On instance

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  • Vivian De Smedt

    Vivian De Smedt - 2009-07-11

    Dear Console developper,

    I just discover Console and I like it very much, I replace Cmd with Console and I enjoy it.
    Thanks for this nice project.

    One of the nice thing it bring is that all my console are now grouped together.

    To improve that Console effect on my taskbar I have written a patch to force only one instance of Console.

    I first analyze the previous patch proposition but it has two weakness.

    1. Console didn't get the focus when it was called the second time with the -reuse flag
    2. If the -t flag was not set no new tab were created.

    To address the first one I implemented the DDE protocol which has two advantages:
    1. The Console window get the focus
    2. You can integrate Console to the shell and ask explorer.exe to open a new tab for a given folder

    To address the second one I just default the console type to the first one in the setting array.

    Please tell me if you are interested by this patch proposition and if so what do you think I should do to submit it.

    Vivian De Smedt.

    • Vivian De Smedt

      Vivian De Smedt - 2009-07-11

      Dear All :-)

      I'm using a text editor to write a script. From time to time I like to test it in a console (Console.exe ;-) ). My text editor let me start a Console with a given working directory and works fine.

      The problem is that each time I lauch that command it open a new shell or a new tab in Console.

      I would like it reuse an existing tab when possible.

      To solve that issue I have developped an another Console feature.

      When I ask a new console (via DDE message) Console check if there is an another console:
      - of the same type
      - with the same working directory (not the original startup directory the curent working directory)
      - that is not busy (that don't have child process attached to it)

      If it found one it switch to that tab instead of creating a new one.

      Let me know if you are interested by that new feature and if so what I should do to submit a patch.

      Vivian De Smedt.

    • Vivian De Smedt

      Vivian De Smedt - 2009-08-04

      Dear All :-)

      The one instance version of Console aim is to minimize the number of Console instances opened and minimize the number of tabs opened in Console.

      When One Instance setting of the the patched version of Console is set each call to Console create a new tab in the opened instance of Console instead of creating a new one.

      When the reuse tab setting of the patched version of Console is set Console try to reuse an existing tab that share the correct working folder instead of creating a new one.

      An another feature of the patched version of Console is its integration with explorer.

      When the Integrate with explorer setting is set one or two Console entry appear in the context menu of explorer to let you launch tab console in the working directory determined by the file, the folder or the disk you selected in explorer.

      We use the patched version every day and it seems that it work well on our PCs. So we thought it is time for it to be confronted to the real word. We will be glad if you could take the time to test it and send us feedback :-)

      A binary of the patched version (called v2.4) is available at:


      Vivian De Smedt, Sergey Kozlov.

      • jason404

        jason404 - 2009-08-04

        Could you implement a minimise to system tray option as well?  A x64 build would be great too.

  • Matthew

    Matthew - 2009-11-13

    Hello and thanks for the patch. I had always wanted a one-instance capability.

    There is one issue however, new tabs are opened in the console2 home directory rather than following the settings initial directory directive.

    Other than that, I haven't seen any problems. If you can put together a fix for the starting directory issue it would be perfect!

    Thanks again.

  • GrayNM

    GrayNM - 2009-11-16

    **to random99**

    Can you give me more information about this issue? (OS, your Console.xml, exact steps how to get this issue).

  • Matthew

    Matthew - 2009-11-17

    I am using Windows XP SP3, I'll insert below what may be the relevant section of my console.xml

        > <console change_refresh="5" refresh="100" rows="60" columns="80" buffer_rows="1200" buffer_columns="80" shell="C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /KC:\util\dossetup.bat" init_dir="C:\" save_size="0" start_hidden="0">

    I have a key chord set to invoke console.exe. It makes no difference if you start it with a shortcut on the desktop or any other way, even if the shortcut "Start In:" setting is to a specific directory. The new tab always initiates in the console.exe home directory. The new tab will start in the correct directory if you are using a context menu dispatch with the -d parameter and arg.

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you need more info or comments.

  • GrayNM

    GrayNM - 2009-11-18

    Hmm, it's strange.
    Did it the same mistake if dossetup.bat isn't called on start?

  • Matthew

    Matthew - 2009-11-18

    Hi and thanks. To make a long story short: After extensive testing here the issue seems to have been an undocumented feature of the key dispatcher program I use. The only thing the dossetup.bat actually does is to initiate doskey.exe and load a file of macros and console.exe is working fine.

    Tried a number of different combinations of things and now it's all working predictably. I'll have to just live with the behavior or change my keyboard program or rewire my hands. :)

    Thanks again for helping to clear this up.

