Debugging PIP install on z/OS

I had various problems installing Python packaged on z/OS.

Firstly the Python file system was read only – that’s ok. I can try to install in a virtual environment. This also had it’s problems!

The main problem was, I had the HOME environment variable pointing to a directory which my userid did not have write access to – /u/. When I changed it to my working directory /u/tmp/pymi2, it worked with no problems.

I’ll document in the blog the debugging I did.


I FTP’d the wheels package in binary from my Linux machine, into /tmp on z/OS.

I switched to my virtual environment using

. env/bin/activate

This gave a command line like

(env) COLIN:/u/tmp/pymqi2:

I used the command

python3 -m pip install /tmp/wheel-0.37.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl /tmp/wheel-0.37.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl –no-cache-dir

But this gave

Installing collected packages: wheel
ERROR: Could not install packages due to an EnvironmentError: [Errno 111] EDC5111I Permission denied.: ‘/u/.local’

Using the –verbose argument

python3 -m pip –verbose install /tmp/wheel-0.37.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl /tmp/wheel-0.37.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl –no-cache-dir

gave more information, but not enough to resolve the problem.

python3 -m pip –verbose install..

gave much more information including

config vars:
{‘abiflags’: ”,
‘base’: ‘/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz’,
‘dist_fullname’: ‘UNKNOWN-0.0.0’,
‘dist_name’: ‘UNKNOWN’,
‘dist_version’: ‘0.0.0’,
‘exec_prefix’: ‘/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz’,
‘platbase’: ‘/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz’,
‘prefix’: ‘/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz’,
‘py_version’: ‘3.8.5’,
‘py_version_nodot’: ’38’,
‘py_version_short’: ‘3.8’,
‘sys_exec_prefix’: ‘/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz’,
‘sys_prefix’: ‘/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz’,
‘userbase’: ‘/u/.local’,
‘usersite’: ‘./lib/python3.8/site-packages’}

where I could see where the /u/.local came from.

You can change the userbase (see here) using


and the product installed. When I fixed my HOME environment variable to point to my working directory this also worked!

What is installed?

Using the command

python3 -m pip –verbose list

This gave

Package      Version Location                                                   Installer          
------------ ------- ---------------------------------------------------------- ---------          
cffi         1.14.0  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages                    
cryptography 2.8     /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages                    
ebcdic       1.1.1   /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
numpy        1.18.2  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
pip          20.2.1  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
pycparser    2.20    /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
setuptools   47.1.0  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
six          1.15.0  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages                    
wheel        0.37.1  /u/tmp/pymqi2/lib/python3.8/site-packages                  pip                
zos-util     1.0.0   /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages                    

so we can see the wheel package was installed in my user directory.

Without the –verbose just package and version were displayed, no location or installer.

Uninstall it

I used

python3 -m pip –verbose uninstall wheel

to uninstall it

Python virtual environments on z/OS

Virtual environments are very useful as they allow you to test install components without affecting the shared libraries.

You create an environment called env with

python3 -m venv env

but this gave

Error: Command ‘Ý’/u/py/env/bin/python3’, ‘-Im’, ‘ensurepip’, ‘–upgrade’, ‘–default-pip’¨’ returned non-zero exit status 1.

I think this was because my z/OS had no direct network connection. However

python3 -m venv –without-pip env –system-site-packages

worked. I needed the –system-site-packages, so I could build the extension.

Activate the environment

The instruction said use the command env/bin/activate but this failed

env/bin/activate: FSUM9209 cannot execute: reason code = ef076015: EDC5111I Permission denied.


. env/bin/activate

worked. (Just . env/b*/a* worked for me.)

To get out of the virtual environment use


Use the environment

You should now be able to use the environment.

You should check that the HOME environment variable is a directory with read/write access.

You may want to set up PYTHONHOME for special python packages.

The challenges of using PIP on z/OS.

Using Python PIP on z/OS, was not as smooth as I had expected. Some problems I worked around, some I just had to live with.

PIP is the standard package installer for Python. It is documented here.

To get information about PIP.

The following command gives lots of data about PIP.

python3 -m pip debug –verbose

Valid wheel types

“Wheels” are used to create and install Python packages; see here.

