dscl

Directory Service command line utility
Create, read, and manage Directory Service data. If invoked without any commands, dscl runs in an interactive mode, reading commands from standard input. Interactive processing is terminated by the quit command. (dscl and the GUI 'Directory utility' replace the older 'NetInfo Manager')

Syntax
      dscl [options] datasource [command]

Options
   -p           Prompt for password
   -u user      Authenticate as user
   -P password  Authentication password
   -f filepath  targeted local node database file path
   -raw         Don't strip off prefix from DirectoryService API constants
   -plist       Print out record(s) or attribute(s) in XML plist format		     
   -url         Print record attribute values in URL-style encoding
   -q           quiet - no interactive prompt

Commands:
   -read [path [key ...]]
   -readall [path [key ...]]
-readpl path key plist_path
-readpli path key value_index plist_path -list path [key] -search path key val -create record_path [key [val ...]] -createpl record_path key plist_path val1 [val2 ...]
-createpli record_path key value_index plist_path val1 [val2...] -append record_path key val ... -merge record_path key val ... -delete path [key [val ...]] -deletepl record_path key plist_path [val ...]
-deletepli record_path key value_index plist_path [val ...] -change record_path key old_val new_val -changei record_path key val_index new_val -diff path1 path2 [key ...] -passwd user_path [new_password | old_password new_password] Available only in interactive mode: -cd dir -pushd [dir] -popd -auth [user [password]] -authonly [user [password]] -quit

Leading dashes ("-") are optional for all commands.

dscl operates on a datasource specified on the command line. This may be a node name or a Mac OS X Server (10.2 or later) host specified by DNS hostname or IP address. Node names may be absolute paths beginning with a slash ("/"), or relative domain paths beginning with a dot (".") character, which specifies the local domain, or "..", specifying the local domain's parent. If the hostname or IP address form is used then the user must specify the -u option and either the -P or -p options to specify an administrative user and password on the remote host to authenticate with to the remote host. The exception to this is if "localhost" is specified.

Passing passwords on the command line is inherently insecure and can cause password exposure. For better security do not provide the password as part of the command and you will be securely prompted.

PATH SPECIFICATION

There are two modes of operation when specifying paths to operate on. The two modes correspond to whether the datasource is a node or a host. In the case of specifying a node, the top level of paths will be record types. Example top level paths would be:

	   /Users/alice
	   /Groups/admin

In the case of specifying a host as a data source, the top level of paths correspond to Open Directory plug-ins and Search Paths. One can specify the plug-in to traverse to a node name, after which the paths are equivalent to the former usage. The following might be the equivalent paths as the above paths:

	   /NetInfo/root/Users/alice
	   /LDAPv3/10.0.1.42/Groups/admin

If path components contain keys or values with embedded slash characters, the slash characters must be escaped with a leading backslash character. Since the shell also processes escape characters, an extra backslash is required to correctly specify an escape. For example, to read a mount record with the name "ldapserver:/Users" in the "/Mounts" path, the following path would be used:

	  dscl . -read /Mounts/ldaphost:\/Users

     All pathnames are case-sensitive.

COMMANDS

The action of each command is described below. Some commands have aliases. For example, "cat" and "." are aliases for "read". Command
aliases are listed in parentheses.

   read (cat .)
   Usage: read [path [key ...]]

Prints a directory. Each of the properties are printed one per line. The property key is followed by a colon, then a space-separated list of
the values for that property. Note that a value which contains embedded spaces will appear identical to a pair of values.

If The -raw flag for raw output has been given, then read prints the full DirectoryService API constant for record and attribute types.

If the -url flag has been specified then printed record path attribute values are encoded in the style of URLs. This is useful if a script or
program is trying to process the output since values will not have any spaces or other control characters.

   readall
   Usage: readall [path [key ...]]

readall prints all the records of a given type. The output of readall is formatted in the same way as read with a "-" on a line as a delimeter
between records.

   readpl
   Usage: readpl path key plist_path

Prints the contents of plist_path. The plist_path is followed by a colon, then a whitespace, and then the value for the path.

If the plist_path is the key for a dictionary or array, the contents of it are displayed in plist form after the plist_path. If plist_path is
the key for a string, number, bool, date, or data object, only the value is printed out after the plist_path.

   readpli
   Usage: readpli path key value_index plist_path

Prints the contents of plist_path for the plist at value_index of the key. The plist_path is followed by a colon, then a whitespace, and then
the value for the path.

If the plist_path is the key for a dictionary or array, the contents of it are displayed in plist form after the plist_path. If plist_path is
the key for a string, number, bool, date, or data object, only the value is printed out after the plist_path.

   list (ls)
   Usage: list path

Lists the subdirectories of the given directory. Subdirectories are listed one per line. In the case of listing a search path, the names are
preceded by an index number that can act as a shortcut and used in place of the name when specifying a path.

When used in interactive mode, the path is optional. With no path given, the current directory will be used.

   search
     path key val

Searches for records that match a pattern. The search is rooted at the given path. The path may be a node path or a record type path. Valid
keys are Directory Service record attribute types.

   create (mk)
   Usage: create record_path [key [val ...]]

Creates a record, property, or value. If only a record path is given, the create command will create the record if it does not exist. If a key
is given, then a property with that key will be created.