  • Mike Dundee

    Mike Dundee - 2009-11-24

    Hi, I've been hunting for this feature! Many thanks, works like a charm! Now I could not imagine my daily life without this handy improvement…. :-)

  • Flux Tendu

    Flux Tendu - 2010-03-04


    Thank you for this patch, I hope it will be accepted and integrated in the main branch asap…

    The DDE works perfectly, but I have a bug report and a suggestion for the shell integration:

    The bug: duplicate entries in the context menu of the explorer left pane (Windows 7 - 32 bit):

    The suggestion: using


    doesn't make sense to me, and it clutter a little more my context menu… I think that the following keys are enough

  • Flux Tendu

    Flux Tendu - 2010-03-04

    Additional note: the left pane bug appears only with folders. Drives and files doesn't have duplicate entries

  • Chad Jackson

    Chad Jackson - 2011-11-02

    Just in case you were feeling under appreciated.  This is a long overdue and completely awesome addition to Console2.  How do we lobby the Dev to get these features integrated into the main application stream.  I would never have know about it if I weren't Googling like a mad man for a way to do just this.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Michael H.

    Michael H. - 2011-11-02

    I agree.  If this could be integrated more people would benefit from your good work! Thanks Vivian.

  • Vivian De Smedt

    Vivian De Smedt - 2011-11-06

    Dear All,

    Thanks for your encouraging comments.
    I'm not the only one behind console-devel  it is a joined effort with Sergey Kozlov.

    We are trying to push the patch in the trunk but Marko Bozikovic, the responsible of the trunk, is quite busy and since the patch is not very very small I suspect he don't find the time and or the motivation to integrate it.

    We also have been in contact with Kirril Alexandrov that maintain another fork of Console and I think he is integrating part of the patch :-)

    I suppose if you share your enthusiasm with Marko and Kirril it could help them to find the motivation to look at the patch. But it is only a patch and the bulk of the work have been done by Marko so we have to respect his decision about the integration of contribution.

    I'll try to maintain the fork up to date but I'm also one release behind ;-)

    Thank again for your support,

  • Vivian De Smedt

    Vivian De Smedt - 2011-11-06

    I forgot to say that I'm also sensitive to the number of people that recommend it (the thumb up feature). ;-)

  • Matthew

    Matthew - 2011-11-07

    Am I the only one that is confused by the fact that there are consol-devel and a console projects with latest dev versions of 1.47a and 1.48 that are both referenced in this forum thread? What are the differences between these products? Is there a changelog anywhere?

    I had been using a version 2.00b144-Beta for a long time and just downloaded and installed console-devel 2.00b147a (which seems to work fine), now I see 2.00b148-Beta here. Are 1.47a changes integrated to 1.48-Beta? What is going on?

    Thanks for any info. It's a really good software, whatever variation I have been using.

  • Vivian De Smedt

    Vivian De Smedt - 2011-11-14

    Console-devel is a misleading name. It is a fork of console that we have started to add explorer integration to our beloved console. While waiting for the integration of the Console-devel in to Console I try to integrate the change of Console into Console-devel but I'm one version late. I hope I'll find the time to catch up soon.

    Vivian De Smedt.

  • Matthew

    Matthew - 2011-11-20

    Thank you for your reply Vivian. From your response I assume that the "one instance" feature of Console-devel has been incorporated into Console. I have been using the console-devel branch with no problems but I guess I will try out the main Console branch to see what difference I can see.

    I am not sure I can appreciate the issues of explorer integration. Long ago I set up a context menu entry:

    @="J:\\con2\\Console.exe -d \"%L\""

    that does all I need to do and works fine for me.

    Thanks again and for Console, a really great program.

  • ccollomb

    ccollomb - 2012-08-28

    I use the latest patch ( and it is pretty awesome. I just have one issue.

    The reuse of tab does not work if the folder has spaces in the following case: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Console2\Console.exe" -t Console2 -r "/k \"%1\""

    If %1 is "c:\test folder\run me.bat" (notice the space in between test and folder and between run and me), if no instance exists of console 2, the right path is opened and everything is fine. If the instance is reused, the path passed is "c:\test", any chance you could fix that bug? Basically adding quotes to the passed string parameters.

    Thanks a lot for the great work.

  • Vivian De Smedt

    Vivian De Smedt - 2012-08-29

    Thanks for your message. I'll try to reproduce your problem and fix it. I'll keep you informed.

    I personally use the explorer integration and and it works with space included in the path.
    But I'll try to reproduce your problem using the command line integration and keep you updated.

    Best regards,

  • ccollomb

    ccollomb - 2012-08-29

    It works the first time, but not when the second tab should open the same path. Make sure you open twice in different tabs, without closing the first one.

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