For example what are the names of valid “wheel types on my system” (needed when creating a package). Amongst the data this gave, was

Compatible tags: 30

This means PIP install will accept a package with


A package like pymqi-1.12.0-py3-none-zos.whl is not in the list and will not install.

Configuration parameters

python3 -m pip debug –verbose

Configuration data is stored in several places


The documentation said $VIRTUAL_ENV/pip.conf will be used. $VIRTUAL_ENV was set on my system, but did not show up in the list.

Initially my $HOME was /u, and this caused problems as my userid was not authorised to write to /u/.pip…

Check your $HOME is set to an appropriate value.

Show the configuration files: python3 -m pip config debug

  /etc/xdg/pip/pip.conf, exists: False                       
  /etc/pip.conf, exists: False                               
  /usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/pip.conf, exists: False          
  /u/tmp/pymqi2/.pip/pip.conf, exists: False                 
  /u/tmp/pymqi2/.config/pip/pip.conf, exists: False          

python3 -m pip config list

gave me

[33]WARNING: The directory ‘/u/.cache/pip’ or its parent directory is not owned or is not writable by the current user. The cache has been disabled. Check the permissions and owner of that directory. If executing pip with sudo, you may want sudo’s -H flag.-[0]

because HOME was not pointing to a value writeable directory.

Updating configuration:

Once I had set HOME to a valid value, I could set configuration values.

  • python3 -m pip config –user set user.colin yes
  • python3 -m pip config –user set site.colin yes

gave me

Writing to /u/tmp/pymqi2/.config/pip/pip.conf

This file had

colin = yes

colin = yes

python3 -m pip config –global set user.colin yes

gave me ( as expected)

Writing to /etc/pip.conf
[31]ERROR: Unable to save configuration. Please report this as a bug.
PermissionError: [Errno 111] EDC5111I Permission denied.: ‘/etc/pip.conf’

I would need use a suitably authorised userid to do this.

To edit a config file

You need to specify the editor to use

python3 -m pip config –user –editor /bin/oedit edit

Python on z/OS: Creating a pure Python package.

I had problems creating a package with both Python code, and a extension module written in c (shipped as a load module .so object in Unix Services). The problems were that the package name was dependant on the name of the hardware and the level of the operating system. To produce a package for z/OS in general, I would need to build on every z/OS hardware.

Removing the C code made it much easier to package.

The file for pure Python

import setuptools 
from setuptools import setup, Extension 
import sysconfig 
bindings_mode = 1 
version = '1.12.0' 
setup(name = 'pymqi', 
    version = version, 
    description = 'Python IBM MQI Extension for IBM MQ.', 
    long_description= 'PyMQI is a Python library ', 
    author='Dariusz Suchojad', 
    package_dir = {'': 'code'}, 
    packages = ['pymqi'], 
    license='Python Software Foundation License', 
    keywords=('pymqi IBM MQ WebSphere WMQ MQSeries IBM middleware'), 
    classifiers = [ 
        'Development Status :: 5 - Production/Stable', 
        'License :: OSI Approved :: Python Software Foundation License', 
        'Intended Audience :: Developers', 
        'Natural Language :: English', 
        'Operating System :: OS Independent', 
        'Programming Language :: C', 
        'Programming Language :: Python', 
        'Topic :: Software Development :: Libraries :: Python Modules', 
        'Topic :: Software Development :: Object Brokering', 
    py_modules = ['pymqi.CMQC', 'pymqi.CMQCFC', 'pymqi.CMQXC', 'pymqi.CMQZC'], 

Where the py_modules were in ./code/pymqi/ as etc.

Install the wheel package and build it

python3 bdist_wheel

This gave a package


Which can be installed on any z/OS system.

setup tools (and so bdist_wheel) has a web page here.

Uninstall it

I used

python3 -m pip –verbose uninstall wheel

to uninstall it

List what is installed

python3 -m pip –verbose list

This gave

Package      Version Location                                                   Installer          
------------ ------- ---------------------------------------------------------- ---------          
cffi         1.14.0  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages                    
cryptography 2.8     /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages                    
ebcdic       1.1.1   /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
numpy        1.18.2  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
pip          20.2.1  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
pycparser    2.20    /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
setuptools   47.1.0  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages pip                
six          1.15.0  /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages                    
wheel        0.37.1  /u/tmp/pymqi2/lib/python3.8/site-packages                  pip                
zos-util     1.0.0   /Z24C/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r8/pyz/lib/python3.8/site-packages                    

so we can see the wheel package was installed in my user directory.

