I can’t get my web browser talking to mqweb on z/OS

I was trying to get my Linux machine talking to MQWeb browser on z/OS, but I was getting

curl .. Failed to connect to port 9443: Connection refused.

For this to work you have to edit the mqwebuser.xml file and uncomment

<variable name="httpHost" value="*"/> 

It then worked a treat.  Like most things it is easy when you know how to fix it.

Using firefox browser then gave me

Web sites prove their identity via certificates. Firefox does not trust this site because it uses a certificate that is not valid for

Which proves I was accessing the site. That is a certificate set up issue, and a whole different ball game.

Getting z/OS running on my Ubuntu laptop with zD&T and zPDT

Having downloaded and installed the zD&T, ZPDT and z/OS products on my laptop.  I was keen to start using it.   Here are part of my journey.

The  IBM ZPDT Guide and Reference redbook is excellent.

I used zD&T to install the products,  but it is missing a few things.

Check the environment

I used /usr/z1090/bin/z1090instcheck in section 4.1.84 of the red book to check the configuration.

I had

 UBUNTU kernel.core_pattern is |/usr/share/apport/apport which is BAD

I left it as it was, it is about what happens if there is a coredump.

Section 4.1.11 talks about checking /etc/sysctl.conf. You can use

sudo  /usr/z1090/bin/aws_sysctl

to set all of the parameters to value values.   It prompts before it changes any value, so is safe.

Creating the devmap

I used the perl script to create my devmap file.

Number of processors

You may want to set the number if processors less than the number of cores in your machine, so you can continue to run if zPDT is 100% busy.
Use the top command.  At the top it shows “load average: 5.3 3.7 4.1” this shows 3 numbers – this is 3 cores.

Set the number of cores using the

processors 1 # number of processors

statement.  Event with 1 processor, sometimes the laptop locked up, the cursor did not move,  or was about 5 seconds behind moving the mouse.

Storage usage

z/OS requires a minimum of 2GB to start (otherwise you get a message at IPL)


Using the top command gave


Use the free -g command to display the storage in your machine, so you do not over allocate the storage.

      total used free shared buff/cache available
Mem:     7     3    0      3          3         0
Swap:    0     0    0

The devmap had

memory 5984m  # define storage size for virtual host

When I stared zD&T  I got

AWSSTA146I Starting independent 1090 instance 'ibmsys1'
AWSEMI001T Insufficient Memory for 1090 to start.

I changed the memory to

memory 2G  # define storage size for virtual host

And I got into the IPL.

First IPL

I did a cold start, as per instructions.

I saw a message “waiting for vtam”.  So I reipled.

I used the command k s,del=n to prevent messages rolling off the top of the screen, and saw

CSV028I ABEND306-0C ISTCFCR2 and VTAM won’t start

I issued the commands

  • S VTAM

and the system started.

Edit ADCD.Z24A.PARMLIB(PROGAB)  and add  NET621.SCNMLNK1  A4PRD3, and do the same the the same data set on SARES1

Basic checks

The system worked as expected.

I could use x3270 localhost:3270 to get into z/OS using a 3274 “hardware controller” or x3270 via TCPIP.  This showed my IP network was basically working.

To get FTP working

Use the MVS command S  FTPD this takes a short time to start.

I installed vsftp on Ubuntu and started it

  • sudo apt install vsftpd
  • sudo service vsftpd start

I could FTP and enter the userid and password.  When I issued any command such as ls, it hung.

I used this article on the Ubuntu firewall. The command  sudo ufw status verbose gave

Status: active

I disabled the firewall in linux

sudo ufw disable

and ftp worked.

The log showed me the activity sudo grep -i ufw /var/log/syslog |grep 10.1.1

Either of the commands give access through the firewall

  • sudo ufw allow from
  • sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s -j ACCEPT

TCP error messages

I got

11.45.32 EZZ9310I NAME SERVER

This is because it is trying to use the DNS server .  The default is to use DNS then local. To fix this edit  ADCD.Z24A.TCPPARMS(TCPDATA)  insert the bold line

; LOOKUP statement 
; ================ 
; LOOKUP indicates the order of name and address resolution. DNS means 
; use the DNSs listed on the NSINTERADDR and NAMESERVER statements. 
; LOCAL means use the local host tables as appropriate for the 
; environment being used (UNIX System Services or Native MVS). 
; LOOKUP DNS LOCAL  the default

Specifying LOCAL uses /etc/hosts which has S0W1.CANLAB.IBM.COM S0W1 localhost localhost.localdomain localhost4 
___________ localhost4.localdomain4__________________ 
::1________ localhost localhost.localdomain localhost6 
___________ localhost6.localdomain6________________

Where the _ is really hex ’41’ !

I went into OMVS and issued

mv /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf.old
touch /etc/resolv.conf
chmod 755 /etc/resolv.conf

ISPF primary menu

The initial ISPF menu is in


You can copy it to USER.Z24A.ISPPLIB and tailor it.  If you create a new member name – COLIN, use the command at logon ispf panel(COLIN)

The supplied ISR@PRIM has options which are not listed on the display RACF, ISMF, SMPE, WLM S (for SDSF).  This allows you to issue =S or =ISMF.

