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

System requirements

System requirements

Before installing Zowe™ z/OS components, ensure that your z/OS environment meets the prerequisites. The prerequisites you need to install depend on what Zowe z/OS components you want to use and how you want to install and configure Zowe on z/OS. Therefore, assess your installation scenario and install the prerequisites that meet your needs.

All Zowe server components can be installed on a z/OS environment, while some can alternatively be installed on Linux or zLinux via Docker. The components provide a number of services that are accessed through a web browser such as an API catalog and a web desktop.

z/OS system requirements#

Be sure your z/OS system meets the following prerequisites.


  • z/OS version in active support, such as Version 2.3 and Version 2.4

    Note: z/OS V2.2 reached end of support on 30 September 2020. For more information, see the z/OS v2.2 lifecycle details

  • zFS volume with at least 833 mb of free space for Zowe server components, their keystore, instance configuration files and logs, and third-party plug-ins.

  • (Optional, recommended) z/OS OpenSSH V2.2.0 or later

    Some features of Zowe require SSH, such as the Desktop's SSH terminal. Or, you want to install and manage Zowe via SSH, as an alternative to OMVS over TN3270.

  • (Optional, recommended) Parallel Sysplex.

    To deploy Zowe for high availability, a Parallel Sysplex environment is recommended. Please check Configuring Sysplex for high availability for more information.


  • Node.js v14.x (except v14.17.2) or v16.x

    Node is not included with z/OS so must be installed separately. To install Node.js on z/OS, follow the instructions in Installing Node.js on z/OS.

    Note: If you are a software vendor building extensions for Zowe, when using Node.js v14.x or later, it is highly recommended that plug-ins used are tagged. For more information, see Tagging on z/OS.


  • IBM SDK for Java Technology Edition V8

z/OSMF (Optional)#

  • (Optional, recommended) IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) Version 2.2, Version 2.3 or Version 2.4.

    z/OSMF is included with z/OS so does not need to be separately installed. If z/OSMF is present, Zowe will detect this when it is configured and use z/OSMF for the following purposes:

    • Authenticating TSO users and generating a single sign-on JSON Web Token (JWT). Ensure that the z/OSMF JWT Support is available via APAR and associated PTFs. If z/OSMF is not available, then Zowe is still able to provide SSO by generating its own JWT and making direct SAF calls.

    • REST API services for Files (Data Sets and USS), JES, and z/OSMF workflows. These are used by some Zowe applications such as the Zowe Explorers in the Zowe Desktop. If z/OSMF REST APIs are not present, other Zowe desktop application, such as the File Editor that provides access to USS directories and files as well as MVS data sets and members, will work through the Zowe Z Secure Services (ZSS) component to access z/OS resources.


    • For non-production use of Zowe (such as development, proof-of-concept, demo), you can customize the configuration of z/OSMF to create what is known as "z/OS MF Lite" that simplifies the setup of z/OSMF. As z/OS MF Lite only supports selected REST services (JES, DataSet/File, TSO and Workflow), you will observe considerable improvements in startup time as well as a reduction in the efforts involved in setting up z/OSMF. For information about how to set up z/OSMF Lite, see Configuring z/OSMF Lite (non-production environment).
    • For production use of Zowe, see Configuring z/OSMF.

User ID requirements#

Specific user IDs with sufficient permissions are required to run or access Zowe.


This is a started task ID for ZWESLSTC.

The task starts a USS environment using BPXBATSL that executes the core Zowe Desktop (ZLUX) node.js server, the Java API Mediation Layer, and the Z Secure Services C component. To work with USS, the user ID ZWESVUSR must have a valid OMVS segment.

CSFSERVMultipleREADTo generate symmetric keys using ICSF that is used by Zowe Desktop cookies. The list of IDs to enable will include CSF1TRD , CSF1TRC , CSF1SKE , CSF1SKD. The full list of IDs is described in the z/OS Cryptographic Services user guide for your z/OS release level: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5.
FACILITYZWES.ISREADTo allow Zowe ZWESVSTC processes to access the Zowe ZIS cross memory server
FACILITYBPX.SERVER + BPX.DAEMONUPDATETo allow the Zowe Desktop ZLUX server to run code on behalf of the API requester's TSO user ID. For more information, see Security Environment Switching.
FACILITYIRR.RUSERMAPREADTo allow Zowe to map an X.509 client certificate to a z/OS identity
FACILITYBPX.JOBNAMEREADTo allow z/OS address spaces for unix processes to be renamed for ease of identification
FACILITYIRR.RADMIN.LISTUSERREADTo allow Zowe to obtain information about OMVS segment of the user profile using LISTUSER TSO command
APPL'OMVSAPPL'READOptional To allow Zowe Desktop vendor extensions the ability to use single-sign on.