Without the –verbose just package and version were displayed, no location or installer.

Why can’t I use this C function – it is there but I cannot see it.

I’ve been writing in C for over 20 years, and it is humbling when you suddenly realise how little you know of a topic.
It reminds me of when I worked for IBM, and the company wanted a skills register. The questions were along the lines of

Rate your skills in the following areas from 0 (nothing) to 10 (expert).

  • z/OS
  • DB2
  • CICS
  • etc

Overall the skills register was found to be not useful, as the rankings were inverted. If someone put themselves down as 10 – it usually meant they knew very little, they knew enough for their day to day work. If someone put themselves down as 2 they may be an expert who realises how much they do not know, or someone who honestly realises they do not know very much.

My humbling discovery was that when I ported some existing C code to run on z/OS, the functions were not visible outside of the C program. There were two reasons for this.

  • The functions were defined as static,
  • The functions were not exported.

Static functions

static int hidden(int  i)
  return 0;
int visible(int i)
  int x = hidden(1);
  return 0; 

I think that using “static” in this case is the wrong word. It does not mean static. I think “internal” would be a clearer description, but I do not think that I’ll have any success changing the C language to use “internal”.

The function “hidden” can only be used within the compiled unit. It cannot be referenced from outside of the compiled object. The “visible” function can use the “hidden” function as the code shows.
The function”visible” is potentially visible to external programs. You can load the module and execute the function.

Exported functions

You have to tell the compiler to externalise functions within the compile unit.

For example

#pragma export(COLIN)
int COLIN(char * self, int args) {
   return 8;

or the compiler option EXPORTALL for example


What has been exported?

When you bind (linkedit) your program, the binder and report the exported functions. You need the binder parameters XREF and DYNAM=DLL

This gave output like

IMPORT/EXPORT     TYPE    SYMBOL              DLL                 DDNAME   SEQ  MEMBER 
-------------     ------  ----------------    ----------------    -------- ---  --------- 
   IMPORT         CODE64  __a2e_l             CELQV003            CELQS003  01  CELQS003 
   IMPORT         CODE64  malloc              CELQV003            CELQS003  01  CELQS003 
   IMPORT         CODE64  CSQB3BAK            CSQBLB16            MQ        01  CSQBMQ2X 
   EXPORT         DATA64  ascii_tab 
   EXPORT         CODE64  printHex 
   EXPORT         CODE64  COLIN 

This shows the imported symbols, and where they came from, and what was exported.

  • ascii_tab is a table of data in 64 bit mode
  • printHex is a function in 64 bit mode
  • COLIN is a function in 64 bit mode.

How to use it.

You can use handle= dlopen(name,mode) to get the load module into storage, and functionPointer=dlsym(handle,”COLIN”) to locate the external symbol COLIN in the load module.

Why is a static function useful?

With Python external functions (written in C), it uses static functions to hide internals. For example

static PyObject * pymqe_MQCONN(
... )
static struct PyMethodDef pymqe_methods[] = { 
  {"MQCONN", (PyCFunction)pymqe_MQCONN,... }, 
  {"MQCONNX", (PyCFunction)pymqe_MQCONNX,... },

When the external function is imported, the initialisation routine returns the pymqe_methods data to Python.

Python now knows what functions the module provides (MQCONN, MQCONNX), and the C code to be executed when the function is executed.

This means that you cannot load the module, and accidentally try to use the function pymqe_MQCONN; which I thought was good defensive programming.

Python on z/OS using a load module (and .so from Unix Services)

As part of playing with Python on z/OS I found you can call a z/OS Unix Services load module ( a .so object) from Python. It can also use a load module in a PDSE.

What sort is it?

A load module on z/OS can be used on one of two ways.

  • Load it from steplib or PATH environment variable (which uses dllopen under the covers), call the function, and pass the parameters The parameters might be a byte string ( char * in C terms), a Unicode string, integer etc. You return one value, for example an integer return code.
  • As part of a package where you use the Python “import package” statement. This gets loaded from PYTHONPATH, the current directory, and other directories (but not steplib). The parameters passed in are Python Objects, and you have to use Python functions to extract the value. You can return a complex Python object, for example a character string, return code and reason code.

