findscu(1) DICOM query (C-FIND) SCU


findscu [options] peer port [dcmfile-in...]


The findscu application implements an SCU for the Query/Retrieve Service Class and the Basic Worklist Management Service Class. findscu only supports query functionality using the C-FIND message. It sends query keys to an SCP and awaits responses. The application can be used to test SCPs of the Query/Retrieve and Basic Worklist Management Service Classes.


peer        hostname of DICOM peer
port        tcp/ip port number of peer
dcmfile-in  DICOM query file(s)


general options

  -h    --help
          print this help text and exit
          print version information and exit
          print expanded command line arguments
  -q    --quiet
          quiet mode, print no warnings and errors
  -v    --verbose
          verbose mode, print processing details
  -d    --debug
          debug mode, print debug information
  -ll   --log-level  [l]evel: string constant
          (fatal, error, warn, info, debug, trace)
          use level l for the logger
  -lc   --log-config  [f]ilename: string
          use config file f for the logger

network options

override matching keys:
  -k    --key  [k]ey: gggg,eeee="str", path or dictionary name="str"
          override matching key
query information model:
  -W    --worklist
          use modality worklist information model (default)
  -P    --patient
          use patient root information model
  -S    --study
          use study root information model
  -O    --psonly
          use patient/study only information model
application entity titles:
  -aet  --aetitle  [a]etitle: string
          set my calling AE title (default: FINDSCU)
  -aec  --call  [a]etitle: string
          set called AE title of peer (default: ANY-SCP)
post-1993 value representations:
  +u    --enable-new-vr
          enable support for new VRs (UN/UT) (default)
  -u    --disable-new-vr
          disable support for new VRs, convert to OB
proposed transmission transfer syntaxes:
  -x=   --propose-uncompr
          propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR
          with local byte ordering first (default)
  -xe   --propose-little
          propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR
          little endian first
  -xb   --propose-big
          propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR
          big endian first
  -xd   --propose-deflated
          propose deflated explicit VR little endian TS
          and all uncompressed transfer syntaxes
  -xi   --propose-implicit
          propose implicit VR little endian TS only
deflate compression level (only with --propose-deflated):
  +cl   --compression-level  [l]evel: integer (default: 6)
          0=uncompressed, 1=fastest, 9=best compression
other network options:
  -to   --timeout  [s]econds: integer (default: unlimited)
          timeout for connection requests
  -ta   --acse-timeout  [s]econds: integer (default: 30)
          timeout for ACSE messages
  -td   --dimse-timeout  [s]econds: integer (default: unlimited)
          timeout for DIMSE messages
  -pdu  --max-pdu  [n]umber of bytes: integer (4096..131072)
          set max receive pdu to n bytes (default: 16384)
        --repeat  [n]umber: integer
          repeat n times
          abort association instead of releasing it
        --cancel  [n]umber: integer
          cancel after n responses (default: never)

transport layer security (TLS) options

transport protocol stack:
  -tls  --disable-tls
          use normal TCP/IP connection (default)
  +tls  --enable-tls  [p]rivate key file, [c]ertificate file: string
          use authenticated secure TLS connection
  +tla  --anonymous-tls
          use secure TLS connection without certificate
private key password (only with --enable-tls):
  +ps   --std-passwd
          prompt user to type password on stdin (default)
  +pw   --use-passwd  [p]assword: string
          use specified password
  -pw   --null-passwd
          use empty string as password
key and certificate file format:
  -pem  --pem-keys
          read keys and certificates as PEM file (default)
  -der  --der-keys
          read keys and certificates as DER file
certification authority:
  +cf   --add-cert-file  [c]ertificate filename: string
          add certificate file to list of certificates
  +cd   --add-cert-dir  [c]ertificate directory: string
          add certificates in d to list of certificates
  +cs   --cipher  [c]iphersuite name: string
          add ciphersuite to list of negotiated suites
  +dp   --dhparam  [f]ilename: string
          read DH parameters for DH/DSS ciphersuites
pseudo random generator:
  +rs   --seed  [f]ilename: string
          seed random generator with contents of f
  +ws   --write-seed
          write back modified seed (only with --seed)
  +wf   --write-seed-file  [f]ilename: string (only with --seed)
          write modified seed to file f
peer authentication:
  -rc   --require-peer-cert
          verify peer certificate, fail if absent (default)
  -vc   --verify-peer-cert
          verify peer certificate if present
  -ic   --ignore-peer-cert
          don't verify peer certificate

output options

  -od   --output-directory  [d]irectory: string (default: ".")
          write output files to existing directory d
automatic data correction:
  +dc   --enable-correction
          enable automatic data correction
  -dc   --disable-correction
          disable automatic data correction (default)
C-FIND responses:
  +sr   --show-responses
          always output responses to the logger
  -sr   --hide-responses
          do not output responses to the logger
  -X    --extract
          extract responses to file (rsp0001.dcm, ...)


