Zowe CLI
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Zowe CLI

Zowe CLI is a command-line interface that lets application developers interact with the mainframe in a familiar format. Zowe CLI helps to increase overall productivity, reduce the learning curve for developing mainframe applications, and exploit the ease-of-use of off-platform tools. Zowe CLI lets application developers use common tools such as Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), shell commands, bash scripts, and build tools for mainframe development. It provides a set of utilities and services for application developers that want to become efficient in supporting and building z/OS applications quickly.



For more information about how to install, configure, and use Zowe CLI, see Zowe CLI Documentation. The documentation also includes examples and tutorials for how to contribute to Zowe CLI and develop CLI plug-ins.

After you install the Zowe CLI package, navigate to the local node_modules directory that contains the installed package and access the docs directory. The docs directory contains the markdown files from this repo as well as an auto-generated typescript documentation page under the docs/typedoc directory.

Note: Some links in the auto-generated typescript documentation are not functional at this time.

Contribution Guidelines

The following information is critical to working with the code, running/writing/maintaining automated tests, developing consistent syntax in your plug-in, and ensuring that your plug-in integrates with Zowe CLI properly:

For more information about ... See:
General guidelines that apply to contributing to Zowe CLI and Plug-ins Contribution Guidelines
Conventions and best practices for creating packages and plug-ins for Zowe CLI Package and Plug-in Guidelines
Guidelines for running tests on Zowe CLI Testing Guidelines
Guidelines for running tests on the plug-ins that you build Plug-in Testing Guidelines
Documentation that describes the features of the Imperative CLI Framework About Imperative CLI Framework
Versioning conventions for Zowe CLI and Plug-ins Versioning Guidelines

Tip: Visit our Sample Plug-in repository for example plug-in code. You can follow developer tutorials here.

Build Zowe CLI from Source

The first time that you download Zowe CLI from the GitHub repository, issue the following commands to install the required Zowe CLI dependencies and several development tools:

npm config set @brightside:registry https://api.bintray.com/npm/ca/brightside
npm install --registry https://registry.npmjs.org

Note: When necessary, you can run the npm install --registry https://registry.npmjs.org command again to update dependencies that were changed in package.json.

If you have credentials to connect to gizaartifactory.jfrog.io, you can issue npm install without the --registry option.

Note: If you see npm ERR! code E401 during execution of npm install you need to issue npm login and provide username, password and email address to connect to gizaartifactory.jfrog.io.

Example of E401 message

  npm install
  npm ERR! code E401
  npm ERR! 404 401 Unauthorized: js-yaml@3.9.0

  npm ERR! A complete log of this run can be found in:
  npm ERR!     xxxx\npm-cache\_logs\2018-09-20T12_53_07_651Z-debug.log

To build your code changes, issue the following command:

npm run build

When you update package.json to include new dependencies, or when you pull changes that affect package.json, issue the npm update command to download the dependencies.

Install Zowe CLI from Source

From your copy of this repository, after a build, issue the following command to install Zowe CLI from source:

npm install -g


  • Depending on how you configured npm on Linux or Mac, you might need to refix the npm install -g command or the npm uninstall -g command with sudo to let npm have write access to the installation directory.
  • On Windows, the npm install -g command might fail several times due to an EPERM error. This appears to be a bug that npm documented in their GitHub issues. This behaviour does not appear to be specific to installing the Zowe CLI package. Unfortunately, the only solution that we know of is to issue the npm cache clean command and the npm install -g command repeatedly until it works.

Uninstall Zowe CLI

From your local copy of this repository, issue the following command to uninstall Zowe CLI:

npm uninstall --global @brightside/core

Configure Zowe CLI

Zowe CLI configuration is made up of different profiles. The profiles contain the information that Zowe CLI needs to communicate with the mainframe system. For example, credentials and z/OSMF host name. If you try to use Zowe CLI functionality and you get an error message that Zowe CLI failed to load any profiles, see the zowe profiles create --help command for the group of commands that you are trying to use (if any) to initialize your configuration.

The most fundamental Zowe CLI profile is a zosmf profile. Issue the following command to understand how to create a zosmf profile in Zowe CLI:

zowe profiles create zosmf-profile --help

After you create your profile, you can confirm that the properties of your profile can connect to and communicate with your mainframe system sucessfully by issuing the following command:

zowe zosmf check status

Tip: When you confirm that your profile connects to and communicates with your mainframe system successfully, you can issue the same command at any time to verify the availability and status of the z/OSMF subsystem on your mainframe.

Run System Tests

In addition to Node.js, you must have a means to execute .sh (bash) scripts, which are required for running integration tests. On Windows, you can install "Git Bash" (bundled with the standard Git installation - check "Use Git and Unix Tools from Windows Command Prompt" installation option).

After downloading/installing the prerequisites, ensure that you can execute the following commands and receive success responses:

  1. node --version
  2. npm --version
  3. On Windows: where sh

To run Zowe CLI system tests, you need a configured properties file with proper system information present.

A dummy properties file is present in the __tests__/__resources__/properties folder, default_properties.yaml. Using this file as a template, you should create a custom_properties.yaml file within the same directory. Git is configured to ignore all properties files in the properties folder, except for the default_properties.yaml file.

Important! Do not check in configured properties files because they contain security principles and other critical information.

You can run the system tests by issuing the following command:

npm run test:system

If the custom_properties.yaml file cannot be found or loaded, an error with relevant details is thrown.