This article is on the first case.

In both cases, the values passed in are in ASCII. If you use printf to display data, the printf treats your data as ASCII.

There is a good article on Python ctypes , a foreign function library for Python.

My initial program was

int add_it(int i, int j)
   return i+j;

I compiled it with a bash script

cc -c -o add.o ${wc64} add.c
cc -o add -V -Wl,DYNAM=DLL,LP64 add.o 1>ax 2>bx

This created a load module object “add”. Note: You need the EXPORT to make the entry point(s) visible to callers.

My python program was

import ctypes
from ctypes.util import find_library
zzmqe = ctypes.CDLL(“add”)
print(“mql”, zzmqe.add_it(2,5))

When this ran it produced

mql 7

As expected. To be consistent with Unix platforms, the load module should be called, but “add” works.

Using strings is more complex

I changed the program (add2) to have strings as input

int add_one(char * a, char *b)
  printf("a %s\n",a);  
  printf("b %s\n",b);
  return 2 ;

and a Python program, passing a byte string.

import ctypes
from ctypes.util import find_library
zzmqe = ctypes.CDLL("add2")
print("mql", zzmqe.add_one(b'abc',b'aaa'))

This ran and gave output

-@abc–@aaa-mql 2

This shows that Python has converted the printf output ASCII to EBCDIC, and so the “a” and “b” in the printf statements are converted to strange characters, and the \n (new line) is treated as hex rather than a new line.

When I compiled the program with ASCII (-Wc…ASCII), the output from the Python program was

a abc
b aaa
mql 2

Displaying the data as expected.

Using a load module in a PDSE.


// DD *
int add_one(int i, int j)
return i+j;

// DD

In Unix services


The python program

import ctypes
from ctypes.util import find_library
zzmqe = ctypes.CDLL(“ADD3”)
print(“steplib”, zzmqe.add_one(2,5))

This gave

steplib 7

Byte string and character strings parameters

I set up a C program with a function COLIN

#pragma export(COLIN)
int COLIN(char * p1, int p2) { 
  printf(" p1 %4.4s\n",p1);
  printf(" p2 %i\n",p2);
  return 8;

This was compiled in Unix Services, and bound using JCL into a PDSE load library as member YYYYY.

I used a shell to invoke the Python script

export LIBPATH=/u/tmp/python/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r10/pyz/lib/:$LIBPATH

where the Python script was

import ctypes
testlib = ctypes.CDLL("YYYYY")
name =b'CSQ9'
i = 7
zz = testlib.COLIN(name,i)
print("return code",zz)

This displayed

p1 CSQ9
p2 7
return code 8

The name, a binary string CSQ9, was passed as a null terminated ASCII string (0x43535139 00).

When a string name = “CSQ9” was passed in, the data was in a Unicode string, hex values

00000043 00000053 00000051 00000039 00000000

You need to be sure to pass in the correct data (binary or Unicode), and be sure to handle the data in ASCII.

Is this how ‘import’ works?

This is different process to when a module is used via a Python import statement. If you passed in b’ABCD’ to a C extension which has been “imported” this would be passed as a Python Object, rather than the null terminated string 0x’4142434400′.

Python on z/OS advanced C extension

I found that to create a standard Python package with a C extension, the package has a very specific name – depending on the level of Python, the level of z/OS, the hardware the z/OS is running on. To be able to build a package for all levels of z/OS this would be a near impossible job; because I do not have access to every combination of z/OS hardware and software.

I’ve found a way to get round it. It took a few days to get it right, but it is pretty simple.

The standard way of packaging.

With the normal way of packaging the C executable module is stored deep in the Python tree, for example


The easy way of using it

You can copy this file, for example to my working directory. I copied it as

My Python program was

import pymqe
name = “CSQ9”
rv = pymqe.MQCONN(name)

This locates pymqe*.so in the current directory. It located; if I renamed it to it also worked.

You can put the .so object in the PYTHONPATH environment variable, and have it picked up from there.

