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GUI FTP Clients Not Properly Handling PDS/E Data Sets

Technote (troubleshooting)


When using a workstation FTP client that provides a graphical user interface (GUI), it normally recognizes z/OS FTP servers and expands displays of partitioned data sets (PDS, DSORG PO) to show the individual members. However, if the data set uses the extended format (PDS/E, DSORG PO-E), the client does not provide the same functions.


These results will vary depending on the client being used. Typically it will not expand a PDS/E data set to list the members. Also any attempts to perform transfers involving this data set will end with an error.


APAR PM19545 added the capability for a directory listing to distinguish between a PDS and a PDS/E in the DSORG column of the output. If that option is enabled (with a LISTLEVEL 1 statement in the server's FTP.DATA configuration input), the client program might not recognize the new response (PO-E instead of PO).

Diagnosing the problem

You can use one of the following methods to verify whether the LISTLEVEL option has been enabled:

  • If the client supports sending an arbitrary command, issue a STAT (LISTLEVEL command. The following response indicates that the LISTLEVEL option has been enabled; any other response indicates that the old behavior (listing PO for both PDS and PDS/E) is used.
       211-Server site variable LISTLEVEL is set to 1
       211 *** end of status ***
  • Use a line-mode FTP command to access the server. Issuing a DIR command for a data set name qualifier that includes a PDS/E data set will show PO-E in the DSORG column (just before the unqualified name).

    You can also issue the STAT (LISTLEVEL command as shown above. Note that some clients (such as the one that comes with Microsoft ® Windows systems) will require prefixing this command with the QUOTE keyword.

Resolving the problem

Contact the client software vendor to request a change to recognize PO-E and treat it the same as it would a PO data set. Pending that update, there are two options available:

  • If the client software supports sending an arbitrary command to the server, issue a SITE LISTLEVEL=0 command to reset the option for this session (might require prefixing with the QUOTE command). Then refresh the data set list.
  • Contact the server's administrator to change the configuration to set LISTLEVEL 0 or remove the statement to let it default. Those users who want the distinction for their processes can issue a SITE LISTLEVEL=1 command for their sessions.

    An alternative is to have two FTP servers running on the system, one with LISTLEVEL 0 configured and the other with LISTLEVEL 1. The servers can be distinguished by their listening port or by having one associated with a specific IP address (using the BIND keyword on the PORT statement for that started task). Users can then select which server to specify, depending on the behavior they want.

Document information

More support for: z/OS Communications Server

Software version: 1.10, 1.11, 1.12, 1.13, 2.1, 2.2

Operating system(s): z/OS

Reference #: 1468733

Modified date: 2013-01-04