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OSX 10.6.2 - man page for mdfind (osx section 1)

mdfind(1)						    BSD General Commands Manual 						 mdfind(1)

NAME
mdfind -- finds files matching a given query
SYNOPSIS
mdfind [-live] [-count] [-onlyin directory] [-name fileName] query
DESCRIPTION
The mdfind command consults the central metadata store and returns a list of files that match the given metadata query. The query can be a string or a query expression. The following options are available: -0 Prints an ASCII NUL character after each result path. This is useful when used in conjunction with xargs -0. -live Causes the mdfind command to provide live-updates to the number of files matching the query. When an update causes the query results to change the number of matches is updated. The find can be cancelled by typing ctrl-C. -count Causes the mdfind command to output the total number of matches, instead of the path to the matching items. -onlyin dir Limit the scope of the search to the directory specified. -name fileName Searches for matching file names only. -literal Force the provided query string to be taken as a literal query string, without interpretation. -interpret Force the provided query string to be interpreted as if the user had typed the string into the Spotlight menu. For example, the string "search" would produce the following query string: (* = search* cdw || kMDItemTextContent = search* cdw)
EXAMPLES
The following examples are shown as given to the shell. This returns all files with any metadata attribute value matching the string "image": mdfind image This returns all files that contain "MyFavoriteAuthor" in the kMDItemAuthor metadata attribute: mdfind "kMDItemAuthor == '*MyFavoriteAuthor*'" This returns all files with any metadata attribute value matching the string "skateboard". The find continues to run after gathering the initial results, providing a count of the number of files that match the query. mdfind -live skateboard To get a list of the available attributes for use in constructing queries, see mdimport(1), particularly the -X switch.
SEE ALSO
mdimport(1), mdls(1), mdutil(1), xargs(1) Mac OS X June 10, 2004 Mac OS X