When the file is imported, an initialisation routine is invoked which defines all of the Python entry points. You can see them using the dir(pymqe) statement. This gave me

[‘MQBACK’, ‘MQCLOSE’, ‘MQCMIT’, ‘MQCONN’, ‘MQCONNX’, ‘MQCRTMH’, ‘MQDISC’, ‘MQGET’, ‘MQINQ’, ‘MQINQMP’, ‘MQOPEN’, ‘MQPUT’, ‘MQPUT1′,’MQSET’, ‘MQSETMP’, ‘MQSUB’, ‘doc’, ‘file’, ‘loader’, ‘mqbuild’, ‘mqlevels’, ‘name’, ‘package’, ‘spec_ _’, ‘__version’, ‘pymqe.error’]

When the module is loaded Python looks for the entry name PyInit_… where … is the name of the module. For it looks for PyInit_pymqe. If you rename the module to and import mq, you get

ImportError: dynamic module does not define module export function (PyInit_mq)

The rv=pymqe.MQCONN invokes the MQ function which returns a handle, a return code and a reason code. For me it printed

rv (549309464, 0, 0)

So .. overall an easy solution.

I could find no way of using a load module from a PDSE, so it looks like the PYTHONPATH, or current directory is best for this.

Python on z/OS – creating a C extension

I enjoy using Python on Linux, because it is very powerful. I thought it would be interesting to port the MQ Python interface pymqi to z/OS. This exposed many of the challenges of running Python on z/OS.

I’ll cover some of the lessons I learned in doing this work. Thanks to Steve Pitman who helped me package the extension.

Creating files that would compile was a challenge.

See here.

Compiling files.

I copied the pymqi C code to z/OS Unix Services, and tried to compile it. This was a mistake, as it took me a long time to get the compile options right. I found that using the script was the right way to go.

My directory tree


This script needs export _C89_CCMODE=1, otherwise you get FSUM3008 message

Specify a file with the correct suffix (.c, .i, .s, .o, .x, .p, .I, or .a), or a corresponding data set name, instead of -L

import setuptools 
from distutils.core import setup, Extension 
import os 
import sysconfig 
# This script needs    export _C89_CCMODE=1 
# Otherwise you get FSUM3008  messages 
import os 
os.environ['_C89_CCMODE'] = '1' 
bindings_mode = 1 
version = '1.12.0' 
setup(name = 'pymqi', 
    version = version, 
    description = 'Python...', 
    platforms='OS Independent', 
    package_dir = {'': 'code'}, 
    packages = ['pymqi'],  
    py_modules = ['pymqi.CMQC', 'pymqi.CMQCFC', 'pymqi.CMQXC', 'pymqi.CMQZC'], 
    ext_modules = [Extension('pymqi.pymqe',['code/pymqi/pymqe.c'], define_macros=[('PYQMI_BINDINGS_MODE_BUILD', 
# I had extra_link_args=["-Wl,INFO,LIST,MAP",.... when setting 
# this up
# I used 
# extra_compile_args=["-Wc,LIST(c.lst),XREF"], 
# to get out a listing and cross reference.

Which says

  • The package name is packages = [‘pymqi’],
  • The Python files are py_modules = [‘pymqi.CMQC’….
  • There is an extension .. ext_modules=.. with the source program code/pymqi/pymqe.c
  • It needs “//’COLIN.MQ924.SCSQC370′” to compile and “//’COLIN.MQ924.SCSQDEFS.OBJ(CSQBMQ2X)'” at bind time. This file contains the MQ Binder input
  • When I wanted the binder output – “-Wl,INFO,LIST,MAP”. This goes to the terminal. I used a ‘>’ command to pipe the output of the python3 setup build it to a file.
  • and a C listing “-Wc,LIST(c.lst),XREF”. The listing goes to c.lst

You need

  • import setuptools so that the setup bdist_wheel packaging works. You also need the wheel package installed.


There is a buglet in the compile set up. You need to specify

export _C89_CCMODE=1

Without it you get

FSUM3008 Specify a file with the correct suffix (.c, .i, .s, .o, .x, .p, .I, or .a), or a corresponding data set name, instead of -obuild/lib.os390-27.00-1090-3.8/pymqi/

You also need the binder input in a data set with the correct suffix. For example .OBJ


If you do not have the correct suffix you get

FSUM3218 xlc: File //’COLIN.MQ924.SCSQDEFS(CSQBMQ2X)’ contains an incorrect file suffix.

Doing the compile and test install

I used a shell script to do the compiles and install

touch code/pymqi/*.c
rm a b c d
export _C89_CCMODE=1
#python3 clean
python3 build 1>a 2>b
python3 install 1>c 2>d

I captured the output from the jobs using 1>a etc because I could not see how to direct the binder output to a file. It comes out on the terminal – and there was a lot of it!.

