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5.6. Searching for Users and Groups

The user searches in FreeIPA can be run against simple (full word) or partial search strings. The range of attributes that are searched is configured as part of the default FreeIPA configuration, as in Section 5.7, “Specifying Default User and Group Settings”.
By default, there are six attributes that are indexed for user searches and two that are indexed for group searches. These are listed in Table 5.4, “Default Search Attributes”. All search attributes are searched in a user/group search.
Table 5.4. Default Search Attributes
User Search Attributes
First name Last name
Login ID Job title
Organizational unit Phone number
Group Search Attributes
Name Description

The attributes which are searched in user and group searches can be changed, as described in Section 5.7.3, “Setting User Search Attributes” and Section 5.7.4, “Setting Group Search Attributes”.

5.6.1. With the UI

Both user and group main pages have a search bar in the upper right corner of the task area. This search box searches against all of the fields listed in Table 5.4, “Default Search Attributes”. Type in any string, even a single letter, and click the magnifying glass icon. The UI filters the displayed list to match the search string.

5.6.2. With the Command Line

Searches are simple:
$ ipa user-find|group-find string options
There are a few general rules with searches:
  • If there is no string, then the search returns every entry in FreeIPA, up to the search limit.
  • With the command-line tools, only a single search string can be used for user and group searches. With the UI, multiple strings can be used.
  • Searches are case insensitive.
  • Search results are displayed alphabetically, with exact matches listed first, followed by partial matches.
  • Wildcards cannot be used in searches. The search string must include at least one character that appears in one of the indexed search fields.


If the desired entry is not listed, it is possible that the search hit the preset search size limit before the entry was found. Change the search record or time limits, as in Section 5.7.2, “Setting Default Search Limits”, to allow more entries to be returned.