Errors and Messages

How can I test if an Ansible or z/OS module is able to reach the target (host)?

You can test if a collection is installed and is working correctly by executing the command illustrated in the example below. Ensure that you change the host name to your remote z/OS host, as well as the user and Python binary path.


The following example illustrates testing the installation of the z/OS core collection.

ansible all \
-i '<zos-host-name>,' \
-c 'ibm.ibm_zos_core.zos_ssh' \
-u 'user-name' \
-m 'ibm.ibm_zos_core.zos_ping' \
-e 'ansible_python_interpreter=/path/to/zos/python/binary'

The above command executes the zos_ping module against your remote z/OS host. If the command succeeds and returns the following output, the collection was installed correctly.

<zos-host-name> | SUCCESS => {
    "changed": false,
    "ping": "pong"

Which modules are affected when using askpass instead of SSH authentication?

Data transfer modules such as zos_copy and zos_fetch depend on the authenticated SSH connection from the control node to the managed node. When using these modules, ensure that the connection from the controller to the managed node is authenticated using an SSH key. Both zos_copy and zos_fetch modules do not support Ansible ad-hoc --ask-pass.

Does a user running Ansible on USS need to have any special privileges?

Whether special user privileges are required would depend on the type of task Ansible is performing on the remote host. For instance, accessing or changing system resources with insufficient access permissions, would require elevated privileges.

If a task requires root privileges on USS, you can execute the it with the become: yes parameter. Alternatively, if you want to execute a task as a particular user, you can use become_user: <user_name> parameter.

What causes the error: “unsupported parameter”? How do I fix it?

This tends to happen when you are specifying a parameter to a module that it doesn’t support or is deprecated. Update your collection to the latest version and review the collection requirements in the release notes to make sure you are using the latest version of the modules and carefully examine the module documentation to understand what parameters it supports.

When using IBM Python, why do I get this error?

UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf-8' codec can't decode byte in position 0: invalid continuation byte"

The most likely cause of this error is that you have not properly set up your environment variables for your managed node. Refer to the following configuration guide to understand which environment variables need to be defined.

What causes this error during the playbook execution? How do I fix it?

EDC5129I No such file or directory.: b'mvscmdauth'", "rc": 129

mvscmdauth is a ZOAU shell utility. This error tends to happen when ZOAU installation is not added to the system PATH. Modify your host variables and add the bin directory of the ZOAU installation. for example, if ZOAU was installed in /usr/lpp/IBM/zoau, you should add /usr/lpp/IBM/zoau/bin to PATH.

Why do I get this error during the playbook execution ?

IOError: [Errno 21] Is a directory: u'/tmp/xxx'

It is likely that the /tmp directory of the managed node is full and cannot store any more data. Clear the /tmp directory and re-run the playbook.

Why do I get this warning during the playbook execution ?

[WARNING]: Python Warning: Incorrect Python Found

It is likely that you are using an older version of the collection which was supported by the Rocket Python distribution. Verify that you have installed IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python on your z/OS managed node and upgrade to the latest version of the collection. To learn more about how to upgrade the collection, see our installation doc or the sample repository doc.


By default the ansible-galaxy install command installs the latest collection.

Why do I get this error during the playbook execution ?

Internal Error: Unable to find message file for command: mvscmdmsg

mvscmdmsg is a ZOAU utility. Generally, this issue appears when the environment variables are configured incorrectly. Refer to the configuration guide documentation to understand how to properly configure these variables.

Why does my managed z/OS system pre-login prompt cause the zos_copy and zos_fetch modules to fail?

By default, SFTP redirects pre-login prompts to system stderr, which zos_copy interprets as a failure. You can bypass this behavior and ignore stderr content by setting ignore_sftp_stderr parameter of zos_copy to true.

Troubleshooting Collections

If I run into a problem when using an Ansible collection for IBM Z, how should I seek support?

  • For issues related to the Ansible collections, raise a GitHub issue against the appropriate collection repository:

  • If you encounter a specific CICS server-related issue, raise a case against the CICS team as you would normally do with other CICS products.

    • For CICS collection-related issues, gather the CICS MustGather data before contacting the support team.