Which version to choose

What is the difference between ConEmu versions?
Which version to download: ‘Alpha’, ‘Preview’ or ‘Stable’?
Which version to run: ‘x86 (32bit)’ or ‘x64 (64bit)’?


Distros comparison

In general, there is no significant differences between distros. Each may be used as portable. Each may be used on any Windows versions (32-bit or 64-bit). Windows XP or above is required.

There are very small set of differences between them. Read below.


In fact, ConEmuSetup.*.exe is a pack of both both x86 and x64 msi packets. So user does not need to download two msi packets for different OS, but just get and run single ConEmuSetup.*.exe.

Installer contains both x86 (32-bit) and x64 versions of all ConEmu binaries.

Installer also contains KeyEvents tool which can be downloaded separately from Sourceforge.net.

ConEmu installer processes several internal switches and passes all others to msiexec.exe without changes. Run ConEmuSetup.150331.exe /? to view list of internal switches.

   ConEmuSetup [/p:x86[,adm] | /p:x64[,adm]] [<msi args>]
   ConEmuSetup [/e[:<extract path>]] [/p:x86 | /p:x64]
Example (run x64 auto update as administrator):
   ConEmuSetup /p:x64,adm /qr

7-Zip package

7-Zip archive named ConEmuPack.*.7z contains both x86 (32-bit) and x64 versions of all ConEmu binaries.

Differences from an Installer:

  • You need 7-Zip or WinRar to unpack it;
  • You have to create a shortcut or add ConEmu folder to the %PATH% manually.

Most of power users have either 7-Zip or WinRar installed, and it’s very easy to pin ConEmu.exe to the Windows TaskBar from the folder you’ve extracted ConEmu files.

7-Zip packages does not contain KeyEvents tool.


PortableApps.com is an open source and free platform allowing you to get all your favourite software and documents on any PC via USB flash drive, cloud drive or local installation. Doesn’t matter, you will always get your software ‘portable’. And PortableApps.com has its own neat ‘start menu’.

Files named ConEmu_*_English.paf.exe are installers created up to the latest PortableApps.com specifications. They do not create shortcuts on Desktop or in the Windows start menu. Shortcut will be create in the PortableApps.com launcher only.

To install ConEmu into the PortableApps.com platform:

  • Download ConEmu_*_English.paf.exe
  • Start PortableApps.com launcher
  • Choose Apps > Install a New App
  • Choose ConEmu_*_English.paf.exe and wait while ConEmu appears in the laucher menu

x64 or x86

ConEmu is distributed as msi package ConEmuSetup.*.exe, or 7-Zip archive named ConEmuPack.*.7z. Both of them contain x86 (32-bit) and x64 versions of all ConEmu binaries.

Well, there is also PortableApps.com packages named ConEmu_*_English.paf.exe.

Also, all distros contain both x86 and x64 versions of ConEmu Plugins for Far Manager (Plugins\ConEmu\ConEmu.dll and Plugins\ConEmu\ConEmu.x64.dll for example).

So, You can simply unpack downloaded archive or install ConEmu to the Far Manager folder or any other folder, if you are not using Far Manager..

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PS. It does not matter which version of GUI you use (ConEmu.exe or ConEmu64.exe). ConEmu automatically selects the required files (ConEmuHk.dll or ConEmuHk64.dll and so on) to work with started console or GUI application.

Release stages

ConEmu released with 3-stage manner: Stable, Preview and Alpha. If one doesn’t want to have new features and bugfixes, they may keep on stable. But please don’t report bugs that are already fixed in Preview or Alpha versions.


This is ‘Stable’ version of ConEmu.

Please, don’t think that ‘Stable’ is ‘totally bug-free’, in the ConEmu project some builds are marked as ‘Stable‘ when they are ready (in my opinion) for public.

But! Bugfixes, patches, features will not be applied to ‘Stable’ builds until next ‘Stable’ comes!

On the other hand, that means that ‘Stable’ builds will not contains breaking changes, side by side with bugfixes and new features.


It’s recommended for most users.

This is ‘Preview’ (also known as ‘Release Preview’) version of ConEmu. Most of latests bugfixes and features, but these builds comes with delay in comparison with ‘Developer’ build. Trying to avoid creating new bugs :)


This is ‘Developer’ (also known as ‘Alpha’) version of ConEmu. Latests bugfixes and features, but some builds may be unstable due to changes in the code.

However, most of Alpha builds are suitable for most users.