When you logon to TSO there is an ISPFLITE procedure with no optional products in the list, in case you have problems.

Unexpected messages

I got the following message many times at IPL  once for each disk.


A VARY ONLINE command attempted to validate the use of advanced features for the device.
The authorization failed.

I think this can be ignored.

RACF set up.

RACMAP command gets Abend System 684 rc 004




Getting z/OS installed on my Ubuntu laptop

Some people retire and buy an open top sports car or big motorbike.  Up here in Orkney  the weather can change every day, so instead of buying a fast car with an open top, when I retired, I got z/OS running on my laptop for the similar sort of price!   This means I can continue “playing” with z/OS and MQ, and helping the next generation to use z/OS.  At the end of this process I had the software installed on my laptop, many unwanted DVDs, and a lot of unnecessary cardboard.

I’ll cover my journey in getting the product and installing it, so anyone following in my footsteps will know what to expect and the time frame.  The process works, but could be slicker.

What options are there?

There are two emulators

HerculesHercules is an open source software implementation of the mainframe System/370 and ESA/390 architectures, in addition to the new 64-bit z/Architecture. Hercules runs under Linux, Windows (98, NT, 2000, and XP), Solaris, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X (10.3 and later).

zPDT from IBM.  IBM System z® Personal Development Tool (IBM zPDT®), which produces a small System z environment suitable for application development. zPDT is a PC Linux application. When zPDT is installed (on Linux), normal System z operating systems (such as IBM z/OS®) can be run on it. zPDT provides the basic System z architecture and emulated IBM 3390 disk drives, 3270 interfaces, OSA interfaces, and so on.  It needs a USB dongle or a license server to run.

What software can be used?

  • Products like z/OS, z/VM and z/VSE are licensed to run on only zPDT software.
  • Using z/VM to provide a coupling facility allows z/OS sysplex functions to be run.  Your USB dongle needs to have the support for this.
  • Public domain or “copyrighted software provided without charge”  software like OS/360DOS/VS, MVS, VM/370 were in the field a long time ago and can be installed on Hercules without a license.     You can also get MTS (which I used when I was at University).

What software is available to me?

I will not cover Hercules, as it is not licensed, and will only cover the IBM solution.

  1. For (big) business partners who are developing software to run on z/OS, you need to get approval to become a z ISV.  You can then  get the hardware dongles and the software from one part of IBM
  2. For other people (like me) who want to use z/OS running on a laptop for non production work there is zDevelopment and Test (zD&T). This comes in 3 flavours.
    1. ZD&T Personal Edition enables a single user to run an IBM® Z distribution on a personal computer. For more information about Personal Edition, see Personal Edition.
      • See here for the price.  You can pay for a 1 year subscription, get support from IBM,  download the code and any updates, and a hardware dongle which has the license to use/decrypt the code
      • You can pay for a perpetual license where you get the 1 year subscription as above, but can use it for ever (no support or updates after 1 year).  You can renew the license for the dongle at no charge.
    2. ZD&T Enterprise Edition enables enterprises to host an IBM Z distribution on low-cost Intel-based x86 machines. Enterprise Edition provides a web-based interface. You can extract, deploy, and manage the application images from an existing Z or ADCD packages. For more information about ZD&T Enterprise Edition, see Enterprise Edition.
      • I could not find the price for this. The license set-up looks very complex.  It looks like you need multiple machines to implement it  With a flexible licensing method, ZD&T Enterprise Edition can be used on cloud, VMs, or in-housed physical 8086 hardware. The Enterprise Edition also comes with a single user license that is known as Authorized User (AU) license, or with a multi-user license that is known as the Resource value Unit (RVU) license.
    3. ZD&T Parallel Sysplex can be used to enable a Sysplex environment that is running within z/VM®. For more information about ZD&TParallel Sysplex, see Parallel Sysplex.
      • I could not find the price for this. It looks like you have to use  a separate machine running as a license server.  The Software-based License Server and ZD&T Parallel Sysplex cannot be installed on the same machine.   I got confused between hardware dongle, software License Server and Rational tokens (which look like they need a different machine).

How do I purchase it?

See the IBM website.  That is the for the UK.    Or use

  • sign on
  • search for Development test environment
  • Select IBM Z Development and Test Environment in the right hand side of the window.

I’ve paid my money – now what?

This page says Software available for immediate download after online purchase.  This was not true for me.

  • You need an IBM id – this takes seconds to obtain.
  • To be able to download software and get the hardware key, you need access to Passport Advantage.
  • To get access to Passport Advantage you need a site number
  • To download software you need an IBM customer number, and an entry in a database saying what you are entitled to download.
  • To get a customer number takes a few days.

You should plan on two weeks from ordering the package to be able to run it.

