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query-pr(1) GNATS User Utilities query-pr(1)


query-pr - query problem reports in the GNATS database



[--output file | -o file]
[--list-databases] [--list-fields] [--list-input-fields]
[--responsible-address address]
[--field-type type]
[--field-description description]
[--valid-values values]
[--format format | -f format]
[--full | -F] [--summary | -q]
[--database database | -d database]
[--and | -&] [--or | -|]
[--expr expr]
[--debug | -D]
[--help | -h] [--version | -V]
[PR ...]

Non-network-mode options:

[--print-sh-vars] [--print-directory-for-database]

Network-mode-only options:

[--host host | -H host] [--port port] [--user user | -v user] [--passwd passwd | -w passwd]

Deprecated Options

[--list-categories | -j] [--list-classes | -J] [--list-responsible | -k] [--list-submitters | -l] [--list-states | -T] [--category category | -c category] [--synopsis synopsis | -y synopsis] [--confidential confidential | -C confidential] [--multitext multitext | -m multitext] [--originator originator | -O originator] [--release release | -A release] [--class class | -L class] [--cases cases | -E cases] [--quarter quarter | -Q quarter] [--keywords keywords | -K keywords] [--priority priority | -p priority] [--responsible responsible | -r responsible] [--restricted | -R] [--severity severity | -e severity] [--skip-closed | -x] [--sql | -i] [--sql2 | -I] [--state state | -s state] [--submitter submitter | -S submitter] [--text text | -t text] [--required-before date | -u date] [--required-after date | -U date] [--arrived-before date | -b date] [--arrived-after date | -a date] [--modified-before date | -B date] [--modified-after date | -M date] [--closed-before date | -z date] [--closed-after date | -Z date]


Queries the GNATS database according to options and returns either selected Problem Reports (PRs) or other requested information. query-pr can query PRs located in either a local database or via gnatsd.

PRs may be selected via the use of the --expr option, directly by number, or by the use of the (now deprecated) field-specific query operators.

By default, query options are connected with a logical AND. For example,

query-pr --category=foo --responsible=bar
only prints PRs which have a Category field of foo and a Responsible field of bar.

The --or option may be used to connect query options with a logical OR. For example,

query-pr --category=baz --or --responsible=blee
prints PRs which have either a Category field of baz or a Responsible field of blee.

The use of these options is strongly discouraged, as they will be deleted in the next release. The expressions specified by the --expr option are much more flexible.


Prints a (rather longish) help message.
Displays the program version to stdout.
The results of the query will be placed in this file.
Specifies the database to be used for the query. If no database is specified, the database named default is assumed. (This option overrides the database specified in the GNATSDB environment variable; see the ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES section for more information.)
Lists the available PR categories for the selected database.
Lists the available PR classes for the selected database.
Lists the users that appear in the database's responsible list.
Lists the valid submitters for this database.
Lists the valid PR states for PRs in this database.

The previous --list-* options are deprecated and will be removed in the next release; their functionality can be replaced with

query-pr --valid-values field

where field is one of Category, Class, Responsible, Submitter-Id, or State.

Lists the known databases.
Lists the entire set of field names for PRs in the selected database.
Lists the fields that should be provided when creating a new PR for the currently-specified database. The fields are listed in an order that would make sense when used in a template or form.
Returns the data type contained in PR field field. The current set of data types includes text, multitext, enum, multienum, integer, date, and text-with-regex-qualifier.
Returns a human-readable description of the intended purpose of field.
For fields of type enum, a list of valid values (one per line) is returned. Otherwise, a regular expression is returned that describes the legal values in field.
The mail address of name is returned; name is assumed to be a name either appearing in the database's responsible list, or is otherwise a user on the system.
A set of /bin/sh variables is returned that describe the selected database. They include:
The name of the currently-selected database.
Set to 1 if the selected database is valid.
The directory where the database contents are stored.
Set to 1 if debug mode has been enabled for the database.
The default category for PRs in the database.
The default state for PRs in the database.
Returns the directory where the selected database is located.
Used to specify the format of the output PRs, See FORMATS below for a complete description.
When printing PRs, the entre PR is displayed. This is exactly equivalent to

query-pr --format full
When printing PRs, a summary format is used. This is exactly equivalent to

query-pr --format summary
Enables debugging output for network queries.
Specifies the hostname of the gnatsd server to communicate with. This overrides the value in the GNATSDB environment variable.
Specifies the port number of the gnatsd server to communicate with. This overrides the value in the GNATSDB environment variable.
Specifies the username to login with when connecting to the gnatsd server. This overrides the value in the GNATSDB environment variable.
Specifies the password to login with when connecting to the gnatsd server. This overrides the value in the GNATSDB environment variable.
These options are used when connecting multiple query operators together. They specify whether the previous and subsequent options are to be logically ANDed or logically ORed.
Specifies a query expression to use when searching for PRs. See the QUERY EXPRESSIONS section.

The remaining deprecated options are not described here, since their use is fairly obvious and their functionality is completely replaced by the use of the --expr option. (Some sort of shorthand option for querying fields may appear in the next release.)


Printing formats for PRs are in one of three forms:

This is a named format which is described by the database (specifically, these formats are described in the dbconfig file associated with the database). The default configuration contains five such formats: standard, full, summary, sql, and sql2.

The first three are the ones most commonly used when performing queries. standard is the format used by default if no other format is specified.

