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Using Installation Manager portable installs on z/OS

How To


This document explains how to use the portable installation format with IBM Installation Manager. Portable installations are collections of Installation Manager-installed products, together with their Installation Manager metadata, which can be deployed, serviced, backed up independently, and moved across your z/OS data center.


IBM Installation Manager is a multi-platform product installation and service tool, originally intended for workstations.  Because metadata for all installed products is kept together, this metadata can become a single point of failure in a large data center with many installed products (or several versions of the same product).  Also, products must normally be serviced on the system where they were originally installed.
This document explains how to use Installation Manager portable installs, which bundle one or more installed products together with their Installation Manager metadata. These installs can be backed up and restored independently, and moved to other systems in your data center. Maintenance can be applied to any copy of the portable installation. 


Installation Manager portable installations are only supported on the z/OS operating system.


Installation Manager portable installations can be downloaded from IBM Fix Central for selected products. Each download consists of a .pax.Z file, along with a readme file that specifies the service mount point and recommended file system size for the installed products.  To deploy this download to your z/OS system:
  1. Allocate a zFS file system with the required space specified in the readme file.
  2. Mount this file system read/write at the service mount point specified in the readme file.  Set the permissions for the mount point to 775, and assign ownership to your Installation Manager user ID and group.  If you do not already have one, see the IBM Installation Manager documentation for the requirements for this user ID and group.
  3. Download the portable installation .pax.Z file and transfer it in binary to your z/OS system, then decompress it into the file system you created in step 1 using the following commands:
       cd /global/instmgr/<install-specific-name>
       pax -rz -ppx -o saveext -f <downloaded file>

    For example,
       cd /global/instmgr/WL220001
       pax -rz -ppx -o saveext -f $HOME/wlp-zos-
  4. Unmount the file system.
You now have a file system containing one or more ready-to-use products.  Each installed product in the portable installation resides in its own directory (for example, wlp for WebSphere Liberty), while the Installation Manager metadata and shared resources are stored in a hidden subdirectory named ".im".  The portable installation file system can be mounted read-only at a location of your choice and used immediately, without further Installation Manager steps.  It can also be backed up and restored independently, or copied to other z/OS systems.
To service one or more of the products in the portable installation, mount the file system read/write at its service mount point:

Run the sample maintenance jobs provided with your product for use with Installation Manager portable installation.  You can also apply maintenance to a copy of the file system, leaving the original file system untouched.

Additional Information

For more about the Installation Manager portable installation format, see

New Usage Patterns for IBM Installation Manager on z/OS

Related Information

Document Location


Operating System

z/OS:All operating systems listed

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Product Synonym

IBM Installation Manager; WebSphere Application Server; WebSphere Liberty

Document Information

Modified date:
14 January 2022