Each file supplied on the command line will be sent to the SCP as part of a C-FIND request. The query file must be a valid DICOM data set containing the dataset part of a C-FIND-RQ message. The query file could, for instance, be created with the dump2dcm utility from a script like the following example:

# query patient names and IDs
(0008,0052) CS [PATIENT]     # QueryRetrieveLevel
(0010,0010) PN []            # PatientName
(0010,0020) LO []            # PatientID

Individual attributes of each file sent can be modified or supplemented using the -k option. For example the command:

findscu -P -k "(0010,0010)=HEWETT*" caesar 5678 patqry.dcm

will, when sent to the SCP caesar at TCP/IP port 5678, cause any PatientName attribute in patqry.dcm to have the value 'HEWETT*'. If such an attribute is present it will be replaced, if absent it will be inserted. The -k option can be present more than once. The value part (after the '=') may be absent causing the attribute to be sent with zero length.

In earlier versions of findscu, the tag keys were specified without braces around group and element number, e. g. '0010,0010' instead of '(0010,0010)'. It is recommended switching to the new syntax; however, the old syntax is still working.

Also -k accepts dictionary names instead of element tags for specifying DICOM elements. For example, the findscu call above then reads like this:

findscu -P -k PatientName="HEWETT*" caesar 5678 patqry.dcm

It is also possible to specify sequences, items and nested attributes using the -k option. In these cases, a special 'path' notation has to be used, e. g.

findscu -W -k "(0040,0100)[0].Modality=CT" caesar 5678

This call queries a worklist server at host caesar for any planned procedures for CT modalities by specifying tag (0040,0100) 'Scheduled Procedure Step Sequence' and an attribute 'Modality' in the first item of this sequence with value 'CT'. Details on this path notation can be found in the documentation of dcmodify.

If no file is specified on the command line, the query must be specified completely with one or more -k options. If multiple query files are provided, findscu will send multiple C-FIND requests to the SCP.

Each set of response identifiers received will be output to the logger unless option --hide-responses, --extract, --quiet or an appropriate logger configuration is used. Option --show-responses can be used to force the output to the logger.

DICOM Conformance

The findscu application supports the following SOP Classes as an SCU:

FINDPatientRootQueryRetrieveInformationModel       1.2.840.10008.
FINDStudyRootQueryRetrieveInformationModel         1.2.840.10008.
FINDPatientStudyOnlyQueryRetrieveInformationModel  1.2.840.10008.
FINDModalityWorklistInformationModel               1.2.840.10008.

The findscu application will propose presentation contexts for one of the abovementioned supported SOP Classes depending on command line options (-P, -S, -O or -W). Basically, the following transfer syntaxes are supported:

LittleEndianImplicitTransferSyntax                 1.2.840.10008.1.2
LittleEndianExplicitTransferSyntax                 1.2.840.10008.1.2.1
DeflatedExplicitVRLittleEndianTransferSyntax       1.2.840.10008. (*)
BigEndianExplicitTransferSyntax                    1.2.840.10008.1.2.2

(*) if compiled with zlib support enabled (see --version output)

Which transfer syntaxes are actually proposed in what order, can be specified with the --propose options.

The findscu application does not support extended negotiation.


The level of logging output of the various command line tools and underlying libraries can be specified by the user. By default, only errors and warnings are written to the standard error stream. Using option --verbose also informational messages like processing details are reported. Option --debug can be used to get more details on the internal activity, e.g. for debugging purposes. Other logging levels can be selected using option --log-level. In --quiet mode only fatal errors are reported. In such very severe error events, the application will usually terminate. For more details on the different logging levels, see documentation of module 'oflog'.

In case the logging output should be written to file (optionally with logfile rotation), to syslog (Unix) or the event log (Windows) option --log-config can be used. This configuration file also allows for directing only certain messages to a particular output stream and for filtering certain messages based on the module or application where they are generated. An example configuration file is provided in <etcdir>/logger.cfg.


All command line tools use the following notation for parameters: square brackets enclose optional values (0-1), three trailing dots indicate that multiple values are allowed (1-n), a combination of both means 0 to n values.

Command line options are distinguished from parameters by a leading '+' or '-' sign, respectively. Usually, order and position of command line options are arbitrary (i.e. they can appear anywhere). However, if options are mutually exclusive the rightmost appearance is used. This behavior conforms to the standard evaluation rules of common Unix shells.

In addition, one or more command files can be specified using an '@' sign as a prefix to the filename (e.g. @command.txt). Such a command argument is replaced by the content of the corresponding text file (multiple whitespaces are treated as a single separator unless they appear between two quotation marks) prior to any further evaluation. Please note that a command file cannot contain another command file. This simple but effective approach allows one to summarize common combinations of options/parameters and avoids longish and confusing command lines (an example is provided in file <datadir>/dumppat.txt).


The findscu utility will attempt to load DICOM data dictionaries specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. By default, i.e. if the DCMDICTPATH environment variable is not set, the file <datadir>/dicom.dic will be loaded unless the dictionary is built into the application (default for Windows).

The default behavior should be preferred and the DCMDICTPATH environment variable only used when alternative data dictionaries are required. The DCMDICTPATH environment variable has the same format as the Unix shell PATH variable in that a colon (':') separates entries. On Windows systems, a semicolon (';') is used as a separator. The data dictionary code will attempt to load each file specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. It is an error if no data dictionary can be loaded.


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