mongoc_cursor_t *
mongoc_collection_find_with_opts (mongoc_collection_t *collection,
                                  const bson_t *filter,
                                  const bson_t *opts,
                                  const mongoc_read_prefs_t *read_prefs)



Query on collection, passing arbitrary query options to the server in opts.

To target a specific server, include an integer “serverId” field in opts with an id obtained first by calling mongoc_client_select_server(), then mongoc_server_description_id() on its return value.

Read preferences, read concern, and collation can be overridden by various sources. In a transaction, read concern and write concern are prohibited in opts and the read preference must be primary or NULL. The highest-priority sources for these options are listed first in the following table. No write concern is applied.

Read Preferences Read Concern Collation
read_prefs opts opts
Transaction Transaction  

See the example for transactions and for the “distinct” command with opts.


A newly allocated mongoc_cursor_t that must be freed with mongoc_cursor_destroy().


Print First Ten Documents in a Collection
#include <mongoc.h>
#include <stdio.h>

static void
print_ten_documents (mongoc_collection_t *collection)
   bson_t *filter;
   bson_t *opts;
   mongoc_cursor_t *cursor;
   bson_error_t error;
   const bson_t *doc;
   char *str;

   /* filter by "foo": 1, order by "bar" descending */
   filter = BCON_NEW ("foo", BCON_INT32 (1));
   opts = BCON_NEW (
      "limit", BCON_INT64 (10), "sort", "{", "bar", BCON_INT32 (-1), "}");

   cursor = mongoc_collection_find_with_opts (collection, filter, opts, NULL);

   while (mongoc_cursor_next (cursor, &doc)) {
      str = bson_as_canonical_extended_json (doc, NULL);
      printf ("%s\n", str);
      bson_free (str);

   if (mongoc_cursor_error (cursor, &error)) {
      fprintf (stderr, "An error occurred: %s\n", error.message);

   mongoc_cursor_destroy (cursor);
   bson_destroy (filter);
   bson_destroy (opts);
More examples of modifying the query with opts:
bson_t *filter;
bson_t *opts;
mongoc_read_prefs_t *read_prefs;

filter = BCON_NEW ("foo", BCON_INT32 (1));

/* Include "field_name_one" and "field_name_two" in "projection", omit
 * others. "_id" must be specifically removed or it is included by default.
opts = BCON_NEW ("projection", "{",
                    "field_name_one", BCON_BOOL (true),
                    "field_name_two", BCON_BOOL (true),
                    "_id", BCON_BOOL (false),
                 "tailable", BCON_BOOL (true),
                 "awaitData", BCON_BOOL (true),
                 "sort", "{", "bar", BCON_INT32 (-1), "}",
                 "collation", "{",
                    "locale", BCON_UTF8("en_US"),
                    "caseFirst", BCON_UTF8 ("lower"),

read_prefs = mongoc_read_prefs_new (MONGOC_READ_SECONDARY);

cursor =
   mongoc_collection_find_with_opts (collection, filter, opts, read_prefs);

The following options are supported.

Option BSON type Option BSON type
projection document max document
sort document maxTimeMS non-negative int64
skip non-negative int64 maxAwaitTimeMS non-negative int64
limit non-negative int64 min document
batchSize non-negative int64 noCursorTimeout bool
exhaust bool oplogReplay bool
hint string or document readConcern document
allowPartialResults bool returnKey bool
awaitData bool sessionId (none)
collation document showRecordId bool
comment string singleBatch bool

All options are documented in the reference page for the “find” command in the MongoDB server manual, except for “maxAwaitTimeMS” and “sessionId”.

“maxAwaitTimeMS” is the maximum amount of time for the server to wait on new documents to satisfy a query, if “tailable” and “awaitData” are both true. If no new documents are found, the tailable cursor receives an empty batch. The “maxAwaitTimeMS” option is ignored for MongoDB older than 3.4.

To add a “sessionId”, construct a mongoc_client_session_t with mongoc_client_start_session(). You can begin a transaction with mongoc_client_session_start_transaction(), optionally with a mongoc_transaction_opt_t that overrides the options inherited from collection. Then use mongoc_client_session_append() to add the session to opts. See the example code for mongoc_client_session_t.

To add a “readConcern”, construct a mongoc_read_concern_t with mongoc_read_concern_new() and configure it with mongoc_read_concern_set_level(). Then use mongoc_read_concern_append() to add the read concern to opts.

For some options like “collation”, the driver returns an error if the server version is too old to support the feature. Any fields in opts that are not listed here are passed to the server unmodified.

Deprecated Options

The snapshot boolean option is removed in MongoDB 4.0. The maxScan option, a non-negative int64, is deprecated in MongoDB 4.0 and will be removed in a future MongoDB version. Both options are supported by the C Driver with older MongoDB versions.

See Also

The “find” command in the MongoDB Manual. All options listed there are supported by the C Driver. For MongoDB servers before 3.2, or for exhaust queries, the driver transparently converts the query to a legacy OP_QUERY message.

The “explain” command

With MongoDB before 3.2, a query with option $explain: true returns information about the query plan, instead of the query results. Beginning in MongoDB 3.2, there is a separate “explain” command. The driver will not convert “$explain” queries to “explain” commands, you must call the “explain” command explicitly:

/* MongoDB 3.2+, "explain" command syntax */
command = BCON_NEW ("explain", "{",
                    "find", BCON_UTF8 ("collection_name"),
                    "filter", "{", "foo", BCON_INT32 (1), "}",

mongoc_collection_command_simple (collection, command, NULL, &reply, &error);

See Also

The “explain” command in the MongoDB Manual.