The sequence of events before I could download the software and order the USB key…

  • I paid my money on the day 1
  • I quickly received an an email from IBM saying “thank you for your order”.   I was expecting a slick process like Amazon, saying “Your dongle has been dispatched – expect it in 3 days, you can download the software now” – but no.
  • I quickly received an email from IBM saying “Welcome to IBM Rational License Key Center.  Here is your License Key Center account ID:123456789.  Here are the instructions for downloading your license key”.  Great – the first question it asks  is “what is the serial number of your hardware key”.  I had not received it yet, so could not download the license.
  • I created a Passport Advantage account using the “License Key Center account ID” as my “site”.  This worked, and I got an email saying “IBM Welcomes you to Passport Advantage Online”
  • I logged on and tried downloading software – there was non available to me.  I could not order a hardware dongle as I needed a customer number.
  • I had an email from IBM Philippines asking “please confirm if this is for personal or commercial use”.  I said this was for me using as part of my company.    As a result it was flagged as “personal use”.
  • Day 2. I got an electronic PDF invoice, which told me my site number was as above.
  • I received my “Proof of entitlement” giving me my customer number and site number.
  • Later that night I got an email “IBM Electronic Support: Welcome to IBM Electronic Support
  • Day 3. I could order my hardware dongle and there was software for me to download!
  • The money was taken from my account
  • The hardware USB key arrived on day 11 – but the courier notified my it was coming on day 15.

So overall allow for a couple of days before you can access the software, and 2 weeks for the box of dongles.

Downloading the software

If you use the DownloadDirector, check that directory is empty before you start the download – you can move files to a sub directory, or select a different directory for the downloads.  The default directory is ~/DownloadDirector.

You need about 46GB just to download the files,and 270 GB when the files are unpacked.  There are 31 unpacked files of 8GB and one file of 15 GB for z/OS and its disks.  If you are going to allocate additional disks, plan for 8GB for each.

At first glance, the download looked pretty simple. It is, unless you want to put the files on a different drive to the default.

  • From the IBM Passport Advantage site click on Download software.
  • It had IBM Z Development and Test Environment Personal Edition displayed.  I clicked on it.
  • It popped up a window saying
    • IBM Z Development and Test Environment Personal Edition
    • Please do not select an operating system and language for all Engineering and Rational software.   I don’t know what this means.  I ignored it
    • Operating system had a pull down list 1) All operating systems 2) Redhat.   I use Ubuntu so I chose 1) All operating systems.
    • Language had a pull down list of languages.  I selected English and clicked Go.
  • The download page said Required: 38 files (45319MB)  which was the first time I had been told about the amount of space needed.
  • I could select all files or individual files.   This page  gives a list of packages to volids.  A package may have more than one file in it – despite what the description is.
  • I clicked on Estimate download time for selected files.   it gave me T1 Download Director 951 minutes, HTTP 4758 minutes.
  • I clicked on  Download, which displayed a terms and conditions page.  Click “HTTP” or “Download Director”, click “I agree” and click “download now” .
  • It displayed “Your browser might ask to open/save a JNLP file in order to launch Download Director. Open the JNLP file with Java WebStart (javaws).”  Click OK
  • It popped up a window “Opening IBM_DownloadDirector.jnlp” Select “Open with “Oracle Java 8 Web Start (default)”   click OK
  • There is a pop up ” Do you want to run this application?  IBM Download Director?” Click on Run
    • The first time I ran it, it tried to put all of the downloads in ~/DownloadDirector.  I clicked cancel, and Setup, and specified the download location to my external hard drive, and clicked “Always ask for Download location”. When I reran it, I think it ignored the location and  put the files in the ~/DownloadDirector path.   The second time I came through this process, it prompted me for the Download Location as expected.  It would be nice if the first time through it prompted for download location rather than take the default.
  • Check where the files are being downloaded to, and restart the download if they are going to the wrong place.
  • The documentation says Verify the integrity of downloaded ADCD packages by using the MD5SUM that is in the adcd.md5 and pe.md5 files.   You can use the command  md5sum -c nov2019_adcd_md5.txt  to do a checksum on the downloads.

Ordering the hardware dongle.

In Passport Advantage, select “Software download & media access“.  Then select “Request Media”.   It should have the hardware dongle items you need.  I can’t remember what I ordered, but I overachieved and ordered stuff I didn’t want.   I cannot remember what the request page looked like, but once the order had been fulfilled it I could see I had ordered

  • IBM Z Development and Test Environment Version 9.1 Hardware Key Multiplatform Multilingual DVD Media Pack (BT0MIML)
  • IBM Z Development and Test Environment Version 9.1 Multiplatform Multilingual DVD Media Pack (BT0MJML)
  • IBM Z Development and Test Environment Hardware Key Version 9.5 Multiplatform Multilingual DVD Media Pack (BT0NUML)
  • IBM Z Development and Test Environment Personal Edition Version 10.0 Multilingual Hardware Key Media Pack (BT0P6ML)
  • IBM Z Development and Test Environment Personal Edition V12.0 Multilingual Hardware Key Media Pack (BT0PFML)

I do not know which of these I should have ordered, the names all look similar.   I was reminded of the phrase from the original game of Adventure “you are in a maze of twisty little passages , packages all alike

What came in the dongle box?

