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A command line program monitor systray for Windows
C++ Python C
Branch: master
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Latest commit 640cc06 Dec 28, 2018


A command line program monitor systray for Windows

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  • json configure
  • systray
  • run privileged child
  • show/hide enable/disable daemon
  • multiple command line programs
  • when CommandTrayHost quits, all child processes will be killed.
  • Customize systray icon & console icon
  • i18n
  • Menu level limit is 40
  • Multiple instance of startup and running
  • Hotkey
  • Crontab


Download or Mirrors

configure file name is config.json, in the same folder as CommandTrayHost.exe. Run once CommandTrayHost.exe, there will be a config.json with document. Supported encodings, UTF-8 UTF-8BOM UTF-16LE UTF-16BE UTF-32LE UTF32-BE.

example configure

    "configs": [
            "name": "kcptun 1080", // Menu item name in systray
            "path": "E:\\program\\kcptun-windows-amd64", // path which includes cmd exe, relative path is ok.
            "cmd": "client_windows_amd64.exe -c client.json", // must contain .exe
            "working_directory": "", // working directory, for client.json path. relative to path usually. start with > symbol to use relative path from CommandTrayHost.exe
            "addition_env_path": "", //dll search path
            "use_builtin_console": false, //CREATE_NEW_CONSOLE
            "is_gui": false,
            "enabled": true, // run when CommandTrayHost starts
            // Optional
            "require_admin": false, // to run as administrator, problems keywords: User Interface Privilege Isolation
            "start_show": false, // whether to show when start process 
            "ignore_all": false, // whether to ignore operation to disable/enable all
            "position": [
                0.2, // STARTUPINFO.dwX if not greater than 1, it means proportions to screen resolution. Greater than 1, value
                200 // STARTUPINFO.dwY, same as above
            "size": [
                0.5, // STARTUPINFO.dwXSize, as above
                0.5 // STARTUPINFO.dwYSize, as above
            "icon": "", // icon for console windows
            "alpha": 170, // alpha for console windows, 0-255 integer
            "topmost": false, // topmost for console windows
            // alt win shift ctrl 0-9 A-Z, seperated by space or +. You can also use "ALT+WIN+CTRL+0x20"
            "hotkey": { // you don't nedd to set up all
                "disable_enable": "Shift+Win+D", // disable/enable toggle
                "hide_show": "Shift+Win+H", // hide/show toggle
                "restart": "Shift+Win+R", // restart app
                "elevate": "Shift+Win+A", // elevate
            "not_host_by_commandtrayhost": false, // if true, commandtrayhost will not monitor it
            "not_monitor_by_commandtrayhost": false, // if true, same as above. But quit with CommandTrayHost
            "kill_timeout": 200, // post a message to let program quit itself, if timeout killing the process
            "exclusion_id": 1, // kill all configs with same `exclusion_id` before to run current config. greater than 0.
            "kill_process_tree": false, // kill all child process tree,for nginx
            "name": "kcptun 1081",
            "path": "E:\\program\\kcptun-windows-amd64",
            "cmd": "client_windows_amd64.exe -c client.json",
            "working_directory": "E:\\program\\kcptun-windows-amd64\\config2",
            "addition_env_path": "",
            "use_builtin_console": false,
            "is_gui": false,
            "enabled": true
            // Optional
            "crontab_config": { 
                "crontab": "8 */2 15-16 29 2 *", 
                "method": "start", // start restart stop start_count_stop restart_count_stop
                "count": 0, // times to run, 0 infinite
                // Optional
                "enabled": true,
                "log": "commandtrayhost.log", // comment out this line to disable logging
                "log_level": 0, // log level 0 1 2
                "start_show": false, // comment out to use cache
            "exclusion_id": 1,
            "name": "herokuapp",
            "path": "C:\\Program Files\\nodejs",
            "cmd": "node.exe local.js -s -l 1090 -m camellia-256-cfb -k ItsATopSecret -r 80",
            "working_directory": "E:\\program\\shadowsocks-heroku.git", // We use a different working directory
            "addition_env_path": "",
            "use_builtin_console": false,
            "is_gui": false,
            "enabled": true
            "name": "shadowsocks",
            "path": "E:\\program\\shadowsocks",
            "cmd": "Shadowsocks.exe",
            "working_directory": "",
            "addition_env_path": "",
            "use_builtin_console": false,
            "is_gui": true,
            "enabled": false
            "name": "cow",
            "path": "E:\\program\\cow",
            "cmd": "cow.exe",
            "working_directory": "",
            "addition_env_path": "",
            "use_builtin_console": false,
            "is_gui": false,
            "enabled": true
            "name": "aria2",
            "path": "E:\\program\\aria2-win-64bit",
            "cmd": "aria2c.exe --conf=aria2.conf",
            "working_directory": "",
            "addition_env_path": "",
            "use_builtin_console": false,
            "is_gui": false,
            "enabled": true,
            "kill_timeout": 2000, // wait 2 seconds for saving aria2.session
            "name": "JeliLicenseServer",
            "path": "E:\\program\\JeliLicenseServer",
            "cmd": "JeliLicenseServer_windows_amd64.exe -u admin -l",
            "working_directory": "",
            "addition_env_path": "",
            "use_builtin_console": false,
            "is_gui": false,
            "enabled": true
    "global": true,
    // Optional
    "require_admin": false, // To Run CommandTrayHost as Administrator
    // If you set it to true, maybe you will need to add startup support
    "icon": "E:\\icons\\Mahm0udwally-All-Flat-Computer.ico", // Customize Tray Icon path
    // when empty, builtin default icon will be used. 256x256
    "icon_size": 256, // 256 32 16
    "cmd_menu_max_length": 0, // maximium character limit for cmd and path item in menu. 0 infinite
    "lang": "auto", // zh-CN en-US etc
    "groups": [ // groups is an array. Allowed element types are object and number.
            "name": "kcptun", // object must have a name
            "groups": [
                0, // index of configs
            "name": "shadowsocks",
            "groups": [
            "name": "empty test", // groups is optional for object, but name not.
    "enable_groups": true,
    "groups_menu_symbol": "+",
    "left_click": [
    ], // left click on tray icon, hide/show configs index. Empty to hide/show CommandTrayHost
    "enable_cache": true,
    "conform_cache_expire": true, // hot reloading will be disabled, when setting it to false
    "disable_cache_position": false,
    "disable_cache_size": false,
    "disable_cache_enabled": true,
    "disable_cache_show": false,
    "disable_cache_alpha": false, // (only work for configs with alpha)
    // alt win shift ctrl 0-9 A-Z, seperated by space or +. You can also use "ALT+WIN+CTRL+0x20"
    "hotkey": {
        "disable_all": "Alt+Win+Shift+D",
        "enable_all": "Alt Win + Shift +E",
        "hide_all": "Alt+WIN+Shift+H",
        "show_all": "AlT Win Shift    s",
        "restart_all": "ALT+Win+Shift+U",
        "elevate": "Alt+wIn+Shift+A",
        "exit": "Alt+Win+Shift+X",
        "left_click": "Alt+Win+Shift+L",
        "right_click": "Alt+Win+Shift+R",
        // work for any program of current user
        "add_alpha": "Alt+Ctrl+Win+0x26", // add alpha of current windows
        "minus_alpha": "Alt+Ctrl+Win+0x28", // Alt+Ctrl+Win+↑↓
        "topmost": "Alt+Ctrl+Win+T", // toggle topmost status
        "hide_current": "Alt+Ctrl+Win+H", // hide current window to tray menu
        "show_all_docked": "Alt+Ctrl+Win+S", // show all windows hiden by above hotkey
    "repeat_mod_hotkey": false, // not work for XP
    "global_hotkey_alpha_step": 5,
    "show_hotkey_in_menu": true,
    "enable_hotkey": true,
    "start_show_silent": true,
    "auto_hot_reloading_config": false, // if true, it's same as automatically clicking clear cache prompt No button
    "auto_update": true,
    "skip_prerelease": true,
    "keep_update_history": false,

