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Sun OpenDS Standard Edition 2.0 Command-Line Usage Guide

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Directory Server Administration Tools

Data Administration Tools

LDAP Client Utilities

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General Tool Usage Information


The ldifsearch utility performs searches in an LDIF file.


ldifsearch options


The ldifsearch utility can be used to perform searches in an LDIF file. Although similar to the ldapsearch tool, the ldifsearch utility does not perform any LDAP communication with the directory server but rather operates locally on the LDIF file.


The ldifsearch utility accepts an option in either its short form (for example, -b baseDN) or its long form equivalent (for example, --baseDN baseDN).

-b, -baseDN baseDN

Specify the base DN to use for the search operation. Multiple base DNs can be provided by using this option multiple times. If multiple values are provided, then an entry will be examined if it is within the scope of any of the search bases. If no search base is provided, then any entry contained in the LDIF files will be considered in the scope of the search.

-f, --filterFile filterFile

Specify the path to a file containing one or more filters to use when processing the search operation. If there are to be multiple filters, then the file should be structured with one filter per line. If this option is used, then any trailing options will be treated as separate attributes. Otherwise, the first trailing option must be the search filter.

-l, -ldifFile ldifFile

Specify the path to the LDIF file containing the data to be searched. Multiple LDIF files can be specified by providing this option multiple times. This option is required.

-o, -outputFile outputFile

Specify the path to the output file that contains the entries matching the provided search criteria. If this option is not provided, the matching entries will be written to standard output.

-O, --overwriteExisting

Overwrite the output file specified with the --outputFile option. This option indicates that if the specified output file already exists that the file should be overwritten rather than appending the data to existing data. This is only applicable if the --outputFile option is used.

-s, -searchScope searchScope

Specify the scope of the search operation. Its value must be one of the following:

  • base Examine only the entry specified by the --baseDN option.

  • one Examine only the entry specified by the --baseDN option and its immediate children.

  • sub or subordinate Examine the entry specified by the --baseDN option and its subtree.

Default value sub if the option is not specified.

-t, --timeLimit numSeconds

Indicate the maximum length of time in seconds that should be spent performing the searches. After this length of time has elapsed, the search ends.

-z, --sizeLimit sizeLimit

Set the maximum number of matching entries that the directory server should return to the client. If this is not provided, then there will be no maximum requested by the client. Note that the directory server can enforce a lower size limit than the one requested by the client.

-T, --dontWrap

Do not wrap long lines when displaying matching entries. If this option is not provided, long lines will be wrapped (in a manner compatible with the LDIF specification) to fit on an 80-column terminal.

-?, -H, --help

Display command usage information and exit without attempting to perform any additional processing.

-V, --version

Display the version information for the directory server.


The following examples show how to use the directory server commands. You can use the commands on any UNIX, Linux, or Windows system that has at least the Java SE 5 (at least Sun version 1.5.0_08, preferably the latest version of Java SE 6) runtime environment installed on its target system. See Directory Server System Requirements in Sun OpenDS Standard Edition 2.0 Installation Guide for more information.

Example 120
Searching an LDIF File

The following command specifies the base DN (-b) and searches an LDIF file (-l) for an entry and returns its result to the screen if any entries match the search filter cn=Sam Carter. For Windows platforms, use the path where the LDIF file resides (for example, -l \temp\Example.ldif.

$ ldifsearch -b dc=example,dc=com -l /usr/local/Example.ldif "(cn=Sam Carter)"

dn: uid=scarter,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: inetOrgPerson
objectClass: person
objectClass: top
objectClass: organizationalPerson
ou: Accounting
ou: People
sn: Carter
facsimiletelephonenumber: +1 408 555 9751
roomnumber: 4600
userpassword: sprain
l: Sunnyvale
cn: Sam Carter
telephonenumber: +1 408 555 4798
uid: scarter
givenname: Sam
mail: scarter@example.com
Example 121
Searching an LDIF File by Using a Filter File

Suppose that the file, filter.ldif, which contains the following search filter:


The following command searches the LDIF file for entries that match the filter in the search filter file and outputs the results in an output file. The command specifies the base DN (-b) and searches the LDIF file (-l) using the search filter file (-f) and outputs the results in a file (-o). For Windows platforms, use the file paths for the LDIF file (for example, -l \temp\Example.ldif), the filter file (for example, -f \temp\filter.ldif), and the output file (for example, -o \temp\results.ldif):

$ ldifsearch -b dc=example,dc=com -l /usr/local/Example.ldif -f /usr/local/filter.ldif  \
-o /home/local/results.ldif
Exit Codes

An exit code of 0 indicates that the operation completed successfully. An exit code of 1 or greater indicates that an error occurred during processing.

Related Commands