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Version: v1.11.x LTS

Zowe Explorer Extension for VSCode

Zowe Explorer Extension for VSCode

The Zowe Explorer extension for Visual Studio Code (VSCode) lets you interact with data sets, USS files and jobs that are stored on z/OS mainframe. Install the extension directly to VSCode to enable the extension within the GUI. For some users, working with data sets and USS files from VSC can be more convenient than using 3270 emulators, and complements your Zowe CLI experience.

Note: The primary documentation for the Zowe Explorer is available on the Visual Studio Code Marketplace. This article is a high-level overview of the extension.


As a developer, you can use Zowe Explorer to perform the following tasks.

  • View, rename, copy, and filter mainframe data sets, USS files, and jobs.
  • Create download, edit, upload, and delete PDS and PDS members.
  • Create, edit, and delete Zowe CLI compatible zosmf profiles.
  • Switch between Zowe CLI zosmf profiles to quickly target different mainframe systems.
  • Use the Secure Credential Store plug-in to store your credentials securely in the settings.
  • Submit jobs.

Software requirements#

Before you use the extension, meet the following software requirements on your computer:

  • Get access to z/OSMF.

  • Install Node.js v8.0 or later.

  • Install VSCode.

  • Create one Zowe CLI zosmf profile so that the extension can communicate with the mainframe.

    Note: You might use an existing Zowe CLI zosmf profile that was created with the Zowe CLI v.2.0.0 or later.


  1. Address the software requirements.
  2. Open VSCode. Navigate to the Extensions tab on the left side of the UI.
  3. Click the green Install button to install the extension.
  4. Restart VSCode.

The extension is now installed and available for use.

Tip: For information about how to install the extension from a VSIX file and run system tests on the extension, see the Developer README file in the Zowe VSCode extension GitHub repository.

You can also watch the following videos to learn how to get started with Zowe Explorer, and work with data sets.

Working with user profiles#

You must have a profile before you can use the extension. You can set up a zosmf profile to retain your credentials, host, and port name. In addition, you can create multiple profiles and use them simultaneously.

Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the explorer tree.

  2. Click the + button next to the DATA SETS, USS or JOBS bar.

    Note: If you already have a profile, select it from the drop-down menu.

  3. Select the Create a New Connection to z/OS option.

    Note: When you create a new profile, user name and password fields are optional. However, the system will prompt you to specify your credentials when you use the new profile for the first time.

  4. Follow the instructions, and enter all required information to complete the profile creation.

The extension also enables you to hide a profile from the explorer tree, and permanently delete a profile. When you delete your profile permanently, the extension erases the profile from the .zowe folder. To hide or delete a profile, right-click the profile and choose the corresponding option from the options list.

Enabling Secure Credential Store#

You can now use Secure Credential Store plug-in for Zowe CLI in the Zowe Explorer extension. Secure Credentials Store plug-in lets you store your credentials securely. For more information, see Secure Credential Store Plug-in for Zowe Explorer.