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Start the bot

This page explains the different parameters of the bot and how to run it.


If you've used, don't forget to activate your virtual environment (source .env/bin/activate) before running freqtrade commands.

Up-to-date clock

The clock on the system running the bot must be accurate, synchronized to a NTP server frequently enough to avoid problems with communication to the exchanges.

Bot commands

usage: freqtrade [-h] [-V]

Free, open source crypto trading bot

positional arguments:
    trade               Trade module.
    create-userdir      Create user-data directory.
    new-config          Create new config
    new-hyperopt        Create new hyperopt
    new-strategy        Create new strategy
    download-data       Download backtesting data.
    convert-data        Convert candle (OHLCV) data from one format to
    convert-trade-data  Convert trade data from one format to another.
    backtesting         Backtesting module.
    edge                Edge module.
    hyperopt            Hyperopt module.
    hyperopt-list       List Hyperopt results
    hyperopt-show       Show details of Hyperopt results
    list-exchanges      Print available exchanges.
    list-hyperopts      Print available hyperopt classes.
    list-markets        Print markets on exchange.
    list-pairs          Print pairs on exchange.
    list-strategies     Print available strategies.
    list-timeframes     Print available timeframes for the exchange.
    show-trades         Show trades.
    test-pairlist       Test your pairlist configuration.
    plot-dataframe      Plot candles with indicators.
    plot-profit         Generate plot showing profits.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -V, --version         show program's version number and exit

Bot trading commands

usage: freqtrade trade [-h] [-v] [--logfile FILE] [-V] [-c PATH] [-d PATH]
                       [--userdir PATH] [-s NAME] [--strategy-path PATH]
                       [--db-url PATH] [--sd-notify] [--dry-run]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --db-url PATH         Override trades database URL, this is useful in custom
                        deployments (default: `sqlite:///tradesv3.sqlite` for
                        Live Run mode, `sqlite:///tradesv3.dryrun.sqlite` for
                        Dry Run).
  --sd-notify           Notify systemd service manager.
  --dry-run             Enforce dry-run for trading (removes Exchange secrets
                        and simulates trades).

Common arguments:
  -v, --verbose         Verbose mode (-vv for more, -vvv to get all messages).
  --logfile FILE        Log to the file specified. Special values are:
                        'syslog', 'journald'. See the documentation for more
  -V, --version         show program's version number and exit
  -c PATH, --config PATH
                        Specify configuration file (default:
                        `userdir/config.json` or `config.json` whichever
                        exists). Multiple --config options may be used. Can be
                        set to `-` to read config from stdin.
  -d PATH, --datadir PATH
                        Path to directory with historical backtesting data.
  --userdir PATH, --user-data-dir PATH
                        Path to userdata directory.

Strategy arguments:
  -s NAME, --strategy NAME
                        Specify strategy class name which will be used by the
  --strategy-path PATH  Specify additional strategy lookup path.

How to specify which configuration file be used?

The bot allows you to select which configuration file you want to use by means of the -c/--config command line option:

freqtrade trade -c path/far/far/away/config.json

Per default, the bot loads the config.json configuration file from the current working directory.

How to use multiple configuration files?

The bot allows you to use multiple configuration files by specifying multiple -c/--config options in the command line. Configuration parameters defined in the latter configuration files override parameters with the same name defined in the previous configuration files specified in the command line earlier.

For example, you can make a separate configuration file with your key and secret for the Exchange you use for trading, specify default configuration file with empty key and secret values while running in the Dry Mode (which does not actually require them):

freqtrade trade -c ./config.json

and specify both configuration files when running in the normal Live Trade Mode:

freqtrade trade -c ./config.json -c path/to/secrets/keys.config.json

This could help you hide your private Exchange key and Exchange secret on you local machine by setting appropriate file permissions for the file which contains actual secrets and, additionally, prevent unintended disclosure of sensitive private data when you publish examples of your configuration in the project issues or in the Internet.

See more details on this technique with examples in the documentation page on configuration.

Where to store custom data

Freqtrade allows the creation of a user-data directory using freqtrade create-userdir --userdir someDirectory. This directory will look as follows:

├── backtest_results
├── data
├── hyperopts
├── hyperopt_results
├── plot
└── strategies

You can add the entry "user_data_dir" setting to your configuration, to always point your bot to this directory. Alternatively, pass in --userdir to every command. The bot will fail to start if the directory does not exist, but will create necessary subdirectories.

This directory should contain your custom strategies, custom hyperopts and hyperopt loss functions, backtesting historical data (downloaded using either backtesting command or the download script) and plot outputs.

It is recommended to use version control to keep track of changes to your strategies.

How to use --strategy?

This parameter will allow you to load your custom strategy class. To test the bot installation, you can use the SampleStrategy installed by the create-userdir subcommand (usually user_data/strategy/

The bot will search your strategy file within user_data/strategies. To use other directories, please read the next section about --strategy-path.

To load a strategy, simply pass the class name (e.g.: CustomStrategy) in this parameter.

Example: In user_data/strategies you have a file which has a strategy class called AwesomeStrategy to load it:

freqtrade trade --strategy AwesomeStrategy

If the bot does not find your strategy file, it will display in an error message the reason (File not found, or errors in your code).

Learn more about strategy file in Strategy Customization.

How to use --strategy-path?

This parameter allows you to add an additional strategy lookup path, which gets checked before the default locations (The passed path must be a directory!):

freqtrade trade --strategy AwesomeStrategy --strategy-path /some/directory

How to install a strategy?

This is very simple. Copy paste your strategy file into the directory user_data/strategies or use --strategy-path. And voila, the bot is ready to use it.

How to use --db-url?

When you run the bot in Dry-run mode, per default no transactions are stored in a database. If you want to store your bot actions in a DB using --db-url. This can also be used to specify a custom database in production mode. Example command:

freqtrade trade -c config.json --db-url sqlite:///tradesv3.dry_run.sqlite

Next step

The optimal strategy of the bot will change with time depending of the market trends. The next step is to Strategy Customization.