movescu (1) - Linux Manuals

movescu: DICOM retrieve (C-MOVE) SCU


movescu - DICOM retrieve (C-MOVE) SCU


movescu [options] peer port [dcmfile-in...]


The movescu application implements both an SCU for the Query/Retrieve Service Class and an SCP for the Storage Service Class. movescu supports retrieve functionality using the C-MOVE message. It sends query keys to an SCP and awaits responses. It will accept associations for the purpose of receiving images sent as a result of the C-MOVE request. The application can be used to test SCPs of the Query/Retrieve Service Class. The movescu application can initiate the transfer of images to a third party or can retrieve images to itself. Note that the use of the term 'move' is a misnomer. The C-MOVE operation actually performs an image copy (no images will be deleted from the SCP).


peer        hostname of DICOM peer

port        tcp/ip port number of peer

dcmfile-in  DICOM query file(s)


general options

  -h    --help
          print this help text and exit

          print version information and exit

          print expanded command line arguments

  -q    --quiet
          quiet mode, print no warnings and errors

  -v    --verbose
          verbose mode, print processing details

  -d    --debug
          debug mode, print debug information

  -ll   --log-level  [l]evel: string constant
          (fatal, error, warn, info, debug, trace)
          use level l for the logger

  -lc   --log-config  [f]ilename: string
          use config file f for the logger

network options

override matching keys:

  -k    --key  [k]ey: gggg,eeee="str" or dictionary name="str"
          override matching key

query information model:

  -P    --patient
          use patient root information model (default)

  -S    --study
          use study root information model

  -O    --psonly
          use patient/study only information model

application entity titles:

  -aet  --aetitle  [a]etitle: string
          set my calling AE title (default: MOVESCU)

  -aec  --call  [a]etitle: string
          set called AE title of peer (default: ANY-SCP)

  -aem  --move  [a]etitle: string
          set move destination AE title (default: MOVESCU)

preferred network transfer syntaxes (incoming associations):

  +x=   --prefer-uncompr
          prefer explicit VR local byte order (default)

  +xe   --prefer-little
          prefer explicit VR little endian TS

  +xb   --prefer-big
          prefer explicit VR big endian TS

  +xs   --prefer-lossless
          prefer default JPEG lossless TS

  +xy   --prefer-jpeg8
          prefer default JPEG lossy TS for 8 bit data

  +xx   --prefer-jpeg12
          prefer default JPEG lossy TS for 12 bit data

  +xv   --prefer-j2k-lossless
          prefer JPEG 2000 lossless TS

  +xw   --prefer-j2k-lossy
          prefer JPEG 2000 lossy TS

  +xt   --prefer-jls-lossless
          prefer JPEG-LS lossless TS

  +xu   --prefer-jls-lossy
          prefer JPEG-LS lossy TS

  +xm   --prefer-mpeg2
          prefer MPEG2 Main Profile @ Main Level TS

  +xh   --prefer-mpeg2-high
          prefer MPEG2 Main Profile @ High Level TS

  +xr   --prefer-rle
          prefer RLE lossless TS

  +xd   --prefer-deflated
          prefer deflated explicit VR little endian TS

  +xi   --implicit
          accept implicit VR little endian TS only

  +xa   --accept-all
          accept all supported transfer syntaxes

proposed transmission transfer syntaxes (outgoing associations):

  -x=   --propose-uncompr
          propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR
          with local byte ordering first (default)

  -xe   --propose-little
          propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR little endian first

  -xb   --propose-big
          propose all uncompressed TS, explicit VR big endian first

  -xi   --propose-implicit
          propose implicit VR little endian TS only

network host access control (tcp wrapper):

  -ac   --access-full
          accept connections from any host (default)

  +ac   --access-control
          enforce host access control rules

port for incoming network associations:

          no port for incoming associations (default)

  +P    --port  [n]umber: integer
          port number for incoming associations

handling of illegal datasets following 'pending' move responses:

  -pi   --pending-ignore
          assume no dataset present (default)

  -pr   --pending-read
          read and ignore dataset

other network options:

  -to   --timeout  [s]econds: integer (default: unlimited)
          timeout for connection requests

  -ta   --acse-timeout  [s]econds: integer (default: 30)
          timeout for ACSE messages

  -td   --dimse-timeout  [s]econds: integer (default: unlimited)
          timeout for DIMSE messages

  -pdu  --max-pdu  [n]umber of bytes: integer (4096..131072)
          set max receive pdu to n bytes (default: 16384)

