Zowe CLI quick start

Last Updated: 5/23/2019, 7:52:32 PM

Zowe CLI quick start

Get started with Zowe CLI quickly and easily.

Note: This section assumes some prerequisite knowledge of command-line tools and writing scripts. If you prefer more detailed instructions, see Installing Zowe CLI.


Before you install Zowe CLI, download and install Node.js and npm.

Installing Zowe CLI core

npm config set @brightside:registry https://api.bintray.com/npm/ca/brightside
npm install @brightside/core@lts-incremental -g

Installing CLI plug-ins

zowe plugins install @brightside/cics@lts-incremental

The command installs the IBM CICS plug-in, but the IBM Db2 plug-in requires additional configuration to install.

For a list of available plug-ins, see Extending Zowe CLI.

Where can I use the CLI?

Usage Scenario Example
Interactive use, in a command prompt or bash terminal. Perform one-off tasks such as submitting a batch job.
Interactive use, in an IDE terminal Download a data set, make local changes in your editor, then upload the changed dataset back to the mainframe.
Scripting, to simplify repetitive tasks Write a shell script that submits a job, waits for the job to complete, then returns the output.
Scripting, for use in automated pipelines Add a script to your Jenkins (or other automation tool) pipeline to move artifacts from a mainframe development system to a test system.

Issuing your first commands

Issue zowe --help to display full command help. Append --help (alias -h) to any command to see available command actions and options.

To interact with the mainframe, type zowe followed by a command group, action, and object. Use options to specify your connection details such as password and system name.

Listing all data sets under a high-level qualifier (HLQ)

zowe zos-files list data-set "MY.DATASET.*" --host my.company.com --port 123 --user myusername123 --pass mypassword123

Downloading a partitioned data-set (PDS) member to local file

zowe zos-files download data-set "MY.DATA.SET(member)" -f "mylocalfile.txt" --host my.company.com --port 123 --user myusername123 --pass mypassword123

See Command Groups for a list of available functionality.

Using profiles

Zowe profiles let you store configuration details such as username, password, host, and port for a mainframe system. Switch between profiles to quickly target different subsystems and avoid typing connection details on every command.

Profile types

Most command groups require a zosmf-profile, but some plug-ins add their own profile types. For example, the CICS plug-in has a cics-profile. The profile type that a command requires is defined in the PROFILE OPTIONS section of the help response.

Tip: The first zosmf profile that you create becomes your default profile. If you don't specify any options on a command, the default profile is used. Issue zowe profiles -h to learn about listing profiles and setting defaults.

Creating a zosmf profile

zowe profiles create zosmf-profile myprofile123 --host my.company.com --port 123 --user myusername123 --password mypassword123

Note: The port defaults to 443 if you omit the --port option. Specify a different port if your host system does not use port 443.

Using a zosmf profile

zowe zos-files download data-set "MY.DATA.SET(member)" -f "mylocalfile.txt" --zosmf-profile myprofile123

For detailed information about issuing commands, using profiles, and storing variables as environment variables, see Defining Zowe CLI connection details.

Writing scripts

You can write Zowe CLI scripts to streamline your daily development processes or conduct mainframe actions from an off-platform automation tool such as Jenkins or TravisCI.


You want to delete a list of temporary datasets. Use Zowe CLI to download the list, loop through the list, and delete each data set using the zowe zos-files delete command.


set -e

# Obtain the list of temporary project data sets 
dslist=$(zowe zos-files list dataset "my.project.ds*")

# Delete each data set in the list
for ds in $dslist
     echo "Deleting Temporary Project Dataset: $ds"
     zowe files delete ds "$ds" -f

For more information, see Writing scripts to automate mainframe actions.

Next Steps

You successfully installed Zowe CLI, issued your first commands, and wrote a simple script! Next, you might want to: