z/VSE Service Refresh

IBM periodically upgrades the z/VSE system libraries with the latest level of maintenance. This is known as a service refresh and contains all PTFs available at build time. A refresh is installed by performing a Fast Service Upgrade (FSU).

This refreshed system has been thoroughly tested. In general, a service refresh contains only corrections to the existing z/VSE system. In rare cases, it also may provide additional functions. These functions are implemented in a way that they do not influence your system if you do not use or need them.

As required, IBM will provide refreshes at identical service levels for the z/VSE base programs, extended base products and z/VSE optional programs.

You may want to install a refresh to avoid possible problems. Thus a service refresh may be an option for you, even if your system and its environment are stable. In addition, a refresh may be best when you want to make major changes to your system (add hardware devices or IBM licensed programs, for example). The maintenance requirements for these changes may make installing a service refresh the most efficient way to meet them

Note: Refreshes can only be ordered as long as the corresponding product release is available. After End of Marketing, refreshes can no longer be ordered, although the product is still in service.


PSP buckets

Preventive Service Planning (PSP) buckets for z/VSE contain all HIPER PTFs (and other recommended service) for a specific set of products or components on a given z/VSE refresh level. A PSP bucket has a name (upgrade ID) and contains product information ordered into different 'subsets'. The upgrade ID can be used to order a complete PSP bucket from IBM support. To limit an order to specific products, subset IDs can be specified in addition. A subset contains different 'sections'. HIPER APARs and a short error description can be found in section 'Service Recommendations' together with the recommended PTF number. All recommended PTFs are listed in the 'PTF Include List' for easy ordering.

When ordering a PSP bucket, you get one or more PTF tapes containing all PTFs from the 'PTF Include List' of each ordered subset. You install the PSP by using the PTF apply dialogs. PSPs are available on the Internet (click here) where you can check individual fixes and/or order selected PTFs.

Currently, IBM Shopz can not be used to order PSP buckets, but you can order so called PE-HIPER fixes. This orders all HIPER PTFs of all products and components currently installed on your system. In order to do that you must provide an Installed Software Report. Such a report can be created with the Installed Software Report Tool.


Recommended Service Level

A preventive service offering is available for z/VSE - the Recommended Service Level (RSL).

This service offering fills the gap between z/VSE Refresh levels and the "High Impact or Pervasive APAR" (HIPER) service provided via "Preventive Service Planning" (PSP) buckets. An RSL consists of a list of ALL APAR/PTF numbers, which are available at specific cutoff dates. RSLs are updated more frequently than refreshes and contain ALL available service, not only the HIPER service.

RSLs are published via special RSL PSP buckets and on the Internet via the z/VSE home page. RSL PSPs are ordered on tape like HIPER PSPs and the Internet RSLs can be ordered electronically.

This service offering helps customers keep their z/VSE system on a current and reliable service level. An RSL should be installed on top of the latest refresh, followed by the most current HIPER PSP bucket.

RSLs are available for z/VSE releases currently in service. For z/VSE releases which are going out of service, an ‘End-of-Service’ RSL will be provided

The following table contains lists of all available service on top of the individual z/VSE refresh levels at the specified date. The Base Products and Optional Products lists show the APAR numbers, corresponding PTF numbers and the applicable component-IDs and CLCs. Separate 'PTF Order Lists' are provided which contain only the PTF numbers for easy ordering of the Recommended Service. Known PE solutions and requisite PTFs are included.

To order PTFs via IBM Shopz, open the order list and copy the PTF numbers over to the PTF number entry field. You may copy the PTF numbers of multiple products in one step, including the product names. Only input recognized as a PTF number will be processed.


Latest update Dec 30, 2017

Service recommended for PTF Order List Cutoff Date
z/VSE 6.1.0 Base Products PTFs 610B Dec 30, 2017
Optional Prod. PTFs 610O
z/VSE 5.2.0 Base Products PTFs 520B Dec 30, 2017
Optional Prod. PTFs 520O
Out of Service releases
z/VSE 5.1.2 Base Products PTFs 512B Jun 30, 2016
Optional Prod. PTFs 512O
z/VSE 5.1.1 Base Products PTFs 511B April 9, 2013
Optional Prod. PTFs 511O
z/VSE 5.1.0 Base Products PTFs 510B Apr 26, 2012
Optional Prod. PTFs 510O
z/VSE 4.3.1 Base Products PTFs 431B Dec 31, 2014
Optional Prod. PTFs 431O
z/VSE 4.3.0 Base Products PTFs 430B July 31, 2011
Optional Prod. PTFs 430O
z/VSE 4.2.2 Base Products PTFs 422B Oct 31, 2012
Optional Prod. PTFs 422O
z/VSE 4.2.1 Base Products PTFs 421B Jan 31, 2010
Optional Prod. PTFs 421O
z/VSE 4.2.0 Base Products PTFs 420B Apr 4, 2009
Optional Prod. PTFs 420O
z/VSE 4.1.2 Base Products PTFs 412B Apr 30, 2011
Optional Prod. PTFs 412O
z/VSE 4.1.1 Base Products PTFs 411B Apr 8, 2008
Optional Prod. PTFs 411O
z/VSE 4.1.0 Base Products PTFs 410B Oct 12, 2007
Optional Prod. PTFs 410O
z/VSE 3.1.3 Base Products PTFs 313B July 31, 2009
Optional Prod. PTFs 313O
z/VSE 3.1.2 Base Products PTFs 312B Nov 16, 2007
Optional Prod. PTFs 312O
z/VSE 3.1.1 Base Products PTFs 311B May 10, 2006
Optional Prod. PTFs 311O
z/VSE 3.1.0 Base Products PTFs 310B Sept 20, 2005
Optional Prod. PTFs 310O


How to create an "Installed Software Report"

This section describes how to create a "Installed Software Report" to be used with IBM Shopz. An Installed Software Report (also called z/VSE service bitmap) contains information about the products and components installed and PTFs that are applied on a z/VSE system. The report is build from information stored in the MSHP history file. To build the report the MSHP RETRACE PRODUCTS and RETRACE PTFS functions are executed. Afterwards the required information is extracted from the MSHP output and the report is created.

There is a tool available to build such a report for z/VSE. The tool connects to z/VSE via FTP, executes 2 MSHP jobs and creates and stores the report on the workstation.


Security and system integrity

IBM strongly recommends that users of the z/VSE Operating System validate the currency of security and system integrity service and take action to promptly install all security and integrity PTFs.

In addition to available PTFs, IBM includes any pertinent Security and/or Integrity APAR fixes in the next Preventative Service Planning (PSP) bucket or Recommended Service Level (RSL) after the fix is available. The PSP bucket for z/VSE contains all HIPER PTFs along with other recommended service for a specific set of products or components on a given z/VSE refresh level. The RSL offering provides a list of all APAR/PTF numbers available at specific cutoff dates and fills the gap between regular z/VSE Refresh levels and the more urgent service provided by the PSP bucket.

It is strongly recommended that clients validate the currency of their z/VSE security and system integrity service levels and routinely check the following list of APARs/PTFs to receive the latest information on IBM z Systems security and system integrity service. The timely installation of service, including security and system integrity service, can help minimize potential risks and maintain overall system security and availability.


Security and system integrity related news:

Date Description
Feb 6, 2018 Vulnerabilities Meltdown and Spectre
Three security vulnerabilities that allow unauthorized users to bypass the hardware barrier between applications and kernel memory have been made public. These vulnerabilities all make use of speculative execution to perform side-channel information disclosure attacks. The first two vulnerabilities, CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017- 5715, are collectively known as Spectre, and allow user-level code to infer data from unauthorized memory; the third vulnerability, CVE-2017-5754, is known as Meltdown, and allows user-level code to infer the contents of kernel memory. The vulnerabilities are all variants of the same class of attacks and differ in the way that speculative execution is exploited. z/VSE operating system environments are unaffected.
Oct 4, 2016 The SWEET32 vulnerability on Triple-DES (CVE-2016-2183) affects OpenSSL on z/VSE (PDF, 190KB)
Feb 8, 2016 Vulnerability in MD5 Signature and Hash Algorithm (CVE-2015-7575) on z/VSE (PDF, 25KB)
Dec 18, 2014 Impact of POODLE (CVE-2014-3566) on z/VSE (PDF, 105KB)

Security and system integrity related APARs/PTFs:

Last update: January 22, 2018

PTF Contents
UD54251-61S z/VSE V5.2: zlib upgrade to V1.2.11 (CVE-2016-9840, CVE-2016-9841, CVE-2016-9842)
UD54250-52S z/VSE V5.2: zlib upgrade to V1.2.11 (CVE-2016-9840, CVE-2016-9841, CVE-2016-9842)
UD54224-61S z/VSE V6.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2016-2182, CVE-2016-6306)
UD54223-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2016-2182, CVE-2016-6306)
UD54211-61S z/VSE V6.1: OpenSSL Upgrade to 1.0.2h plus CVE-2016-2177
UD54209-52S z/VSE V5.2: OpenSSL Upgrade to 1.0.2h plus CVE-2016-2177
UD54123-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2015-1793)
UD54122-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2015-1793)
UD54118-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL: The minimum Diffie-Hellman (DH) parameter length is changed to 1024 bits
UD54117-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL: The minimum Diffie-Hellman (DH) parameter length is changed to 1024 bits
UD54106-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2015-0286)
UD54105-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2015-0286)
UD54091-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-3572, CVE-2014-8275, CVE-2015-0204)
UD54090-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-3572, CVE-2014-8275, CVE-2015-0204)
UD54072-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-3567)
UD54071-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-3567)
UD54054-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-3509, CVE-2014-3511)
UD54053-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-3509, CVE-2014-3511)
UD54037-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0224)
UD54036-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0224)
UD54027-52S z/VSE V5.2: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160)
UD54020-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160)
UD54005-51S z/VSE V5.1: Security fixes for OpenSSL (CVE-2013-4353, CVE-2013-6449, CVE-2013-6450)
UD53983-51S z/VSE V5.1: OpenSSL 1.0.1e refresh
UK98397-B10 IPv6/VSE update for TLSv1.2 support
UD53952-51S z/VSE V5.1: OpenSSL: Remove RC4 cipher suites due to security issues.
UK83637-B10 Initial IPv6/VSE version with OpenSSL support
UD53864-51S z/VSE V5.1: OpenSSL 1.0.0d update for z/VSE 5.1