  -dhl  --disable-host-lookup
          disable hostname lookup

        --repeat  [n]umber: integer
          repeat n times

          abort association instead of releasing it

          ignore store data, receive but do not store

        --cancel  [n]umber: integer
          cancel after n responses (default: never)

  -up   --uid-padding
          silently correct space-padded UIDs

output options


  -od   --output-directory  [d]irectory: string (default: ".")
          write received objects to existing directory d

bit preserving mode:

  -B    --normal
          allow implicit format conversions (default)

  +B    --bit-preserving
          write data exactly as read

output file format:

  +F    --write-file
          write file format (default)

  -F    --write-dataset
          write data set without file meta information

output transfer syntax
(not with --bit-preserving or compressed transmission):

  +t=   --write-xfer-same
          write with same TS as input (default)

  +te   --write-xfer-little
          write with explicit VR little endian TS

  +tb   --write-xfer-big
          write with explicit VR big endian TS

  +ti   --write-xfer-implicit
          write with implicit VR little endian TS

  +td   --write-xfer-deflated
          write with deflated explicit VR little endian TS

post-1993 value representations (not with --bit-preserving):

  +u    --enable-new-vr
          enable support for new VRs (UN/UT) (default)

  -u    --disable-new-vr
          disable support for new VRs, convert to OB

group length encoding (not with --bit-preserving):

  +g=   --group-length-recalc
          recalculate group lengths if present (default)

  +g    --group-length-create
          always write with group length elements

  -g    --group-length-remove
          always write without group length elements

length encoding in sequences and items (not with --bit-preserving):

  +e    --length-explicit
          write with explicit lengths (default)

  -e    --length-undefined
          write with undefined lengths

data set trailing padding
(not with --write-dataset or --bit-preserving):

  -p    --padding-off
          no padding (default)

  +p    --padding-create  [f]ile-pad [i]tem-pad: integer
          align file on multiple of f bytes and items on
          multiple of i bytes

deflate compression level (only with --write-xfer-deflated/same):

  +cl   --compression-level  [l]evel: integer (default: 6)
          0=uncompressed, 1=fastest, 9=best compression


Each file supplied on the command line will be sent to the SCP as part of a C-MOVE request. The query file must be a valid DICOM data set containing the dataset part of a C-MOVE-RQ message. The query file could, for instance, be created with the dump2dcm utility from a script like the following example:

# request all images for the patient with ID=PAT001
(0008,0052) CS [PATIENT]     # QueryRetrieveLevel
(0010,0020) LO [PAT001]      # PatientID

Individual attributes of each file sent can be modified or supplemented using the '-k key' option. For example the command:

movescu -k 0010,0020=PAT002 caesar 5678 patqry.dcm

will, when sent to the SCP caesar at TCP/IP port 5678, cause any PatientID attribute in patqry.dcm to have the value 'PAT002'. If such an attribute is present it will be replaced, if absent it will be inserted. The -k option can be present more than once. The value part (after the '=') may be absent causing the attribute to be sent with zero length. It is not possible to replace or insert attributes within sequences using the -k option.

If no file is specified on the command line, the query must be specified completely with one or more '-k key' options.

For all uses of movescu, the SCP must be configured to 'know' about the AE title where the images are to be transmitted. This is required since the C-MOVE request only contains the AE Title of the target and the SCP must be able to convert this AE Title into TCP/IP address and port number in order to actually send the images over a separate association.

The C-MOVE operation of the Query/Retrieve Service Class is able retrieve images or to initiate a copy of images to a third party.

Known Problems

movescu is intended to be used as a testing tool for DICOM software developers. The query keys file must be created by hand based upon the contents of the SCP.

Even when using a third-party move it may be necessary to set the TCP/IP port number to a reasonable value (via the --port option). Per default, port number 104 is used which is a restricted port on many systems. movescu always tries to listen for incoming associations.

The movescu application makes no attempt to prevent incorrect queries. In particular, the query keys of a C-MOVE request should only contain the QueryRetrieveLevel attribute and one or more of the so-called 'unique key attributes' (PatientID, StudyInstanceUID, SeriesInstanceUID and SOPInstanceUID).

DICOM Conformance

SCU Conformance

The movescu application supports the following SOP Classes as an SCU:

MOVEPatientRootQueryRetrieveInformationModel         1.2.840.10008.
MOVEStudyRootQueryRetrieveInformationModel           1.2.840.10008.
MOVEPatientStudyOnlyQueryRetrieveInformationModel    1.2.840.10008.

