Dsget ou

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Displays the properties of an organizational unit (OU) in the directory.

Dsget is a command-line tool that is built into Windows Server 2008. It is available if you have the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) server role installed. To use dsget, you must run the dsget command from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated command prompt, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.


dsget ou <OrganizationalUnitDN> ...[-dn] [-desc] [{-s <Server> | -d <Domain>}] [-u <UserName>] [-p {<Password> | *}] [-c] [-q] [-l] [{-uc | -uco | -uci}]


Parameter Description


Required. Specifies the distinguished names of the organizational units that you want to view. If values are omitted, they are obtained through standard input (stdin) to support piping of output from another command to input of this command.


Displays the distinguished names of the OUs.


Displays the descriptions of the OUs.

{-s <Server>| -d <Domain>}

Connects to a remote server or domain that you specify. By default, dsget connects the computer to the domain controller in the logon domain.

-u <UserName>

Specifies the user name with which the user logs on to a remote server. By default, -u uses the user name with which the user logged on. You can use any of the following formats to specify a user name:

  • user name (for example, Linda)

  • domain\user name (for example, widgets\Linda)

  • user principal name (UPN) (for example, Linda@widgets.contoso.com)

-p{<Password> | *}

Specifies to use either a password or an asterisk (*) to log on to a remote server. If you type *, dsget prompts you for a password.


Reports errors, but continues with the next object in the argument list when you specify multiple target objects (continuous operation mode). If you do not supply this parameter, dsget exits when the first error occurs.


Suppresses all output to standard output (quiet mode).


Displays entries in a list. By default, dsget displaysentries in a table.

{-uc | -uco| -uci}

Specifies that dsget formats output or input data in Unicode. The following list explains each format.

  • -uc: Specifies a Unicode format for input from or output to a pipe (|).

  • -uco : Specifies a Unicode format for output to a pipe (|) or a file.

  • -uci: Specifies a Unicode format for input from a pipe (|) or a file.


Displays help at the command prompt.


  • If you do not supply a target object at the command prompt, dsget obtains the target object from standard input (stdin). Dsget can accept stdin from the keyboard, from a redirected file, or as piped output from another command. To mark the end of stdin data from the keyboard or in a redirected file, use the end-of-file character (CTRL+Z).

  • Use dsget to view the properties of a specific object in the directory.

  • As a result of dsquery searches, you can pipe returned objects to dsget and obtain object properties.

  • If a value that you supply contains spaces, use quotation marks around the text, for example, "OU=Domain Controllers,DC=Contoso,DC=Com".

  • If you supply multiple values for a parameter, use spaces to separate the values, for example, a list of distinguished names.


To display the descriptions of all OUs in the current domain, type:

dsquery ou domainroot | dsget ou -desc

Additional references

Command-Line Syntax Key


Dsget computer

Dsget contact

Dsget group

Dsget server

Dsget user

Dsget subnet

Dsget site

Dsget quota

Dsget partition