This is a started task ID used to run the PROCLIB ZWESISTC that launches the cross memory server (also known as ZIS). It must have a valid OMVS segment.


This is a group that ZWESVUSR and ZWESIUSR should belong to. It must have a valid OMVS segment.


If z/OSMF is used for authentication and serving REST APIs for Zowe CLI and Zowe Explorer users, the TSO user ID for end users must belong to one or both of the groups IZUUSER or IZUADMIN.

Network requirements#

The following ports are required for Zowe. These are default values. You can change the values by updating variable values in the zowe.yaml file.

Port numberzowe.yaml variable namePurpose
7552zowe.components.api-catalog.portUsed to view API swagger / openAPI specifications for registered API services in the API Catalog.
7553zowe.components.api-catalog.portDiscovery server port which dynamic API services can issue APIs to register or unregister themselves.
7554zowe.components.gateway.portThe northbound edge of the API Gateway used to accept client requests before routing them to registered API services. This port must be exposed outside the z/OS network so clients (web browsers, VS Code, processes running the Zowe CLI) can reach the gateway.
7555zowe.components.caching-service.portPort of the caching service that is used to share state between different Zowe instances in a high availability topology. Zowe Desktop (also known as ZLUX) port used to log in through web browsers.
7557zowe.components.zss.portZ Secure Services (ZSS) provides REST API services to ZLUX, used by the File Editor application and other ZLUX applications in the Zowe Desktop. of the service that provides REST APIs to z/OS jobs used by the JES Explorer.
7559zowe.components.files-api.portPort of the service that provides REST APIs to MVS and USS file systems.
zowe.components.explorer-jesPort of the JES Explorer GUI for viewing and working with jobs in the Zowe Desktop.
zowe.components.explorer-mvsPort of the MVS Explorer GUI for working with data sets in the Zowe Desktop.
zowe.components.explorer-ussPort of the USS Explorer GUI for working with USS in the Zowe Desktop.

Zowe Containers requirements#

Zowe (server) containers are available for download as an alternative to running Zowe servers on z/OS through the Zowe convenience and SMP/E builds Check Zowe Containers Prerequisites page for more details.

Zowe Desktop requirements (client PC)#

The Zowe Desktop is powered by the Application Framework which has server prereqs depending on where it is installed

The Zowe Desktop runs inside of a browser. No browser extensions or plugins are required. The Zowe Desktop supports Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge releases that are at most 1 year old, except when the newest release is older. For Firefox, both the regular and Extended Support Release (ESR) versions are supported under this rule.

Currently, the following browsers are supported:

  • Google Chrome V79 or later
  • Mozilla Firefox V68 or later
  • Safari V13 or later
  • Microsoft Edge 79

If you do not see your browser listed here, please contact the Zowe community so that it can be validated and included.

Feature requirements#

Zowe has several optional features that have additional prerequisites as follows.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)#

Multi-factor authentication is supported for several components, such as the Desktop and API Mediation Layer. Multi-factor authentication is provided by third-party products which Zowe is compatible with. The following are known to work:

Note: To support the multi-factor authentication, it is necessary to apply z/OSMF APAR PH39582.

For information on using MFA in Zowe, see Multi-Factor Authentication.

Note: MFA must work with Single sign-on (SSO). Make sure that SSO is configured before you use MFA in Zowe.

Single Sign-On (SSO)#

Zowe has an SSO scheme with the goal that each time you use multiple Zowe components you should only be prompted to login once.


  • IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF)

Memory requirements#

Zowe API ML components have following memory requiremets:

Component nameMemory usage
Gateway service256MB
Discovery service256MB
API Catalog512MB
Metrics service512MB
Caching service512MB