15.00 - Ferret Command Syntax - Teradata Database

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Ferret Command Syntax

This section describes the general conventions involved in typing Ferret commands. Then, each Ferret command is described, with syntax options, parameters, and keywords. Usage notes and examples are provided if appropriate to the command.

Entering Commands

The following is the general form for a command entry. You can type cmdoption or /dispopt at the beginning or end of the command. The syntax diagram only shows the option at the beginning.


Syntax element …

Specifies …


the command or commands separated by a semicolon (;).


options that are specific to the command that you type.

Different options pertain to specific commands. To determine the allowed options, see the specific command.


the following:

  • /S provides a short display of information.
  • /M provides a medium display of information.
  • /L provides a long display of information.

    This option is available only for the SHOWBLOCKS, SHOWSPACE, and SHOWWHERE commands.


    the following:

  • If the option is used, Ferret does not prompt for confirmation of the command.
  • If the option is omitted for a command where confirmation is required, Ferret prompts for confirmation before executing the command.

    This confirmation option is not available for all commands. Only specific commands allow you to use it. If a command takes /Y, the command does not take any other options.


    Parameters are included only with specific commands. Types of parameters include multitoken parameters and decimal or hexadecimal numeric input.

    Command Usage Rules

    Although several command options are specific to a particular Ferret command, the following command usage rules apply to Ferret commands:

  • A space is required between the following:
  • The cmdoption and the parameter
  • The cmd and the parameter if either you do not specify cmdoption or if the cmdoption is at the end of the command
  • You can combine multiple Ferret commands on a single command line, as shown below:
  • Ferret is case insensitive, which means that you can enter any command, keyword, or option in uppercase, lowercase, or mixed-case letters.
  • If you end a command line with a backward slash (\), the command line continues on the next line.
  • If an error occurs during processing of a string of commands, processing stops because the latter commands usually depend on the correct processing of commands entered earlier.
  • If an error occurs while parsing the command line, you can type a single question mark (?) as the next command. Ferret displays a list of alternatives expected by the parser at that point of the syntax error. If you type another single question mark (?) after Ferret displays the alternatives, Ferret returns the HELP text for the command in question. For example:
  • Ferret ==>radix in dex
    radix in de<-Syntax error->x
    Ferret ==> ?
    Valid input at the point of error is:
    ;                end of command
    Ferret ==> ?
    RADIX [ ( IN/PUT | OUT/PUT ) ] [ ( H/EX | D/EC ) ]    
    Ferret ==> ?
    RADIX [ ( IN/PUT | OUT/PUT ) ] [ ( H/EX | D/EC ) ]    
    Sets the Flags for how to treat Unqualified numbers.    Either  Hex (base 16) or Decimal (Base 10),   respectively.  See HELP NUMBER for a description of    unqualified INPUT.  The initial setting of these Flags     is HEX.  If neither INPUT nor OUTPUT is specified the    command applies to both Flags.  If neither HEX nor DEC     is specified, the current setting of the Flag is  displayed.
    Ferret ==> ?
    No more information available.  Use HELP /L     
  • Comments are allowed anywhere a blank is allowed. Enclose comments between braces { }. If Ferret does not find a closing brace ( } ) on a line, Ferret interprets the rest of the line as a comment. For example:
  • Ferret ==> SCANDISK db 0 2 1fa { this is the broken data block 
  • If you use a single question mark (?) in place of a legal syntactic element, Ferret informs you as to what you can type at that point in the command. For example:
  • Ferret==> output ?
    Valid input at the ? is :
     ,           INTO        OVER        TO          ON          ;
     end of command

    Other examples of using a single question mark (?) in place of a legal syntactic element are shown below:

    output ?{comment}
    output {comment} ?