Ansible Core 1.4.0 has been in the making for some time and is finally being released into Galaxy and Automation Hub. This release brings a new module, zos_mount that can manage mount operations for a z/OS UNIX System Services file system as well as many other enhancements and some deprecations which we will discuss in more detail.

SSH interaction

Modules zos_copy and zos_fetch were enhanced to inherit options configured for the connection plugin ansible.builtin.ssh which is usually managed with ansible.cfg. For example, you may want to override the default time for SSH option ControlPersist such that it persists for 120 seconds; now those changes are propagated to the collection which is also why the module option sftp_port has been deprecated because it can be configured using the Ansible option port.


Significant redesign

zos_copy has been redesigned to allow for data sets to be defined using option dest_data_set which follows our precedence rules that control the order in which the destination data is written. Since zos_data_set and zos_copy are two of the most frequently used modules, we decided to enhance zos_copy so that with few more lines of code, you can also create data sets to copy data from within the zos_copy module.

Precedence rules

The next major change is the introduction of our precedence rules which define how zos_copy will write to a destination. For example, if dest_data_set is defined, it takes precedence over an empty data set because a conscious effort was made to set the option values. If the destination data set is empty, it will be used with the expectation the attributes support the copy. Lastly, if no precedent rule has been exercised and the source is a data set, the module will create the destination data set using the source data set attributes. If the source is a UNIX file, the data set will be created with a Fixed Block (FB) record format and the remaining attributes will be computed. There are many more enhancements such as aligning zos_copy behaviors to the community module, but those will be discussed in a future blog that will dive deeper into the modules architecture.



Module zos_job_output was enhanced to include the completion code (CC) for each individual job step which is helpful in identifying which step might be resulting in a job failure. Additional updates were made that improve the result when a ddname is specified and some cases that triggered the job’s content to be truncated.

zos_job_query was enhanced to support up to a 7 digit job number ID , for example, job ID J1234567 as well as JOB12345 are both supported. This is helpful for when there are greater than 99,999 jobs in the job history.

In an effort to improve job submission when using zos_job_submit, it was enhanced to to fail fast over waiting the entire wait_time_s a user has set. Additionally, other logic was added to scan for job submission failures in order to return a proper response. For example, if the JCL contained a syntax error, the module will be looking for keywords such as JCL ERROR to properly fail and deliver an appropriate message.

zos_operator was enhanced to allow using the MVS operator SET command where in the past only the abbreviated equivalent T could be used. As well, zos_ping was enhanced so it does not use the now deprecated zos_ssh connection plugin.


Along with the updates and enhancements there are some deprecated functions to note. If you are using zos_copy or zos_fetch option sftp_port, it has been deprecated and will be removed in the next release. Instead, you should use the port option available in ansible.builtin.ssh. zos_copy module option model_ds has been removed because the modules redesign made this option no longer necessary. If you were using the zos_copy module from 1.4.0-beta.1 option dest_dataset it has been renamed to dest_data_set. Lastly, if you were using the zos_ssh plugin it has been removed so you must remove it from any playbooks using Ansible z/OS core 1.4.0 or later.



In this release, the dependencies changed in that now IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python version 3.9.x is the minimum Python level and IBM Z Open Automation Utilities remains the same with version 1.1.x.

In closing, there are many more changes that were not discussed, thus I encourage you to review the release notes, changelog and updated documentation.

Resources IBM Ansible Core Version 1.4.0 on Galaxy IBM Ansible Core Collection Repository on GitHub IBM Ansible Core Collection on Automation Hub Red Hat® Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z documentation