I  was notified that the package would be delivered on day 15, but it arrived on day 11.  I was expecting a small jiffy bag. I got a box 30 cm * 24 cm * 20 cm, with lots of Russian Doll type boxes – it was like Christmas!

In the box I had

  • A box labelled RD&T for System z V9.1 Hardware key media pack containing
    • a box containing
      • a bag containing
        • a plastic wallet containing
          • the USB
    • a CD labelled  IBM Rational Developer and test environment for system z V9.1
    • some instructions
    • other paper work
  • A box labelled RD&T for System z V9.5 Hardware key media pack containing
    • a box containing a bag,containing a plastic wallet, containing the USB
    • a CD labelled  IBM Rational Developer and test environment for system z V9.5
    • some instructions
    • other paper work
  • A box labelled IBM z Systems Development and Test Environment Personal Edition  V10 containing
    • a box containing a bag, containing a plastic wallet, containing the USB
    • a CD labelled IBM z Systems Development and Test Environment Personal Edition  V10
    • some instructions
    • other paper work
  • A box labelled IBM z Systems Development and Test Environment Personal Edition  V12 containing
    • a box containing a bag, containing a plastic wallet, containing the USB
    • a CD labelled IBM z Systems Development and Test Environment Personal Edition  V12
    • some instructions
    • other paper work
  • A bigger box containing CDs
    • IBM Rational Integration Tester Platform Pack 1 CD
    • IBM Rational License Key Server 1 CD
    • IBM Rational Developer and test environment  for System z v9.1 Software distribution for z/OS 1.1.3 12 CDs
    • IBM Rational Developer and test environment  for System z v9.1 Software distribution for z/OS 2.1 15 CDs

Overall I got 4 USB keys (It  could be a challenge to use all 4 ,as my laptop has only one spare USB slot), lots of software and a lot of cardboard.  As I have already downloaded the images, I have two lots of software CDs I do not need. I think the provisions system needs to be looked at, so I get just what I need (one dongle) instead of a lot of waste cardboard and plastic.

Getting the license for the keys

The documentation has a topic Obtaining an update file from Rational License Key Center  which worked.

  • Follow the link and logon
  • It showed me IBM Rational Developer for System z Unit Test.
  • The serial number of one of my USBs was like 02-00222.
  • Number of Server Instances:1
  • Number of Licenses:1
  • Click generate, wait for 10 second and a window is displayed
  • Click download – and save it
  • Follow the instructions in the documentation.  I cannot use “su” so I used sudo ./Z1091_token_update…  which worked.  note the upper case Z in Z1091
  • The status command “sudo ./Z1091_token_update -status” gave me
    • Info: Processing Status request.
    • Info: Found both ADCD-1 License and ADCD-2 License.
    • Info: Command completed with 0 error(s).

As I was only entitled to one license – I had 3 spare dongles but with no license for them.

Installing zD&T.

The instructions are here.

  1. Check the instructions are for the level of zD&T you are using.   Google found me the version for 12.04; I was using 12.05
  2. The license is displayed.
    1. The license is displayed using the more command, so you can use ‘f’ and ‘b’ to go forward and back.  (Until you get to the last page when you cannot go back,  you have to decline license, and go through the install again.
    2. I found the license was not clear.   It looks like big chunks are repeated with only minor variations, which were too subtle for me.
    3. Some software you are allowed to install but not use: Fault Analyzer for z/OS and File Manager for z/OS.  (File manager:  IBM® File Manager for z/OS® (base component) provides comprehensive, user-friendly tools for working with Websphere MQ data, HFS files and QSAM, VSAM and IAM data sets. These tools include the familiar view, edit, copy and print utilities found in ISPF, enhanced to meet the needs of application developers)
    4. I think the words about Authorized User Single Session apply to zD&T personal Edition, and the words about  Resource Value Unit (RVU) apply to the enterprise edition.
    5. I don’t understand When determining the number of entitlements required for Licensee’s installation or use of the Program, Licensee is allowed to define up to two log-in identifiers for use by system programmers (i.e. system administrators or database administrators) to support Licensee development and test activities, which are not used to determine the number of entitlements required for the Program.  I do not understand this (what entitlements?, what is not used ?).  At least two userids are defined, for example IBMUSER, so additional  system programming userids may not be needed.  I do not know if I am allowed to define more userids for doing MQ application development, and defining MQ resources.
    6. The license refers to “Program”.   The text has Program Name : IBM Z Development and Test Environment Enterprise Edition Version 12.0.5, so I think the term “Program” to mean the whole package, so CICS, MQ and z/OS are individual Programs.
      1. This sounds a bit recursive, The license Programs, have programs (load modules) which have programs (compilable source code), the compiled programs have z architecture  instructions which deep down have programs in zPDT, which have instructions which have microcode programs which run on the chip.
    7. I could not find how to get a copy of the license, so I cancelled the installation and found the license in ~/DownloadDirector/zdtpefolder/license/Lic_en.txt
    8. Text like L/N: L-JWOG-BKVNF6 are the license number.  I think it is IBM internal use only as I googled it but could not find it.
    9. So overall written by lawyers and hard to understand.

