Command line switches -new_console and -cur_console


Switches -new_console and -cur_console are used to modify the behavior of the ConEmu tabs and splits (new or existing).

These switches are twofold purpose, they could be used both in console prompt (e.g. run sh.exe from cmd.exe prompt in ConEmu) and from ConEmu interface (e.g. in Tasks or New console dialog).

-new_console and -cur_console were designed to minimize the possible impact on the command lines of used console applications.


When you run application from existing ConEmu tab, or starting new tab from ConEmu interface, you may use -new_console or -cur_console switches.

Warning -new_console, -cur_console and all subswitches are case sensitive.

   a - RunAs shell verb (as Admin on Vista+, user/pwd in Win2k and WinXP)
   b - create background tab
   c - force enable ‘Press Enter or Esc to close console’ confirmation
       c0 - wait for Enter/Esc silently
       c1 - don't close console automatically, even by Enter/Esc
   C:"<iconfile>" - specifies an icon used in tab
   d:"<dir>" - specify working directory
   e - use credentials for network resources only
   f - force starting console active, useful when starting several consoles simultaneously
   h<height> - i.e., h0 - turn buffer off, h9999 - switch to 9999 lines
   i - don't inject ConEmuHk into starting process
   I - (GuiMacro only) forces inheriting of root process contents, like ‘Duplicate root’ feature
   L:"<dir>\" - the directory for ANSI log files
   L:"<logfile>" - the full path for ANSI log file
   m:/mnt - defines ‘/mnt’ prefix for Unix-path conversion, m:"" - no prefix
   n - disable ‘Press Enter or Esc to close console’
   o - don't enable ‘Long console output’ when starting command from Far Manager
   p[N] - pty modes, N - bitmask: 1 - XTermKeys, 2 - BrPaste, 4 - AppCursorKeys; default is 1
   P:"<palettename>" - set fixed palette for tab
   r - run as restricted user
   R - force start hooks server in the parent process
   s[<SplitTab>T][<Percents>](H|V) - run new console in a split
   t:"<tabname>" - rename new created tab
   u - ConEmu choose user dialog
   u:"<user>:<pwd>" - specify user/pwd in args
   w[0] - Enable [disable] ‘Overwrite’ mode in command prompt by default
   W:"<tabwallpaper>" - use specified wallpaper for the tab
   z - Don't use ‘Default terminal’ feature for this command

Detailed description

Let’s look on some usage examples.

Within ConEmu Tasks you may explicitly set color palette for creating tab:

sh.exe --login -i -new_console:P:"Palette"

Or, from your shell prompt (e.g. cmd.exe started in ConEmu) you can start PuTTY (or any other simple GUI applications) in the new ConEmu tab (or split):

PuTTY.exe -new_console -load "yourserver"

Or, if you need to run some script with disabled ‘Inject ConEmuHk’ from your shell prompt running in the ConEmu tab, you may use -cur_console:i switch.

cmd /c -cur_console:i MyBatch.cmd BatchArg1 ... BatchArgN

Switches may be used in the:

  • ConEmu command line: -run or -runlist from ConEmu.exe arguments or ‘Command line’ from the Settings;
  • ConEmu Tasks: Commands area;
  • Your shell prompt started in ConEmu: ‘Inject ConEmuHk’ must be enabled in the Settings;
  • And at last within switches of console application running with Default terminal feature.

You must not specify them as ConEmu(64).exe or ConEmuC(64).exe arguments. Specify them after -run or -runlist (ConEmu.exe) and -c or -k (ConEmuC.exe) if you need to use them with ConEmu’s executables command line.

ConEmu.exe -runlist cmd ||| powershell -new_console:sV


Sometimes, you may need to disable processing of -new_console and -cur_console switches at all. For example, you need to create git commit with -new_console in the commit message, or create string value in the registry, using reg.exe tool.

There are several ways to disable or skip processing of these switches.