The movescu application will propose presentation contexts for one of the abovementioned supported SOP Classes depending on command line options (-P, -S, or -O). Each proposed presentation context will propose the transfer syntaxes:

LittleEndianImplicitTransferSyntax                   1.2.840.10008.1.2
LittleEndianExplicitTransferSyntax                   1.2.840.10008.1.2.1
BigEndianExplicitTransferSyntax                      1.2.840.10008.1.2.2

This behaviour can be changed with the --propose options.

SCP Conformance

The movescu application supports the following SOP Classes as an SCP:

VerificationSOPClass                                 1.2.840.10008.1.1

RETIRED_StoredPrintStorage                           1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_HardcopyGrayscaleImageStorage                1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_HardcopyColorImageStorage                    1.2.840.10008.
ComputedRadiographyImageStorage                      1.2.840.10008.
DigitalXRayImageStorageForPresentation               1.2.840.10008.
DigitalXRayImageStorageForProcessing                 1.2.840.10008.
DigitalMammographyXRayImageStorageForPresentation    1.2.840.10008.
DigitalMammographyXRayImageStorageForProcessing      1.2.840.10008.
DigitalIntraOralXRayImageStorageForPresentation      1.2.840.10008.
DigitalIntraOralXRayImageStorageForProcessing        1.2.840.10008.
CTImageStorage                                       1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedCTImageStorage                               1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_UltrasoundMultiframeImageStorage             1.2.840.10008.
UltrasoundMultiframeImageStorage                     1.2.840.10008.
MRImageStorage                                       1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedMRImageStorage                               1.2.840.10008.
MRSpectroscopyStorage                                1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedMRColorImageStorage                          1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_NuclearMedicineImageStorage                  1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_UltrasoundImageStorage                       1.2.840.10008.
UltrasoundImageStorage                               1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedUSVolumeStorage                              1.2.840.10008.
SecondaryCaptureImageStorage                         1.2.840.10008.
MultiframeSingleBitSecondaryCaptureImageStorage      1.2.840.10008.
MultiframeGrayscaleByteSecondaryCaptureImageStorage  1.2.840.10008.
MultiframeGrayscaleWordSecondaryCaptureImageStorage  1.2.840.10008.
MultiframeTrueColorSecondaryCaptureImageStorage      1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandaloneOverlayStorage                     1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandaloneCurveStorage                       1.2.840.10008.
DRAFT_WaveformStorage                                1.2.840.10008.
TwelveLeadECGWaveformStorage                         1.2.840.10008.
GeneralECGWaveformStorage                            1.2.840.10008.
AmbulatoryECGWaveformStorage                         1.2.840.10008.
HemodynamicWaveformStorage                           1.2.840.10008.
CardiacElectrophysiologyWaveformStorage              1.2.840.10008.
BasicVoiceAudioWaveformStorage                       1.2.840.10008.
GeneralAudioWaveformStorage                          1.2.840.10008.
ArterialPulseWaveformStorage                         1.2.840.10008.
RespiratoryWaveformStorage                           1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandaloneModalityLUTStorage                 1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandaloneVOILUTStorage                      1.2.840.10008.
GrayscaleSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage            1.2.840.10008.
ColorSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage                1.2.840.10008.
PseudoColorSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage          1.2.840.10008.
BlendingSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage             1.2.840.10008.
XAXRFGrayscaleSoftcopyPresentationStateStorage       1.2.840.10008.
XRayAngiographicImageStorage                         1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedXAImageStorage                               1.2.840.10008.
XRayRadiofluoroscopicImageStorage                    1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedXRFImageStorage                              1.2.840.10008.
XRay3DAngiographicImageStorage                       1.2.840.10008.
XRay3DCraniofacialImageStorage                       1.2.840.10008.