Optional questions.

It asked Do you want to install Network Configuration for IBM® ZD&T Personal Edition ?(y/N):

I don’t think it installs anything.   I think it configures the network. See installation  and network.  The configuration scripts for example in /opt/ConfigGuideSample/zdt_config_network10.sh enables packet forwarding,  uses iptables to set up routing, Network Address Translation(NAT) with destination of

I could IPL and logon without doing this optional step.  To get FTP working, I had to make one network configuration action.

It uses iptables-save  to make a copy of the IP configuration.  You may want to issue sudo iptables-save > myipconfig.txt  to save your current configuration before using this install to change it.

It makes changes to the running system, then saves them, and changes /etc/rc.local so the commands are executed at Linux boot time.

It asked Optional: Enter y to install all needed dependencies or enter n to decline.

I thought I had checked these, so I replied n.  I don’t know if it checks them and warns of any missing ones.

The installation complete message is not as documented.   The documentation says “If the package is installed successfully, the following output is displayed”


I got

ii z1091 amd64 z1091, version, build date - 02/19/20 for Linux on Ubuntu 64bit

which is close enough.

Unzipping the files

Files  ending in .gz can be unzipped with gunzip.  The other files have to be decrypted and you need the dongle to do that.

The command

gunzip file.gz

takes the file, unzips it to file and deletes file.gz.  The option -k says do not delete the input file.

You can use the command

gunzip -c file.gz > /directory/file

the -c option says write to sysout and do not delete the input file.

To unzip all the files (this took a couple of hours to execute).

  • you could issue gunzip *.gz  . You may want to check that the directory has only the zP&T files in it before executing the command.  Remember it will delete the .gz file afterwards.  (This helps save space).
  • if you want to have the unzipped files on a different drive you could copy the .gz files to the drive then issue  gunzip *.gz in the directory.

Unzip and decrypting the RES files.

When I tried to unzip the *RES files using my colinpaice userid I got.  /usr/z1090/bin/Z1091_ADCD_install: error while loading shared libraries: libawsDiskItf.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.

I logged switched to the ibmsys1 userid, and followed the instruction in the documentation. I got

  • /usr/z1090/bin/Z1091_ADCD_install ./A4RES1.ZPD ./A4RES1
  • LIC hasp: * Communication error between API and local Sentinel License Manager : code=33

It took just over 4 minutes to unzip the SARES1 disk

Overall all

The overall process worked.  It took longer than I expected to get entitlement, and the hardware dongles.  I also have 3 dongles I cannot use, a large pile of cardboard, and two piles of CDs I don’t think I need.

My favourite Z/OS commands

I’m putting together some education materials for new z/OS users, and would like a list of common or favourite commands (the commands your fingers know without having to think about them).  If you have any more useful commands, please tell me and I’ll add them.

If there is enough interest I can make the commands into html links to the online manuals – if so please let me know.

Useful links

Console commands

Managing the 3270 console

  • k a,ref shows areas on operator console
  • k a,none – removes “out of line area” from console.  You may need to do k e,d to remove the area first
  • k a,14 makes the area 14 lines deep
  • k a,6,6 makes two areas A and B, can then use D A,L,L=B for to display the command  D A,L in window B

Some commands,  eg display commands comes up in a “out of line” frame at bottom of the screen

  • k d,f scroll forward, sometimes pf8 does this. Check with d pfk
  • k e,d remove the bottom “out of line display” area


  • k q clear the backlog of queues messages
  • k e clear the scrolling messages
  • k s,ref display the current settings
  • k s,del=rd have message scroll off the top automatically
  • k s,del=n stop messages scrolling off the top
  • k e,n  remove nth message from the top of the screen – useful of the messages do not scroll.
  • d pfk
  • k n,PFk=(001,CMD=’d a,l;d ts,l’) sets the pf key to the command strings separated by ;
  • PA1 retrieve previous command

If you lose the console

Useful MVS commands


Subsystem eg DB2, MQ



The command prefix is £ or $ depending on your system and keyboard

Commands useful when the spool has filled up

  • $DSPOOL how full is the spool
  • $D JOBDEF display the number of JOES ( Job Output elements = numbers of files) JOENUM can be increased dynamically using $T OUTDEF,JOENUM=xxxx.  Don’t forget to change it in SYS1.PARMLIB(JESPRMxx) in order to make the change permanent.
  • $DJQ,SPL=(%>1) which jobs are using more than 1% of the spool
  • $DS,SPL=(%>1) which STCs are using more than 1% of the  spool
  • $dt,spl=(%>1) which TSO are using more than 1% of the spool
  • $DJQ,DAYS>2 which jobs are more than 2 days old
  • $DO JQ,JM=CCP* display all output for jobs beginning with CCP also $DO S and $do S
  • $PO JQ,JM=CCP* Purge all output for jobs beginning with CCP also $PO S and $po S
  • $DO JQ,AGE>4 Which output data sets are more than 4 days old
  • $PO JQ,AGE>4  Purge output data sets are more than 4 days old also $PO S and $po S
  • $do jq,jm=cp7*,a>7 Which output data sets belong to cp7* and are a week old also $DO S and $do S
  • $po jq,jm=im7*,a>7 Purge output data sets belong to im7* and are a week old also $PO S and $po S


