Zorro backtest results under Wine to deviate slightly from backtest results under Windows, due to variations in bar start and end times. The Wine developers have been informed about that issue and it will be hopefully fixed in future Wine versions.

Zorro in the cloud

For live trading, it is recommended to run Zorro not at home, but on a virtual private server (VPS) hosted by a commercial service provider. You'll get a fast and reliable online connection to the broker, regardless how bad your internet is at home, and can access Zorro from anywhere. VPS are available from many providers for a small fee, like $20 per month. It's recommended to select a large and reliable company, like 1&1, Google, or Amazon, for hosting a trading VPS. Amazon offers its EC2™ servers even free during the first year. Installation with a broker or MT4 connection on a VPS is not totally easy to a beginner, so we're offering a VPS installation service on the support page. If you want to do it yourself, here are the basic steps for setting up an Amazon VPS:

It is recommended to disable automatic Windows updates for preventing reboots that interrupt the trading session. Make also sure that the time and the time zone of the VPS is set up correctly. It does not matter which time zone - you can either use your PC's time zone, or the VPS time zone, or any other time zone - but the VPS time must match the zone. If it is wrong, Zorro will display a wrong UTC time in the server window, and strategies based on market open and close times - such as gap trading - won't work anymore. If in doubt, set the VPS to the same time and time zone of your PC at home.

Running multiple Zorros

If one Zorro is good, many Zorros are even better. The free Zorro version can trade with one broker and one account only. Zorro S allows to run many Zorro instances simultaneously with different scripts (for details about setting up multiple connections, see Account List). How many Zorro instances can run at the same time depends on the broker API, the Internet bandwidth, and the PC speed and memory resources. As an example, a Amazon EC2 Micro Instance can support about 4 Zorro instances with a direct broker connection, or up to 2 instances with a MT4 connection.

If the parallel trading Zorros use different broker APIs, set the NOLOCK flag for speeding up API access. Otherwise a synchronization mechanism lets any Zorro wait with accessing the broker API until other Zorros have finished their API access.

When running multiple Zorros with the same script, make sure that they don't write into the same logs or temporary files. The Script string and/or the LogNumber variable can be used to let any Zorro generate different file names. For communication between different Zorro instances, see Processes.

Surviving reboots

Rebooting a live trading server should be avoided. But if it still happens, the trading session should be automatically resumed when the server restarts. Here's the procedure - you'll need Zorro S since the free version does not fully support command lines:

START /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\Global Prime - MetaTrader 4" Terminal.exe
TIMEOUT 25
START Zorro.exe -trade MyStrategy -stay

The startup.bat file will then be executed at any reboot. Depending on the Windows version, the Startup folder can be different - on older versions it's named Autostart and you can edit it with msconfig. On Windows Server, open Administrative Tools / Task Scheduler and enter the task with the properties "Start a program" / "When the computer starts". Please note that some server configurations are reported to start Zorro in minimized mode with no GUI when no user is logged in. In this case, use "At Log on" rather than "At startup", specify the user account in the task properties, and use the Microsoft Sysinternals Autologon program to establish automatic logon at start.

Zorro on a fallback server

A server breakdown due to a hardware failure can be fatal for some trading systems. In such a case, a fallback server should immediately take over the trading when the original server becomes unresponsive. This is the suggested setup of such a configuration:

Starting a script at a specific time / date

If you want to start a session every Monday at 15:30 pm, you can do that with the Zorro command line and the Windows Task Scheduler. Here's the procedure - you'll need Zorro S since the free version does not fully support command lines:

Trading status on a website

It is recommended that you regularly observe Zorro's trade list, profit status, and messages on your PC or smartphone. For this purpose, Zorro displays the trade status and the message window permanently on a website that's updated once per minute. The tricky part is to make that page visible on the Internet. Here's the instruction for Amazon EC2 with Windows Server 2012 / 2016 (similar for Google Cloud instances):

Zorro as trade signal provider

This is for Zorro S users only, as the free Zorro license does not permit providing trade signals. Some trade copy services such as ZuluTrade™ offer a free VPS for their signal providers. The VPS is already configured, completely with MT4, but it's a little tricky to copy Zorro onto it. Here's the procedure for ZuluTrade, step by step:

When you provide signals, please play fair in the interest of your followers. Do not use martingale or similar methods, even though this might attract more followers at first. In the end, only the few signal providers that survive more than one or two months will earn long-term trust and profits.

See also:

 Brokers, Getting Started, engine API

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