TechTip: The Find Object (FND) Command for the Integrated File System

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Search the IFS for objects by name and type—excluding the file systems or directories you wish—and save the result to a database file.

Have you struggled to find certain objects in the IFS? This command solves the problem.

The main characteristics of the Find Object (FND) command are the following:

  • The object name specified in the search can be a regular expression.
  • A list of file systems and/or directories can be excluded from the search.
  • Symbolic links pointing to directories can be followed or not.
  • Multiple paths to the same directory can be searched or not.
  • A sort sequence can be specified to determine the order in which matches found are shown and the order in which subdirectories of a directory are searched.
  • The search result can be sent to the display, a printer file, or a database file.
  • The log generated in the process can be sent along with the result or printed to a separated spool file.

This command can be downloaded for versions 7.1 and 7.3 in English and Spanish. <- Kara, please put the zip files into the two links. Note the “en” for English and “es” for Spanish.

FND Parameters

The parameters of the command are shown in Figures 1 and 2:

TechTip: The Find Object (FND) Command for the Integrated File System - Figure 1

Figure 1: Parameters of command FND, part 1

TechTip: The Find Object (FND) Command for the Integrated File System - Figure 2

Figure 2: Parameters of command FND, part 2

The Search

The search in a directory first examines the objects contained in the directory. Then, if it has been specified to search the subdirectories of directories (parameter SUBTREE), the search continues in these subdirectories in the order specified in the sort sequence (parameter SRTSEQ).

For every directory, the objects that match the name and type specified are listed in the order indicated in the sort sequence.

When a directory can be reached through different paths, the objects contained in this directory might appear several times in the search result. Parameter MLTPATH (search multiple paths) specifies whether all of the paths to a directory are searched—as the UNIX command find does—or only one of them (the first one reached according to the search order).

Regular Expressions

The patterns allowed in the object name are the extended regular expressions (EREs) used in the UNIX commands awk, ed, and grep. These expressions are similar to those used in the SQL predicate REGEXP_LIKE.

Some of the special characters used in these regular expressions are the following:


Special Characters for Regular Expressions


. (dot)

Any character


The preceding item can appear 0 or 1 times


The preceding item can appear 0 or more times


The preceding item must appear 1 or more times


Beginning of line/name


End of line/name


Removes the special meaning of a special character




Any character that is not a digit


Generic space—that is, space, tab, end of line, line feed, or carriage return


Any character that is not a generic space


Any of the preceding or following items (OR)




Any of the characters enclosed in brackets


Any character not enclosed in brackets


Range of characters


Any character out of the range of characters

Regular expressions are managed through the procedures regcomp, regexec, and regfree of service program QC2POSIX. Documentation about these procedures can be found in the IBM i handbook ILE C/C++ Runtime Library Functions.

The prototypes for these procedures are listed in member REGEX of file QSYSINC/H. These prototypes, converted to RPG, can be downloaded along with the command FND.

Object Types

The types of objects specified (parameter OBJTYPE) can be of the file system QSYS.LIB (*FILE, *PGM, etc.) or other file systems. The object types not belonging to QSYS.LIB are the following:


Object Types Not in QSYS.LIB



Block special file


Character special file


Distributed directory






Distributed stream file


First-in-first-out special file






Stream file


Symbolic link

The special values for parameter OBJTPE are the following:


Special Values for OBJTYPE



Any type


Any directory (*DDIR, *DIR, *FILE, *FLR, *LIB)


Any type that is not a directory

File Systems Excluded

Parameter EXCFS allows us to specify the file systems that are going to be excluded from the search. The values used to refer to file systems are the following:


File Systems



Network file systems (NFS). Remote.


Document library services file system (QDLS)


File server file systems (QFileSvr.400). Remote.


NetClient file systems (QNTC). Remote.


Open Systems file system (QOpenSys)


Optical file system (QOPT)


Library file system (QSYS.LIB)


Independent ASP library file systems


User-defined file systems


User-defined management file systems


Remote file systems (*NFS, *QFSVR400, *QNTC)

The default value for this parameter is *NONE, but, if the command is prompted, all of the file systems except root and QOpenSys will be included in the parameter (see Figure 1). This can be useful if you search the UNIX-like file systems most of the time.

However, these values—and any other default value for the other parameters—can be altered by changing the prompt override program of the command. An example of this program is shown next:

                   PGM       PARM(&C_CMD &C_PARM)

/* */

             DCL       &C_CMD        *CHAR    20

             DCL       &C_PARM       *CHAR   202

             DCL       &EOL          *CHAR     1

             DCL       &EXCFSKWD     *CHAR    15

             DCL       &EXCFSVAL     *CHAR   100

             DCL       &PARMLEN      *DEC      3

/* */

             MONMSG     MSGID(CPF0000) +

                        EXEC(GOTO CMDLBL(ERRORS))

/* */

             CHGVAR     &EOL X'00'

             CHGVAR     &EXCFSKWD '??EXCFS('

             CHGVAR     &EXCFSVAL +


             CHGVAR     &C_PARM (' ' *CAT &EXCFSKWD *TCAT &EXCFSVAL)

/* */

             CHGVAR     &C_PARM (%trimr(&C_PARM) *CAT &EOL)

             CHGVAR     &PARMLEN (%scan(&EOL &C_PARM) - 3)

             CHGVAR     %bin(&C_PARM 1 2) &PARMLEN

/* */



             CHGVAR     &C_PARM X'0000'



You can find more information about prompt override programs in the IBM i handbook CL Overview and Concepts.


The search result can be sent to the display, a printer file, or a database file. Figure 3 shows an example of output sent to the display or a printer file:

TechTip: The Find Object (FND) Command for the Integrated File System - Figure 3

Figure 3: Example of output for command FND

The first seven lines of the result of Figure 3 (from lib_data.h to zlib.h) correspond to the entries of directory /qopensys/usr/include, and the next lines to the entries of its subdirectories.

If the output is directed to a database file, this file is created with the following format:


Format of Output File









Object type








Object path


Parameter LOG specifies whether a search log is kept or not as well as whether it is sent along with the search result or printed to a separate spool file.

The events that can be included in the log are the following:


Log Events



Directory duplicated, that is, already searched


Error in checking object


Error in closing directory


Error in comparing object name


Error in opening directory


Error in reading directory entries


Excluded directory


Excluded file system


Name too long


Path too long


Searching this directory would cause a loop


Not authorized to object


Object is not a directory


Object not found

The FND command helps you find the objects in the IFS that you’re looking for. Enjoy!

Juan Macias

Juan Macias has a Degree in Mathematics (1988) and a Master in Data Management from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (1989). He's a developer of RPG and COBOL applications mainly for finance and insurance companies. He can be contacted at

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