Skip to main content
Version: v2.3.x LTS

Initializing the z/OS system

Initializing the z/OS system

After you install the Zowe runtime, you must initialize Zowe with proper security configurations and complete some configurations before you can start it. To do this, you run the zwe init command. This step is common for installing and configuring Zowe from either a convenience build or from an SMP/E build.

About the zwe init command#

The zwe init command is a combination of the following subcommands. Each subcommand defines a configuration.

  • mvs: Copy the data sets provided with Zowe to custom data sets.
  • security: Create the user IDs and security manager settings.
  • apfauth: APF authorize the LOADLIB containing the modules that need to perform z/OS privileged security calls.
  • certificate: Configure Zowe to use TLS certificates.
  • vsam: Configure the VSAM files needed to run the Zowe caching service used for high availability (HA)
  • stc: Configure the system to launch the Zowe started task.

You can type zwe init --help to learn more about the command or see the zwe init command reference for detailed explanation, examples, and parameters.

zwe init command requires a Zowe configuration file to proceed. This configuration file instructs how Zowe should be initialized. You must create and review this file before proceeding. If you don't have the file already, you can copy from example-zowe.yaml located in the Zowe runtime directory.


The following zwe init arguments might be useful:

  • The --update-config argument allows the init process to update your configuration file based on automatic detection and your zowe.setup settings. For example, if java.home and node.home are not defined, they can be updated based on the information that is collected on the system. The zowe.certificate section can also be updated automatically based on your zowe.setup.certificate settings.
  • The --allow-overwrite argument allows you to rerun the zwe init command repeatedly regardless of whether some data sets are already created.
  • The -v or --verbose argument provides execution details of the zwe command. You can use it for troubleshooting purposes if the error message is not clear enough.
  • The -vv or --trace argument provides you more execution details than the --verbose mode for troubleshooting purposes.


To initialize the z/OS system and permissions that Zowe requires, run the following command.

zwe init --config /path/to/zowe.yaml

Next steps#

The zwe init command runs the subcommands in sequence automatically. If you have successfully ran the above command, you can move on to start Zowe.

You can choose to run the subcommands one by one to define each step based on your need, or if you encounter some failures with zwe init command, you can pick up the failed subcommands step specifically and rerun it.

  1. Prepare custom MVS data sets. Copy the data sets provided with Zowe to custom data sets.

  2. Initialize Zowe security configurations. Create the user IDs and security manager settings.

    If Zowe has already been launched on a z/OS system from a previous release of Zowe v2, you can skip this security configuration step unless told otherwise in the release documentation.

  3. APF authorize load libraries containing the modules that need to perform z/OS privileged security calls..

  4. Configure Zowe to use TLS certificates.

  5. (Required only if you are configuring Zowe for cross LPAR sysplex high availability): Create the VSAM data sets used by the Zowe API Mediation Layer caching service.

  6. Install Zowe main started tasks.

To learn how to run the zwe init command step by step, type zwe init <sub-command> --help. For example, zwe init stc --help.