DSquery Built-in Tool for Windows Server 2003/8
One of the most useful DS commands is DSQuery User. If I need to find a user quickly from the command prompt, I call upon DSQuery.
- Example 1: DS Query User To Find All Users
- Example 2: Find Everyone Whose Name Begins with Smith*
- Example 3: Filter the Output with -o rdn
Example 1: DS Query User To Find All Users in the Default Users folder
In this example we just want to search the users folder and list the people accounts in that default container.
dsquery user cn=users,dc=YourDomain,dc=com
Note 1: The default users’ folder is actually a container object called cn=users. My point is if you try ou=users, the command fails.
Note 2: I queried users, however dsquery requires the singular user, not userS. Other objects that you can query are computer (not computers!), group or even contact.
Challenge 1: Substitute OU=xyz for cn=users, where xyz is the name of your OU. Unfortunately, cn=users domainroot does not work.
Challenge 2: Substitute "computer" for "user".
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This DSQuery example shows two ways to filter your output and so home in on what you are looking for. Let us pretend that we know the user’s name but have no idea which OU they are to be found. Moreover, we are not sure whether their name is spelt Smith, Smithy or Smithye.
dsquery user domainroot -name smith*
dsquery user dc=YourDomain,dc=com -name smith*
dsquery user smith*
Note 1: Remember to type the singular user.
Note 2: Probably no need to introduce *, you probably realize it’s a wildcard.
Note 3: -name is but one of a family of filters. -desc or -disabled are others.
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The purpose of -o rdn is to reduce the output to just the relative distinguished name. In a nutshell rdn strips away the OU=, DC= part which you may not be interested in.
dsquery user -name smith* -o rdn
Note 1: o is the letter oh (not a number). In my minds eye o stands for output.
Note 2: There is a switch -o dn, but this is not a switch I use.
Summary – DSQuery User
Knowledge is power. The DS family in general and DSQuery user in particular, provide handy commands for interrogating Active Directory from the command line. Next try DSGet.
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