WARNING - If a property with the given key already exists, it will be destroyed and a new property will be created in its place. To add values
to an existing property, use the append or merge commands.

If values are included in the command, these values will be set for the given key.

NOTE - Not all directory nodes support a property without a value. An error will be given if you attempt to create a property with no value in
such a directory node.

   createpl
   Usage: createpl record_path key plist_path val1 [val2 ...]

Creates a string, or array of strings at plist_path.

If you are creating a value at the root of a plist that is an array, simply use "0" as the plist_path.

If only val1 is specified, a string will be created at plist_path. If val1 val2 ... are specified, an array of strings will be created at
plist_path.

WARNING - If a value with the given plist_path already exists, it will be destroyed and a new value will be created in its place.

   createpli
   Usage: createpli record_path key value_index plist_path val1 [val2 ...]

Creates a string, or array of strings at plist_path for the plist at value_index of the key.

If you are creating a value at the root of a plist that is an array, simply use "0" as the plist_path.

If only val1 is specified, a string will be created at plist_path. If val1 val2 ... are specified, an array of strings will be created at
plist_path.

WARNING - If a value with the given plist_path already exists, it will be destroyed and a new value will be created in its place.

   append
   Usage: append record_path key val ...

Appends one or more values to a property in a given record. The property is created if it does not exist.

   merge
   Usage: merge record_path key val ...

Appends one or more values to a property in a given directory if the property does not already have those values. The property is created if
it does not exist.

   change
   Usage: change record_path key old_val new_val

Replaces the given old value in the list of values of the given key with the new value in the specified record.

   changi
     Usage: changei path key index val

Replaces the value at the given index in the list of values of the given key with the new value in the specified record. index is an integer
value. An index of 1 specifies the first value. An index greater than the number of values in the list will result in an error.

   diff
Usage: diff path1 path2 key ...

Compares the data from path1 and path2 looking at the specified keys (or
all if no keys are specified).


   delete (rm)
     Usage: delete path [key [val ...]]

Delete a directory, property, or value. If a directory path is given, the delete command will delete the directory. This can only be used on
record type and record paths. If a key is given, then a property with that key will be deleted. If one or more values are given, those values
will be removed from the property with the given key.

   deletepl
   Usage: deletepl record_path key plist_path [val ...]

Deletes a value in a plist. If no values are given deletepl deletes the plist_path. If one or more values are given, deletepl deletes the values
within plist_path.

   deletepli
   Usage: deletepli record_path key value_index plist_path [val ...]

Deletes a value for the plist at value_index of the key. If no values are given deletepli deletes the plist_path. If one or more values are
given, deletepli deletes the values within plist_path.

   passwd
     Usage: passwd user_path [new_pasword | old_password new_pasword]

Changes a password for a user. The user must be specified by full path, not just a username. If you are authenticated to the node (either by
specifying the -u and -P flags or by using the auth command when in interactive node) then you can simply specify a new password. If you are not authenticated then the user's old password must be specified. If passwords are not specified while in interactive mode, you will be
prompted for them.

INTERACTIVE COMMANDS

   cd
   Usage: cd dir

Sets the current directory. Path names for other dscl commands may be relative to the current directory.

   pushd (pd)
   Usage: pushd path

Similar to the pushd command commonly found in Unix shells. When a path is specified it sets the current directory while pushing the previous directory on to the directory stack. If no path is specified it exchanges the top two elements of the directory stack. It will also
print the final directory stack.

   popd
   Usage: popd

Pops the directory stack and returns to the new top directory. It will also print the final directory stack.

   auth (su)
   Usage: auth [user [password]]

Authenticate as the named user, or as "root" if no user is specified. If a password is supplied, then that password is used for authentication,
otherwise the command prompts for a password.

If dscl is run in host mode, then when this command is run the current directory must be in the subdirectories of a node.

   authonly
   Usage: authonly [user [password]]

Used to verify the password of a named user, or of "root" if no user is specified. If a password is supplied, then that password is used for
authentication, otherwise the command prompts for a password.

If dscl is run in host mode, then when this command is run the current directory must be in the subdirectories of a node.

   quit (q)
     Usage: quit

Ends processing of interactive commands and terminates the program.

   command history

The up and down arrow keys will scan through the command history.

   tab completion

When pathnames are being typed, pressing the tab key will result in a search to auto-complete the typed partial subdirectory name. It will also
attempt to correct capitilization in the process.

EXAMPLES

View a record in the local directory node
dscl . -read /Users/www

Create or replace the UserShell attribute value for the www user record
dscl . -create /Users/www UserShell /usr/bin/false

Create or replace the test key of the mcx_application_data:loginwindow plist value for the MCXSettings attribute of the user1 user
record
dscl . -createpl /Users/user1 MCXSettings mcx_application_data:loginwindow:test value

List the uniqueID values for all user records on a given node
dscl /LDAPv3/ldap.company.com -list /Users UniqueID

Append a value that has spaces in it
dscl . -append /Users/www Comment "This is a comment"

DIAGNOSTICS

dscl will return -1 (255) on error.

“Employees must be given responsibility; backed with investment; and provided with motivation. Good people won't stay without them” ~ Robert Heller

Related:

dscl man page - Apple.com
DirectoryService(8)
DirectoryServiceAttributes(7)
Equivalent (Linux) bash command: ldapmodify - LDAP modify entry and LDAP add entry tools


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