BreastTomosynthesisImageStorage                      1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_XRayAngiographicBiPlaneImageStorage          1.2.840.10008.
NuclearMedicineImageStorage                          1.2.840.10008.
RawDataStorage                                       1.2.840.10008.
SpatialRegistrationStorage                           1.2.840.10008.
SpatialFiducialsStorage                              1.2.840.10008.
DeformableSpatialRegistrationStorage                 1.2.840.10008.
SegmentationStorage                                  1.2.840.10008.
SurfaceSegmentationStorage                           1.2.840.10008.
RealWorldValueMappingStorage                         1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_VLImageStorage                               1.2.840.10008.
VLEndoscopicImageStorage                             1.2.840.10008.
VideoEndoscopicImageStorage                          1.2.840.10008.
VLMicroscopicImageStorage                            1.2.840.10008.
VideoMicroscopicImageStorage                         1.2.840.10008.
VLSlideCoordinatesMicroscopicImageStorage            1.2.840.10008.
VLPhotographicImageStorage                           1.2.840.10008.
VideoPhotographicImageStorage                        1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicPhotography8BitImageStorage                1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicPhotography16BitImageStorage               1.2.840.10008.
StereometricRelationshipStorage                      1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicTomographyImageStorage                     1.2.840.10008.
VLWholeSlideMicroscopyImageStorage                   1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_VLMultiFrameImageStorage                     1.2.840.10008.
LensometryMeasurementsStorage                        1.2.840.10008.
AutorefractionMeasurementsStorage                    1.2.840.10008.
KeratometryMeasurementsStorage                       1.2.840.10008.
SubjectiveRefractionMeasurementsStorage              1.2.840.10008.
VisualAcuityMeasurementsStorage                      1.2.840.10008.
SpectaclePrescriptionReportStorage                   1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicAxialMeasurementsStorage                   1.2.840.10008.
IntraocularLensCalculationsStorage                   1.2.840.10008.
MacularGridThicknessAndVolumeReportStorage           1.2.840.10008.
OphthalmicVisualFieldStaticPerimetryMeasurementsSt.  1.2.840.10008.
DRAFT_SRTextStorage                                  1.2.840.10008.
DRAFT_SRAudioStorage                                 1.2.840.10008.
DRAFT_SRDetailStorage                                1.2.840.10008.
DRAFT_SRComprehensiveStorage                         1.2.840.10008.
BasicTextSRStorage                                   1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedSRStorage                                    1.2.840.10008.
ComprehensiveSRStorage                               1.2.840.10008.
ProcedureLogStorage                                  1.2.840.10008.
MammographyCADSRStorage                              1.2.840.10008.
KeyObjectSelectionDocumentStorage                    1.2.840.10008.
ChestCADSRStorage                                    1.2.840.10008.
XRayRadiationDoseSRStorage                           1.2.840.10008.
ColonCADSRStorage                                    1.2.840.10008.
ImplantationPlanSRDocumentStorage                    1.2.840.10008.
EncapsulatedPDFStorage                               1.2.840.10008.
EncapsulatedCDAStorage                               1.2.840.10008.
PositronEmissionTomographyImageStorage               1.2.840.10008.
RETIRED_StandalonePETCurveStorage                    1.2.840.10008.
EnhancedPETImageStorage                              1.2.840.10008.
BasicStructuredDisplayStorage                        1.2.840.10008.
RTImageStorage                                       1.2.840.10008.
RTDoseStorage                                        1.2.840.10008.
RTStructureSetStorage                                1.2.840.10008.
RTBeamsTreatmentRecordStorage                        1.2.840.10008.
RTPlanStorage                                        1.2.840.10008.
RTBrachyTreatmentRecordStorage                       1.2.840.10008.
RTTreatmentSummaryRecordStorage                      1.2.840.10008.
RTIonPlanStorage                                     1.2.840.10008.
RTIonBeamsTreatmentRecordStorage                     1.2.840.10008.
DRAFT_RTBeamsDeliveryInstructionStorage              1.2.840.10008.
GenericImplantTemplateStorage                        1.2.840.10008.
ImplantAssemblyTemplateStorage                       1.2.840.10008.
ImplantTemplateGroupStorage                          1.2.840.10008.

