Basic SDSF Commands

Basic SDSF Commands

This mainframe tutorial is aimed at shelling out very basic information about SDSF commands. A beginner will find it useful to quickly learn about SDSF.

SDSF stands for System Display and Search Facility.  It is a system to monitor and control mainframe Jobs.

The following video tutorial will help you understand the SDSF commands.

How to Start using SDSF?

On Start window on mainframe issue command




How to Filter Jobs on various criteria?

By Owner

OWNER * or OWNER – Filters NothingOWNER AB%%%XY    – Filters jobs with owner name starting with AB and ending with XY

OWNER ABC*       – Filters jobs with owner name starting with AB and ending with XY

By Prefix

PRE * or PRE – Filters NothingPRE ABCXYZ*  – Filters Jobs starting with ABCXYZPRE AB%%XY   – Filters Jobs starting with AB and ending with XY

How to Browse the Jobs?

Issue a line command  ? against the Job you wish to open – It will show all the different datasets under the Job



Select any dataset by giving S against the dataset you wish to browse.

How to edit a JCL in SDSF ?

Issue a SJ against the job you wish to edit.

How to Locate a field name or line number?

Issue command LOCATE 1234 – To locate line number 1234

Issue command LOCATE fieldname – To locate the field name

How to user FILTER command?

Issue  command  FILTER ?    or FIL ?Give the column/columns name and its/their value/values to set the filter.

You may use wildcards * and % for values. % sign represent one byte wild card.

How to Arrange fields displayed in SDSF?

Issue command ARRANGE ? or ARR ?

Arrange Panel is displayed, which has instructions for selecting and
moving the required fields.

For selecting a single field give /
or selecting a block of fields give //

and then use A (after) or B(before) to move the fields to desired location

Note:- F5 Here would refresh the list       F6 Default order

F11 Resets the input.

How to toggle between Primary and Alternate list ?

There are two filed lists with different arrangement of fields, namely Primary and Alternate. If we change the arrangement using Arrange then Primary list gets changed.

To toggle between the two list give ? on command line (or go to View menu –> Change field list to Primary/Alternate)

How to View about a SDSF user?

WHO – it will provide basic information about the SDSF user

How to View information about SDSF commands?


PREFIX=userid*  DEST=(ALL)  OWNER=userid*  SORT=Owner/A JOBNAME/D  SYSNAME=ACTION=//-Block,=-Repeat,+-Extend,?-JDS,A-Release,C-Cancel,CA-CancelARM,      ACTION=CD-CancelDump,CDA-CancelARMDump,D-Display,DL-DisplayLong,E-Restart,    ACTION=EC-RestartCancel,H-Hold,I-Info,J-Start,L-List,LL-ListLong,O-Release,   ACTION=P-Purge,PP-PurgeProtected,Q-OutDesc,S-Browse,SB-ISPFBrowse,SE-ISPFEdit,ACTION=SJ-JCLEdit,W-Spin,X-Print,XC-PrintClose,XD-PrintDS,XDC-PrintDSClose,




How to View enable/disable confirmation of Action characters?


This command will enable/disable the confirmation for any action like P (Purge), C (cancel) etc on SDSF.

How to use action characters?

= (Repeat)

The Repeat action character is used to Repeat a previous Action.

// (Block)

The Block action character is used to perform an action on a Block of jobs.

How to Learn new features?

On the command line give TUTOR – This command with start a tutorial.

How to write Spool contents to dataset?

Give XDC against the Job

Provide the name of the dataset in the Dialog box.

Please provide your feedback/suggestions regarding this tutorial on contact form. Tutorials related to COBOL, JCL, DB2 etc are also present on the Website for mainframe developers. Mainframe jobs can be posted on our mainframe jobs forum.