Packaging the package

Python build which worked

I had to install wheel package. See How to install software in an isolated environment, or just use python3 -m pip install wheel if your z/OS image is connected to the network.

The command I used was

python3 -m pip install –user –no-cache-dir /u/tmp/py/wheel-0.37.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl-f /u/tmp/py/wheel-0.37.1-py2.py3-none

I had to add import setuptools to my file (at the top). (This converted the install package from a dist-utils to a setuptools packaging)

python3 bdist_wheel

This created a file “/u/pymqi/dist/pymqi-1.12.0-cp310-cp310-os390_27_00_1090.whl

This file is specific to python 3.10

For a wheel package, you’ll need to build it for all major versions and cannot just use one. Note that there were some issues in 3.8/3.9 with wheels that have been resolved in 3.10, so it’s recommended you to use 3.10.

Steven Pitman

This means you need to have multiple levels of Python installed, and build for each one!

This also has the operating system level (os390_27_00 – this may be constant across machines) and the hardware 1090. For this to work on other hardware, one solution would be to manually rename the file to pretend it is for a different machine, but this both not supported nor recommended, and has no guarantee to work. So it is hard to know the best thing to do. I do not have every 390 machine from IBM to do a build on !

Failing build. This built but did not install.

python3 bdist –format=tar

It built the package and create a file


This tar file is not completely readable by the z/OS tar command.

When I used tar -tf ….tar it gave

FSUMF371 Value 1641318408.0 is not valid for keyword mtime. Keyword not set.

It uses a Python tar command, not the operating system tar command.

You can display the contents using a Python program like

import tarfile
tar ="dist/pymqi-1.12.0.os390-27.00-1090.tar.gz")
# tar.extractall() 
for x in tar:

This gave output like

<TarInfo ‘.’ at 0x5008ad3880>
<TarInfo ‘./usr’ at 0x5008ad3dc0>
<TarInfo ‘./usr/lpp’ at 0x5008ad3a00>

Installing the package

From an authorised user in OMVS,

python3 -m pip install –no-cache-dir /u/pymqi/dist/pymqi-1.12.0-cp310-cp310-os390_27_00_1090.whl /u/pymqi/dist/pymqi-1.12.0-cp310-cp310-os390_27_00_1090.whl
Processing /u/pymqi/dist/pymqi-1.12.0-cp310-cp310-os390_27_00_1090.whl
Installing collected packages: pymqi
Successfully installed pymqi-1.12.0

If you do not use –no-cache-dir, you may get

-[33]WARNING: The directory ‘/u/.cache/pip’ or its parent directory is not owned or is not writable by the current user. The cache has been disabled. Check the permissions and owner of that directory. If executing pip with sudo, you should use sudo’s -H flag.-[0]

The compile options

The following text is the compile and bind options used for my code. Some of the options are pymqi specific.

/bin/xlc -DNDEBUG -O3 -qarch=10 -qlanglvl=extc99 -q64
-qexportall -qascii -qstrict -qnocsect
-Wa,asa,goff -Wa,xplink
-qgonumber -qenum=int
-c code/pymqi/cpmqe.c
-o build/temp.os390-27.00-1090-3.10/code/pymqi/cpmqe.o

/bin/xlc build/temp.os390-27.00-1090-3.10/code/pymqi/cpmqe.o -L.
-o build/lib.os390-27.00-1090-3.10/pymqi/ -Wl,INFO,LIST,MAP,DLL //’COLIN.MQ924.SCSQDEFS.OBJ(CSQBMQ2X)’

Messages when using python on z/OS

This post gives some of the error messages I received, and the actions I took to resolve the problems.

FSUM3008 Specify a file with the correct suffix (.c, .i, .s, .o, .x, .p, .I, or .a), or a corresponding data set name, instead of -o ….

I got this during a Python C extension build. You need

export _C89_CCMODE=1
export _C99_CCMODE=1
export _Ccc_CCMODE=1
export _CC_CCMODE=1
export _CXX_CCMODE=1
export _C89_CCMODE=1
export _CC_EXTRA_ARGS=1
export _CXX_EXTRA_ARGS=1
export _C89_EXTRA_ARGS=1

Before doing any builds.