Use of the latter two are discouraged; they are merely kept for historical purposes.

Other named formats may have been added by the database administrator.

A single field name may appear here. Only the contents of this field will be displayed.
´"printf string" fieldname fieldname . . .´

This provides a rather flexible mechanism for formatting PR output. (The formatting is identical to that provided by the named formats described by the database configuration.) The printf string can contain the following % sequences:

%[positionalspecifiers]s: Prints the field as a string. The positional specifiers are similar to those of printf, as +, - and digit qualifiers can be used to force a particular alignment of the field contents.

%[positionalspecifiers]S: Similar to %s, except that the field contents are terminated at the first space character.

%[positionalspecifiers]d: Similar to %s, except that the field contents are written as a numeric value. For integer fields, the value is written as a number. For enumerated fields, the field is converted into a numeric equivalent (i.e. if the field can have two possible values, the result will be either 1 or 2). For date fields, the value is written as seconds since Jan 1, 1970.

%F: The field is written as it would appear within a PR, complete with field header.

%D: For date fields, the date is written in a standard GNATS format.

%Q: For date fields, the date is written in an arbitrary "SQL" format.

An example printf formatted query (note the quoting of the whole format specification):

query-pr --format '"%s, %s" Synopsis State'


Query expressions are used to select specific PRs based on their field contents. The general form is

fieldname|"value" operator fieldname|"value" [booleanop ...]

value is a literal string or regular expression; it must be surrounded by double quotes, otherwise it is interpreted as a fieldname.

fieldname is the name of a field in the PR.

operator is one of:

The value of the left-hand side of the expression must exactly match the regular expression on the right-hand side of the expression.
Some portion of the left-hand side of the expression must match the regular expression on the right-hand side.
The value of the left-hand side must be equal to the value on the right-hand side of the expression.

The equality of two values depends on what type of data is stored in the field(s) being queried. For example, when querying a field containing integer values, literal strings are interpreted as integers. The query expression

Number == "0123"

is identical to

Number == "123"

as the leading zero is ignored. If the values were treated as strings instead of integers, then the two comparisons would return different results.

The not-equal operator. Produces the opposite result of the == operator.
The left-hand side must have a value less than or greater than the right-hand side. Comparisons are done depending on the type of data being queried; in particular, integer fields and dates use a numeric comparison, and enumerated fields are ordered depending on the numeric equivalent of their enumerated values.

booleanop is either | [or], or & [and]. The query expression

Category="baz" | Responsible="blee"
is identical to the second query example with --or given earlier; it selects all PRs with a Category field of baz or a Responsible field of blee.

The not operator ! may be used to negate a test:

! Category="foo"
searches for PRs where the category is not equal to the regular expression foo.

Parenthesis may be used to force a particular interpretation of the expression:

!(Category="foo" & Submitter-Id="blaz")
skips PRs where the Category field is equal to foo and the Submitter-Id field is equal to blaz. Parenthesis may be nested to any arbitrary depth.

Fieldnames can be specified in several ways. The simplest and most obvious is just a name:

checks the value of the category field for the value "foo".

A fieldname qualifier may be prepended to the name of the field; a colon is used to separate the qualifier from the name. To refer directly to a builtin field name:


In this case, Number is interpreted as the builtin name of the field to check. (This is useful if the fields have been renamed. For more discussion of builtin field names, see dbconfig(5).)

To scan all fields of a particular type, the fieldtype qualifier may be used:


searches all text fields for the regular expression bar.

Note that it is not necessary that the right-hand side of the expression be a literal string. To query all PRs where the PR has been modified since it was closed, the expression

Last-Modified != Closed-Date

will work; for each PR, it compares the value of its Last-Modified field against its Closed-Date field, and returns those PRs where the values differ. However, this query will also return all PRs with empty Last-Modified or Closed-Date fields. To further narrow the search:

Last-Modified != Closed-Date & Last-Modified != "" & Closed-Date != ""

In general, comparing fields of two different types (an integer field against a date field, for example) will probably not do what you want.

Also, a field specifier may be followed by the name of a subfield in braces:

State[type] != "closed"

or even

builtin:State[type] != "closed"

Subfields are further discussed in dbconfig(5).


query-pr can also be accessed by electronic mail, if your version of GNATS is configured for this. To use this feature, simply send mail to the address query-pr@your-site with command line arguments or options in the Subject: line of the mail header. GNATS replies to your mail with the results of your query. The default settings for the query-pr mail server are shown below; to override the --state parameter, specify --state=state in the Subject: line of the mail header. You can not query on confidential Problem Reports by mail.


The GNATSDB environment variable is used to determine which database to use. For a local database, it contains the name of the database to access.

For network access via gnatsd, it contains a colon-separated list of strings that describe the remote database in the form

Any of the fields may be omitted except for server, but at least one colon must appear; otherwise, the value is assumed to be the name of a local database.

If GNATSDB is not set, it is assumed that the database is local and that its name is default.


Keeping Track: Managing Messages With GNATS (also installed as the GNU Info file

databases(5), dbconfig(5), delete-pr(8), edit-pr(1) file-pr(8), gen-index(8), gnats(7), gnatsd(8), mkcat(8), mkdb(8), pr-edit(8), query-pr(1), queue-pr(8), send-pr(1).


Copyright (c) 1993, 94, 95, 96, 1997, 1999, 2003, Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that this permission notice may be included in translations approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in the original English.

August 2003 GNATS