Tips1: "cmd" must contain .exe. If you want to run a bat, you can use cmd.exe /c or cmd.exe /k.

Tips2: If you don't need privileged child, you can remove all "require_admin".

  • CommandTrayHost run as an unprivileged user: you can run a privileged child process and restart it, but you cannot hide/show it. Because of User Interface Privilege Isolation.
  • CommandTrayHost run as Administrator, everthing should work as you want. But you cannot use the builtin startup management.

Tips3: How to create ico format Here Or download from iconarchive.

Note: All paths must be "C:\\Windows" but not "C:\Windows". Json string will escape \<c>.

How to Build

  1. Install VS2015 Update 3 or VS 2017
  2. Install vcpkg
  3. Hook up user-wide integration, run (note: requires admin on first use) vcpkg integrate install
  4. Install rapidjson and nlohmann::json. vcpkg install rapidjson rapidjson:x64-windows nlohmann-json nlohmann-json:x64-windows
  5. Open CommandTrayHost.sln, and build.

In order to make sure resource.h and CommandTrayHost.rc is checkouted in encoding UTF-16LE(UCS-2) with BOM. Before run git clone, you need to add following script to %USERPROFILE%\.gitconfig .

[filter "utf16"]
    clean = iconv -f utf-16le -t utf-8
    smudge = iconv -f utf-8 -t utf-16le


See this file : CommandTrayHost/CommandTrayHost/language_data.h

Help wanted

  • When restart process, keep the history standard output and standard error output in a ConsoleHelper. That's why there is a use_builtin_console. Maybe I have to inject some code to child process. ConEmu

  • Elevated Startup

  • UIPI (User Interface Privilege Isolation) Bypass. ChangeWindowMessageFilterEx


phuslu/taskbar @lirener

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