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When the YAZ client has read options and connected to a target, if given, it will display Z> and await your command. Commands are executed by hitting the return key. You can always issue the command ? to see the list of available commands.

The commands are (the letters in parenthesis are short names for the commands):

open zurl

Opens a connection to a server. The syntax for zurl is the same as described above for connecting from the command line.


[(tcp|ssl|unix)':']host [:port][/base>]


Ends YAZ client

f query

Sends a Search Request using the query given.

delete setname

Deletes result set with name setname on the server.

base base1 base2 ...

Sets the name(s) of the database(s) to search. One or more databases may be specified separated by blanks. This commands overrides the database given in zurl.

show [start[+number]]

Fetches records by sending a Present Request from the start position given by start a number of records given by number. If start is not given, then the client will fetch from position of the last retrieved record plus 1. If number is not given, then one record will be fetched at a time.

scan term

Scans database index for a term. The syntax resembles the syntax for find. If you want to scan for the word water you could write

    scan water

but if you want to scan only in, say the title field, you would write

    scan @attr 1=4 water
sort sortspecs

Sorts a result set. The sort command takes a sequence of sort specifications. A sort specification holds a field (sort criteria) and is followed by flags. If the sort criteria includes = it is assumed that the sort SortKey is of type sortAttributes using Bib-1. The integer before = is the attribute type and the integer following = is the attribute value. If no = is in the SortKey it is treated as a sortfield-type of type InternationalString. Flags observed are: s for case sensitive, i for case insensitive, < for sort ascending and > for sort descending.


Same as sort but stores the sorted result set in a new result set.

authentication openauth

Sets up a authentication string if a server requires authentication (v2 OpenStyle). The authentication string is first sent to the server when the open command is issued and the Z39.50 Initialize Request is sent, so this command must be used before open in order to be effective. A common convention for the authopen string is that the username - and password is separated by a slash, e.g. myusername/mysecret.

lslb n

Sets the limit for when no records should be returned together with the search result. See the Z39.50 standard for more details.

ssub n

Sets the limit for when all records should be returned with the search result. See the Z39.50 standard for more details.

mspn n

Sets the number of records should be returned if the number of records in the result set is between the values of lslb and ssub. See the Z39.50 standard for more details.


Displays the values of lslb, ssub and mspn.


Switches named result sets on and off. Default is on.


Sends a Trigger Resource Control Request to the target.

format oid

Sets the preferred transfer syntax for retrieved records. yaz-client supports all the record syntaxes that currently are registered. See Z39.50 Standard for more details. Commonly used records syntaxes include usmarc,

elements e

Sets the element set name for the records. Many targets support element sets are B (for brief) and F (for full).


Sends a Z39.50 Close APDU and closes connection with the peer

querytype type

Sets the query type as used by command find. The following is supported: prefix for Prefix Query Notation (Type-1 Query); ccl for CCL search (Type-2 Query) or ccl2rpn for CCL to RPN conversion (Type-1 Query).

attributeset set

Sets attribute set OID for prefix queries (RPN, Type-1).

refid id

Sets reference ID for Z39.50 Request(s).

itemorder type no

Sends an Item Order Request using the ILL External. type is either 1 or 2 which corresponds to ILL-Profile 1 and 2 respectively. The no is the Result Set position of the record to be ordered.


Sends Item Update Request. This command sends a "minimal" PDU Update to the target supplying the last received record from the target. If no record has been received from the target this command is ignored and nothing is sent to the target.

. filename

Executes list of commands from file filename, just like source on most UNIX shells.

! args

Executes command args in subshell using the system call.

push_commande command

The push_command takes another command as its argument. That command is then added to the history information (so you can retrieve it later). The command itself is not executed. This command only works if you have GNU readline/history enabled.

set_apdufile filename

Sets that APDU should be logged to file filename. This command does the thing as option -a.

set_marcdump filename

Specifies that all retrieved records should be appended ot file filename. This command does the thing as option -m.

set_cclfields filename

Specifies that CCL fields should be read from file file filename. This command does the thing as option -c.

register_oid name class OID

This command allows you to register your own object identifier - so that instead of entering a long dot-notation you can use a short name instead. The name is your name for the OID, class is the class, and OID is the raw OID in dot notation. Class is one appctx, absyn, attet, transyn, diagset, recsyn, resform, accform, extserv, userinfo, elemspec, varset, schema, tagset, general. If you're in doubt use the general class.