TSO commands

  • ddlist or isrddn what are my TSO allocations – useful for looking for ISPPLIB concatentation etc
    • Line commands
      • B Browse the first sixteen data sets or a single data set.
      • E Edit the first sixteen data sets or
      • a single data set.
      • V View the first sixteen data sets or a single data set.
      • M Show an enhanced member list for the first sixteen data sets or a single data set.
      • F Free the entire DDNAME.
      • C Compress a PDS using the existing allocation.
      • I Provide additional data set information.
      • Q Display list of users or jobs using a data set.
    • Primary commands
      • Apf Browse Con CList COUnt CUstom
      • DUPlicates Enq EXclude Find Locate LOAD
      • LONg LPa Member MList  Only Parmlib
      • Reset Select SHort
    • Member name (ddstring) Scan allocations for a particular member.
    • Select modname  Search for a loaded module without searching any allocated data sets.
    • CUstom Show the values in ISPTCM and some ISPF configurations.
  • mount filesystem(‘PAICE.ABC.ZFS’) mountpoint(‘/u/paice/abc’) type(ZFS) mode(read)
  • unmount filesystem(”PAICE.ABC.ZFS’) normal

RACF commands


  • OWNER myuserid to see jobs that I own, regardless of prefix.
  • “I use ST command almost exclusively in stead of DA, O etc..”
  • SYSNAME  allows you to see jobs on another connected system
  • PREFIX abc displays jobs beginning with abc
  • filter ? allows you to select on multiple criteria owner eq paice, jobname eq MQ*
  • Sort … sort on column of data sort cpu%
  • ARRange CPU% A REAL arranges the columns so the CPU% column is displayed after the REAL column
  • Prefix commands
    • S display the spool
    • SE display in edit mode
    • C issues JES command to cancel the job
    • ? displays the different output files within the job
    • SJ allows you to edit the JCL and resubmit it
  • log s display the system message log for your MVS system.
  • log o displays the merged, sysplex-wide system message log
  • ulog displays the output from commands you have issued

MQ using CSQUTIL or equivilant command



  • Display all options on the ISMF panel 0 ISMF Profile.0 User Mode Selection  set to 2 For a Storage Administrator (SA)
  • To tailor columns displayed, used view command, specify columns and save it
  • Display disks and information about disks  2 Volume.1 Dasd ,
    • Acquire Physical Data Y,
    • Storage Group Name ” “
    • CDS Name ” “
    • Press enter
  • Display storage group name , 6 Storage Group, 1. List
    • and disks in the storage group 1. List,  then line operator listvol


TASID is a “monitor” tool developed internally within IBM to monitor activity on a z/OS system. It is displayed in ISPF on TSO.     It displays IPL info, storage usage, address space usage etc.   Think of unix “top” function.

Note that some options may not  operate correctly on all z/OS systems. Download it from IBM here.

USS Unix services

  • ls -T file display file tag, ASCII, EBCDIC etc ISO8859-1 is ASCII
  • chtag -p display/change file tag info
  • chtag -t -c ISO8859-1 filename  change the filename to be oeditable
  • whence name like which name, tells you where a command came from eg whence oedit is /bin/oedit
  • tar  like zip
  • cp copy files
  • mkdir 
  • mkdir -p and the intermediate directories
  • pax another way of packing files to make them portable. It keeps meta data.
    • pax -W “seqparms=’space=(cyl,(30,30))'” -wzvf “//’COLIN.PAX.CONSOLE'” -x os390 *.c *.h *.s *.py to create a dataset with the contents.
    • pax -vf “//’COLIN.PAX.CONSOLE'” *.s to list the dataset, matching *.s
    • pax -rvf “//’COLIN.PAX.CONSOLE'” *.s to read the dataset matching *.s
    • tar -tf myfile.pax To display contents of a pax file.  This can be used on Linux.
    • tar -xf myfile.pax  name.type To extract name.type from a pax file. It keeps the directory structure from the pax file.
  • TSO OMVS command for example the ESCape NOPFSHOW
  • du -ska . display summary of the size of each file below ‘.’ directory in 1KB blocks
  • du -ka . display the size of each file below ‘.’ directory in 1KB blocks.
  • du -ka /u/paice gives the space on the directory
  • du -ka /u/paice/* gives the space on the files within the directory
  • du -ka . | sort display the size of each file below ‘.’ directory in 1KB blocks sorted in ascending size.
  • cksum file  gives a checksum of a file, and number of bytes in the file.  There is the same command on Linux.  See here for commands on other platforms.
  • od -t cx1 colin.conf > ab display a file in text and hex. x1 says one byte hex number. x4 is as an int.
  • umask set or display the default permissions mask for when creating a unix file.

