Basics of z/OS RACF Administration (ES190)

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About this Course

Learn how to administer the z/OS Security Server Resource Access Control Facility (RACF). Get an introduction to the z/OS environment, Time Sharing Option (TSO) and Interactive System Productivity Facility / Program Development Facility (ISPF/PDF), batch processing, and z/OS data sets. Gain experience with z/OS by viewing, and allocating datasets, submitting a batch job, and viewing job output. Learn how to use basic RACF command parameters, and panels, to define users and groups, protect general resources, z/OS data sets, and choose a basic set of RACF options.

The course materials cover z/OS Security Server RACF.

Nine labs are included to address logging on to the z/OS system, working with z/OS data sets, submitting batch jobs to z/OS, using System Display and Search Facility (SDSF) to view jobs in the system, defining a RACF group structure, RACF user administration, delegating security administration, protecting z/OS data sets, and using RACF for TSO administration.

Hands-on lab projects may be done in teams depending on the number of attendees and location.

Audience Profile

This is a basic course for individuals who are new to z/OS and the z/OS Security Server RACF and who administration security using the RACF element of the z/OS Security Server.

Experienced z/OS users should take:

  • Effective RACF Administration (BE87)

At Course Completion

Upon completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic features and concepts of zSeries architecture and of the z/OS operating system as they relate to security administration
  • Describe the allocation process for data sets in the z/OS environment
  • Understand how programs access data sets and how RACF security interacts in that process
  • Identify the security requirements of an z/OS system
  • Use basic facilities and features of RACF
  • Define new users and groups to RACF
  • Use RACF to protect z/OS data sets and general resources
  • Select a base set of options to tailor RACF


Some familiarity with z/OS system facilities is beneficial. Background material needed to proceed is presented the first day.


Course Outline

Review of z/Architecture and z/OS

  • describe z/Architecture
  • provide an overview of z/OS and its components
  • explain the concept of virtual storage and its exploitation in z/OS
  • list the different kinds of data sets and discuss their management in z/OS
  • name the main end-user interfaces of z/OS

An introduction to ISPF and ISPF/PDF

  • name and describe the components of ISPF
  • log on to the lab system of this class
  • log off from the lab system of this class
  • start ISPF/PDF
  • provide an overview of the structure of ISPF/PDF panels
  • alter the ISPF/PDF settings
  • use ISPF/PDF to view a data set

An introduction to data sets

  • describe data management concepts
  • explain the data set allocation process
  • describe the catalog structure
  • explain how data sets are defined and used
  • allocate a new data set
  • edit a data set using ISPF/PDF
  • delete a data set
  • use ISPF/PDF data set list

Batch processing

  • name and explain the Job Entry Subsystem 2 (JES2) job processing phases
  • describe the general layout of a job
  • list and describe the components of a Job Control Language (JCL) statement
  • submit a batch job to z/OS
  • use ISPF 3.8 and SDSF to handle the job output

Security and RACF overview

  • explain the role RACF plays in data security
  • list the four major functions of RACF
  • explain how RACF allows or denies a user access to a resource, given a diagram of RACF's resource authorization checking process
  • define the terms Universal Access Authority (UACC), access list, user profile, and resource profile
  • describe the role of the security administrator and the auditor
  • explain the features of RRSF

Administering groups and users

  • describe the group structure in RACF
  • create a group structure by defining appropriate RACF group profiles
  • define new users to RACF
  • implement a centralized or decentralized administrative structure

Protecting z/OS data sets

  • state the differences between generic and discrete data set profiles
  • explain the process RACF uses to grant or deny user access to a data set
  • use the RACF commands or panels to define data set profiles

Introduction to general resources

  • describe the concepts of general resources
  • add a Time Sharing Option (TSO) user to RACF
  • add a UNIX System Service user to RACF
  • set up a user help desk function

RACF options

  • understand the impact that RACF options have on an installation
  • identify those options that require special planning before activation
  • identify a basic set of options appropriate for an installation

Other administrative facilities and features

  • describe the use of the global access table
  • describe the purpose of the started procedure table
  • define a protected user
  • explain the use of the restricted user attribute
  • use the RACF database unload utility to document your RACF system
  • describe how to map a digital certificate to a RACF userid