The movescu application will accept presentation contexts for all of the abovementioned supported SOP Classes using any of the transfer syntaxes:

LittleEndianImplicitTransferSyntax                   1.2.840.10008.1.2
LittleEndianExplicitTransferSyntax                   1.2.840.10008.1.2.1
BigEndianExplicitTransferSyntax                      1.2.840.10008.1.2.2

When acting as an SCP, the movescu application will prefer transfer syntaxes having an explicit encoding over the default implicit transfer syntax. If movescu is running on big-endian hardware it will prefer BigEndianExplicit to LittleEndianExplicit transfer syntax (and vice versa). This behaviour can be changed with the --prefer options (see above). Using option --accept-all any of the following transfer syntaxes is supported:

LittleEndianImplicitTransferSyntax                   1.2.840.10008.1.2
LittleEndianExplicitTransferSyntax                   1.2.840.10008.1.2.1
DeflatedExplicitVRLittleEndianTransferSyntax         1.2.840.10008.
BigEndianExplicitTransferSyntax                      1.2.840.10008.1.2.2
JPEGProcess1TransferSyntax                           1.2.840.10008.
JPEGProcess2_4TransferSyntax                         1.2.840.10008.
JPEGProcess14SV1TransferSyntax                       1.2.840.10008.
JPEGLSLosslessTransferSyntax                         1.2.840.10008.
JPEGLSLossyTransferSyntax                            1.2.840.10008.
JPEG2000LosslessOnlyTransferSyntax                   1.2.840.10008.
JPEG2000TransferSyntax                               1.2.840.10008.
MPEG2MainProfileAtMainLevelTransferSyntax            1.2.840.10008.
MPEG2MainProfileAtHighLevelTransferSyntax            1.2.840.10008.
RLELosslessTransferSyntax                            1.2.840.10008.1.2.5

The movescu application does not support extended negotiation.

Access Control

When compiled on Unix platforms with TCP wrapper support, host-based access control can be enabled with the --access-control command line option. In this case the access control rules defined in the system's host access control tables for movescu are enforced. The default locations of the host access control tables are /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny. Further details are described in hosts_access(5).


movescu --patient --port 9876 --move TEST_AE --call ARCHIVE caesar 104 q.dcm

sends the attributes contained in the DICOM file 'q.dcm' as part of a C-MOVE request to application entity ARCHIVE on the host caesar at port 104 using the Patient Root query model. movescu itself uses the default AE title MOVESCU. The C-MOVE request will specifiy that images should be transferred to the destination AE title TEST_AE (via the --move option). How the SCP interprets this request depends on its configuration. movescu will listen on part 9876 for incoming associations in order to receive the requested images from the SCP.

Images can be copied to a third party by using a different destination AE title (e.g. --move ANOTHER_AE). Of course, the SCP must 'know' this AE title and the destination must be acting as an SCP of the Storage Service Class (the storescp application can be used for this purpose).


The level of logging output of the various command line tools and underlying libraries can be specified by the user. By default, only errors and warnings are written to the standard error stream. Using option --verbose also informational messages like processing details are reported. Option --debug can be used to get more details on the internal activity, e.g. for debugging purposes. Other logging levels can be selected using option --log-level. In --quiet mode only fatal errors are reported. In such very severe error events, the application will usually terminate. For more details on the different logging levels, see documentation of module 'oflog'.

In case the logging output should be written to file (optionally with logfile rotation), to syslog (Unix) or the event log (Windows) option --log-config can be used. This configuration file also allows for directing only certain messages to a particular output stream and for filtering certain messages based on the module or application where they are generated. An example configuration file is provided in <etcdir>/logger.cfg).


All command line tools use the following notation for parameters: square brackets enclose optional values (0-1), three trailing dots indicate that multiple values are allowed (1-n), a combination of both means 0 to n values.

Command line options are distinguished from parameters by a leading '+' or '-' sign, respectively. Usually, order and position of command line options are arbitrary (i.e. they can appear anywhere). However, if options are mutually exclusive the rightmost appearance is used. This behaviour conforms to the standard evaluation rules of common Unix shells.

In addition, one or more command files can be specified using an '@' sign as a prefix to the filename (e.g. @command.txt). Such a command argument is replaced by the content of the corresponding text file (multiple whitespaces are treated as a single separator unless they appear between two quotation marks) prior to any further evaluation. Please note that a command file cannot contain another command file. This simple but effective approach allows to summarize common combinations of options/parameters and avoids longish and confusing command lines (an example is provided in file <datadir>/dumppat.txt).


The movescu utility will attempt to load DICOM data dictionaries specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. By default, i.e. if the DCMDICTPATH environment variable is not set, the file <datadir>/dicom.dic will be loaded unless the dictionary is built into the application (default for Windows).

The default behaviour should be preferred and the DCMDICTPATH environment variable only used when alternative data dictionaries are required. The DCMDICTPATH environment variable has the same format as the Unix shell PATH variable in that a colon (':') separates entries. On Windows systems, a semicolon (';') is used as a separator. The data dictionary code will attempt to load each file specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. It is an error if no data dictionary can be loaded.


Copyright (C) 1994-2010 by OFFIS e.V., Escherweg 2, 26121 Oldenburg, Germany.


findscu(1), dump2dcm(1)