Python builds

DeprecationWarning: The distutils package is deprecated and slated for removal in Python 3.12. Use setuptools or check PEP 632 for potential alternatives.

Easy fix which no one tells you about (it took me 3 days to find this). Add

import setuptools

to the top of the file.

COLIN:/u/pymqi: >python3 -m build
No module named build.main; ‘build’ is a package and cannot be directly executed

You have a build directory in your project

then install it

python3 bdist_wheel … error: invalid command ‘bdist_wheel’

I needed “import setuptools” at the top of the file. I also needed wheel to be installed.

CEE3501S The module was not found.

I was trying to do

import ctypes
from ctypes.util import find_library
testlib = ctypes.CDLL(“… “)

This file was in /u/tmp/python/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r10/pyz/lib/

You need

export LIBPATH=/u/tmp/python/usr/lpp/IBM/cyp/v3r10/pyz/lib/:$LIBPATH

python3 ….

CEE3587S A call was made to a function in the AMODE 31 DLL //ADD2 from an AMODE 64 caller.

I was trying to call a C program from Python – but i was built with 31 bit mode – not 64 bit mode.

You need to compile it with LP64, and bind in 64 bit mode, and use //BIND.SYSLIB DD DISP=SHR,DSN=CEE.SCEEBND2

ImportError: CEE3512S An HFS load of module /u/tmp/py/ failed. The system return code was 0000000130; the reason code was 0BDF0

I had a bind error. When I fixed it – it worked.

The IBM documentation says

A package shared library may get tagged incorrectly when using the xlc utility. Verify that the shared library is untagged by running the following line:

ls -alT

If the file is tagged, with the output being similar to the following line:

t ISO8859-1 T=on

you can remove the tag with the following command:

chtag -r <>

ERROR: Could not install packages due to an EnvironmentError: Erno 111 EDC5111I Permission denied.: ‘/u/.local’
Check the permissions.

I was trying to install a package using

python3 -m pip install /tmp/… .whl /tmp/… whl –no-cache-dir

It defaults to storing things in /u/.local. I needed


Before running the command.

Python on z/OS coding a C extension.

I was porting the pymqi code, which provides a Python interface to IBM MQ, to z/OS.

I’ve documented getting the code to build. I also had challenges trying to use it.

The code runs as ASCII!

When my C extension was built, it gets built with the ASCII option. This means any character constants are in ASCII not, EBCDIC.

My python program had

import sys
import pymqi
queue_manager = ‘AB12’
qmgr = pymqi.connect(queue_manager)

When my C code got to see the AB12 value, it was in ASCII. When the code tried to connect to the queue manager, it return with name error. This was because the value was in ASCII, and the C code expected EBCDIC.

You can take see if the program has been compiled with the ASCII flag using

#ifdef __CHARSET_LIB

… It is has been compiled with option ASCII

If you use printf to display the queue manager name it will print AB12. If you display it in hex you will be 41423132 where A is x41, B is x42, 1 is x31 is 2 is x32.

In your C program you can convert this using the c function a2e with length option, for example

char EQMName[4];

// then use &EQMName

Converting from ASCII to EBCDIC in Python.

Within Python you have strings stored as Unicode, and byte data. If you have a byte array with x41423132 (the ASCII equivalent to AB12). You can get this in the EBCDIC format using

a=b’41423132′ # this is the byte array
m = a.decode(“ascii”) # this creates a character string
e = m.encode(‘cp500’) # this create the new byte array of the EBCDIC version .. or xC1C2F1F2

In Python you convert from a dictionary of fields into a “control block” using the pack function. You can use the “e” value above in this.
MQ control blocks have a 4 character eye catcher at the front eg “OD “. If you use the pack function and pass “OD ” you will pass the ASCII version. You will need to do the decode(‘ascii’) encode(‘CP500’) to create the EBCDIC version.

Similarly passing an object such as MQ queue name, will need to be converted to the EBCDIC version.

Converting from EBCDIC to ASCII

If you want to return character data from your C program to Python, you will need to the opposite.

For example m is a byte array retuned back from the load module.

#v is has the value b’C1C2F2F3′ (AB23)
m = v.decode(“cp500”)
a = m.encode(‘ascii’)

# a now has b’41423132′ which is the ascii equivilant