WAS, Liberty,

Angel processes





SLIP – to take an action when something happens

  • D SLIP
  • D SLIP=0001
  • SLIP MOD,ENABLE ,ID=trapid
  • SLIP SET,COMP=122,ACTION=SVCD   for system abend code 122
  • SLIP SET,IF,RANGE=(2060825A,2060825C),JOBNAME=PYT, ACTION=SVCD take a dump when in the range. Jobname can be started task name.



  • LIST 20608252. ASID(X’0047′) LENGTH(X’1000′) INSTRUCTION display the data in instruction
  • LIST 20608252. ASID(X’0047′) LENGTH(4096) str give the value with character representation

What’s in ABCs of z/OS System Programming?

The ABC of z/OS Systems Programming is a great collection of books on z/OS, but I could find no easy documentation to tell me what was in each pdf file.   So here it is.

Volume 1, Intro to z, Systems Programmer, TSO, ISPF, JCL,  SDSF, Storage concepts
Volume 2,  Parmlib, Subsystems, LPA, SMP/E, LE
Volume 3, SMS, Datasets, Catalogs
Volume 4, VTAM, Comms Server, IP
Volume 5, Base and Parallel Sysplex, GRS, RRS, ARM, sysplex failure management System Logger, z/OS system operationGDPS, zSeries availability
Volume 6, Security on z/OS, RACF and SAF, Cryptography
Volume 7,  Infoprint Server, IP PrintWay, NetSpool, Infoprint Server, Transform, Infoprint Central
Volume 8,  Diagnosis fundamentals, IPCS, Dump analysis, problem diagnosis, Diagnostic procedures
Volume 9,  z/OS UNIX, TCP/IP installation, zSeries file system, z/OS UNIX security, Shell and programming tools
Volume 10,  z Architecture, PRISM, z14
Volume 11 Capacity planning, Performance management, RMF, SMF
Volume 12,  Workload Manager, WLM policy, WLM goal management, WLM functions, WLM ISPF application
Volume 13,  JES3


ZPDT redbook  reference and guide

Storage management

Summary of all storage management books
Using ADRDSSU program to backup and restore files pdf     Knowledge centre   Copy Dataset


No, No, think before you create a naming convention

I remember doing a review of a large customer who had grown by mergers and acquisitions.  We were discussing naming conventions, and did they have them.

“Naming conventions”, he said “we love them.  We have hundreds of them around the place”. He said it was to hard and disruptive to try to get it down to a small number of naming conventions.

I saw someone’s MQ configuration and wished they had thought through their naming convention, or asked someone with more experience.  This is what I saw

  • The MQ libraries were called CSQ910.SCSQAUTH
    • This is OK as it tells you what level of MQ you are using
    • It would be good to have a dataset alias of CSQ pointing to CSQ910.  Without this you have to change the JCL for all job, compiles, runs etc which had CSQ910.  When you moved from CSQ810 to CSQ900 you have change the JCL. If you then decide to go back to CSQ810 for a week, you have to change the JCL again.  With the alias is is easy – change the alias and the JCL does not need to change.    Change the alias again – and the JCL does not need to change.
  • The MQ logs were called CSQ710.QM.LOGCOPY1.DS01, … DS02,…DS03
    • This shows the classic problem of having the queue manager release as part of the object names.  It would have been better to have names like CSQ.QM.LOGCOPY1.DS01 without the MQ version in it.
    • The name does include a queue manager name of sorts, but a queue manager name of QM is not very good.  If you need another queue manager you will have names like QM, QMA, QMB so an inconsistent name.
    • It is good to have the queue manager name as part of the data set name, so if the queue manager was QM01 then have CSQ.QM01.
    • This shows the naming standard problem as it evolved over time.  They added more page sets, and used the MQ release as the High Level Qualifier.  The page sets are CSQ710,… CSQ810…,  CSQ910… – following the naming standard.

You do not invent a naming convention in isolation, you need to put an architect’s hat on and see the bigger picture, where you have production and test queue managers, different versions of MQ, and see MQ is just a small part of the z/OS infrastructure.

  • People often have one queue manager per LPAR, and call MQ after the LPAR.
  • You are likely to have multiple machines – for example to provide availability, so plan for multiple queue managers.
  • You may want different HLQ to be able to identify production queue manager data sets and test queue manager data sets..
  • The security team will need to set up profiles for queue managers. Having MQPROD and MQTEST as a HLQ may make it easier to set up.
  • The storage team (what I used to call data managers)  set up SMS with rules for data set placement. For example production pagesets with a name like MQPROD.**.PSID* go on the newest, fastest, mirrored disks.  MQTEST.** go on older disks.
  • As part of the SMS definitions, the storage team define how often, and when, to backup data sets.   A production page set may be backed up using flash copy once an hour.   (This is within the Storage subsystem and takes seconds.   It takes a copy by taking a copy of the pointers to the records on disk).   Non production get backed up overnight.