  • Option ‘Process -new_console and -cur_console switches’ on the Features Settings page. When you disable that option, switches will not be processed when you run something from your shell prompt or scripts (inside ConEmu tabs).
  • Using single quotes or backslashes, examples below.
git commit -m "Fix behavior of the '-new_console' switches"
reg.exe add "HKCU\command" /ve /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d "\"C:\ConEmu\ConEmuPortable.exe\" /Dir \"%V\" /cmd \"cmd.exe\" \"-new_console:nC:cmd.exe\" \"-cur_console:d:%V\"' /f
  • Switches will not be processed after the one of the ConEmu’s executables: ConEmu(64).exe, ConEmuC(64).exe or ConEmuPortable.exe. For example, when you run ConEmu.exe from your shell prompt, switch -new_console will be applied to the tab started in the new ConEmu window, and will not create new tab with one ConEmu window inside another ConEmu window. Note This behavior first introduced in the build 140220.
ConEmu /run PowerShell.exe -new_console:h9999
  • Using environment shell variable ConEmuHooks within your scripts (rungit.cmd for example).
rem Call "setlocal" to restrict environment change to that batch only
rem Disable processing of the -new_console switch
set ConEmuHooks=NOARG
rem And now you are safe to run your command
git -am "Commit message with -new_console argument"

The difference

What is the difference between -new_console and -cur_console?

Switch -new_console always creates new tab in ConEmu, while -cur_console does not.

So, some of switches used with -cur_console does not have any effect.

On the other hand, using them in ConEmu’s tasks or command line, both -new_console and -cur_console has the same effect.

Run Tasks in the existing console prompt

You should use -cur_console in Tasks if you want to run them in the existing console prompt using ConEmuC.exe -c switch. If Task Command contains the -new_console switch, the new tab will be started instead of reusing current one.

Note! Only first Task Command is executed.

E.g. run {cmd} Task from Powershell prompt:

ConEmuC -c "{cmd}"

Important notes

  • Option Inject ConEmuHk must be enabled in ConEmu settings if you want to use these switches in your shell prompt (CLI).
  • These switches are shown in ConEmu ‘About’ dialog (Win+Alt+A).
  • The s sub-switch is complicated and deserves separate article, look at examples below.
  • The -new_console is one of the ways to start GUI application from existing tab in the new ConEmu tab.
  • Several switches in one command may be used: -new_console:b -new_console:h9999 and -new_console:bh9999 are equal.
  • While you create new tab from ConEmu GUI interface, -new_console and -cur_console have the same effect.
  • These are NOT ConEmuC switches, specify them as application (far, vim, putty, etc.) switches.
  • You may put multiple simple or quoted string switches delimited with colon, example:
cmd -new_console:a:bc:d:"c:\users\Pete":u:"Pete:password"
  • You may need to escape special symbols <>()&|^" with ^ symbol, example:
cmd -new_console:P:"^<PowerShell^>"


Note. In some cases -new_console can not be intercepted (e.g. starting batches or internal commands from command processor itself). In this cases you owe to use the ‘prefix’ before actual command!

Example 1

Starts dir c:\ /s in new background ConEmu tab, set buffer height to 9999 lines, do not close tab after dir completion.

"%ConEmuBaseDir%\ConEmuC.exe" /c dir "-new_console:bh9999c" c:\ /s

Example 2

Starts vim.exe c:\sources\1.cpp in new ConEmu tab, disable buffer scrolling (buffer height will be equal to window height), do not show ‘Press Enter or Esc to close console’ after exiting vim.

vim.exe -new_console:nh0 c:\sources\1.cpp

Example 3

Starts cmd.exe in specified directory with specified login/username (Nick) and password (pwd).

cmd.exe -new_console:d:"C:\Users\Nick" "-new_console:u:Nick:pwd"

Example 4 (Far Manager related)

Starts hiew.exe c:\tools\app.exe in current ConEmu tab, do not enabling buffer scrolling (buffer height will be equal to window height).

hiew.exe -cur_console:h0 c:\tools\app.exe

Example 5

Starts PuTTY in new ConEmu tab.

putty -new_console

Example 6 (Split Screen)

Split current tab, new tab will be created to the right, both tabs becomes 50% width of active tab.

cmd -new_console:s


cmd -new_console:s50H

Split current tab, create new tab to the bottom.

cmd -new_console:sV

Split 3-d tab, create new tab to the right with 30% width.

cmd -new_console:s3T30H

Example 7 (grid 2x2)

You may also create named task with several shells. Next example creates four consoles in a grid 2x2.

> cmd -cur_console:n
powershell -cur_console:s1TVn
bash -l -i -cur_console:s1THn
ssh.exe user@ -cur_console:s2THn

Example 8 (AnsiLog files)

Write all ANSI logs to the file C:\Logs\cmd.log:

cmd.exe -new_console:L:"C:\Logs\cmd.log"

Create ANSI logs by filename format ConEmu-<YYYY-MM-DD>-p<SrvPid>.log in the folder C:\Logs:

cmd.exe -new_console:L:"C:\Logs\"
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