Lessons learned

  • For the IBM provided libraries, include the VRM in the data set names.
  • Define an alias pointing to the current libraries so applications do not need to change JCL.   You could have a Unix Services alias for the files in the zFS.
  • Do not put the MQ release in the queue manager data sets names.
  • Use queue manager names that are relevant and scale.
  • Talk to your security and storage managers about the naming conventions; what you want protected, and how you want your queue manager data sets to be managed.

Did you read the sentence just once? The work of words – the PEE test.

I was investigating purchasing something expensive like a car, and found a web site which was hard to read.  The long forgotten words of my English teacher from over 50 years ago came into my mind.

For a well written document,

  1. every sentence should be read just once
  2. it should be easy for the reader

For example words on a web page for selling a new car

  1. The Supervandex model-95 has twin cam, 16 valve supercharged petrol engine with a vanadium gismo, has a 16 speaker all round system.  It has 2 seats and enough space for some small suitcases, and looks really cool.
  2. The Supervandex model-96 has single cam, 8 valve supercharged petrol engine with a vanadium gismo, has a 8 speaker all round system.  It has 4 seats and enough space for some small suitcases, a dog and a set of golf clubs.  This is a practical car.

What is wrong with those statements?

For the car sales person this is very clear as he or she needs to know the details of each model.  For the average punter like me, who wants a petrol car  with space for 2 dogs and my mother’s walking frame; the sentences are hard to read and require a lot of work. My thoughts would be

  1. “Supervandex-95 … blah blah Petrol – that’s good’… what model ? (reread the sentence) the Supervandex-95 blah blah blah… 2 seats – that’s no good for me”
  2. “Supervandex-96 … blah blah Petrol – that’s good’… what model ? (reread the sentence) the Supervandex-96 blah blah blah… 4 seats – and it looks like a big enough boot.  Supervandex 96 sounds like the one I need”

I had to read parts of each sentence more than once, and had to keep information in my short term memory, and then forget it when it was no longer needed.

For someone wanting to buy a car (and did not care what the model number was), I think the following would be clearer.

  1. The two seater petrol car with space for a couple of suitcases (The Supervandex-95) has twin cam, 16 valve supercharged petrol engine with a vanadium gismo, has a 16 speaker all round system.
  2. The four seater petrol car  with enough space for some small suitcases, a dog and a set of golf clubs (the Supervandex-96) has single cam, 8 valve supercharged petrol engine with a vanadium gismo, has a 8 speaker all round system.

Now, my thoughts are

  1. “Two seater… not big enough I’ll skip the rest of the sentence and go to the next item
  2. “Four seater, and enough space in the boot, this looks interesting.   The Supervandex-96… boring boring boring.   So it is the Supervandex 96 for me”

I did not have to read the whole of the first sentence, and from the second sentence I could quickly see that it met my requirements.  I only had to remember Supervandex-96.

For me the second text was better than the first text.

There is the automated readability index = 4.71 *( number of characters/number of words) + 0.5* (number of words/number of sentences) – 21.43.  A score of 1 is for kindergarten, a score of 14+ is Professors.

We could have the PEE test – the Paice’s Eyeball Energy test – compare texts by monitoring the movement of the eyeball, and work out the energy in micro-joules for each text. Every time the eye had to go back it would take energy to stop the eyeball, go back, and reread the text.  ( Of course you would have to have a standard eyeball mass, and the text read from a fixed distance, so the energy to move the eyeball is the same – nothing insurmountable.)

We could take this further and take an electroencephalogram (EEG – a swimming cap with lots of electrodes detecting brain activity), and see how much electrical activity was generated when trying to parse statements.   I remember being in China, when someone from the UK was trying to explain something to the Chinese managers (who could understand English – but not speak it), using one very long statement; many ifs, and whethers, and depending ons.  My short term memory overflowed, and I was writing down what the person was saying.    The amount of electrical energy I used to parse and process the nested conditional text would have powered a light bulb!  I pitied the poor Chinese who ignored the statement and then said “thank you, our next question is …”. 

I had a mentor who said before you send an email or go into a meeting, ask yourself “why are you telling your audience this information?” is it

  1. just for information
  2. for action
  3. it is such good news – Ive got to tell every one

then in the meeting tell them “I am telling you this because … you need to take an action”, or “for information”.    If it is for information only, then they can only half listen.  If they need to take action, for example spend money, they will give it their full attention.

Why am I telling you about the PEE test?

When you write emails of documents you need to understand who your audience is, and what they want out of the information. People should be able to read the information without going back and rereading it.

Am I going to buy the Supervandex-96 model ?  I don’t know  – they only gave the price of the Supervandex-95 model. This goes to show a low PEE value is not the perfect solution.