Tim's Hercules Page

Installing RPF

RPF is always the first thing I install on a fresh MVS system. Many tasks revolve around using features of RPF, and while they could be performed in TSO or batch, RPF provides a quick and intuitive way to do them.

RPF stands for Rob's Programming Facility and is modelled off of ISPF, the Interactive Screen Productivity Facility. Very loosely, TSO and ISPF can be thought of like MS-DOS and Windows with ISPF providing an easier, GUI-driven way of performing TSO tasks. This is a superficial comparison, but it should help for now. ISPF, however, is a licensed product which can not be used for free, but Rob Prins has kindly allowed the Hercules community to use RPF which performs many of the important functions that ISPF does and is contantly being improved.

RPF is also one of the easiest programs to install on MVS. Rob Prins has provided an AWS-formatted tape and JCL at his website. Download the tape (rpf153.zip as of writing) and RPFJCL.txt. After unzipping the tape you should have rpf153.aws and the JCL. With these two files, you're ready to install RPF.

You do not (and probably should not) be logged on to any TSO sessions while installing RPF.

  1. Vary the tape drive online by entering V 480,ONLINE on the master operator console (the first 3270 console you connected to Hercules).
  2. 00-           V 480,ONLINE
                  IEE302I 480      ONLINE
  3. Submit the job on the Hercules console by entering devinit 00c /path/to/RPFJCL.txt eof where /path/to is the path to RPFJCL.txt. After you press enter, the master console will ask for the tape:
  4.     JOB    1  $HASP100 RPF153$1 ON READER1     Install RPF            
      - JOB    1  $HASP373 RPF153$1 STARTED - INIT  4 - CLASS S - SYS BSP1
      - JOB    1  IEF403I RPF153$1 - STARTED - TIME=21.41.01
    00 *JOB    1 *IEC501A M 480,RPF153,SL,6250 BPI,RPF153$1,ALLOC

    In a nutshell, the message means that MVS is looking for a volume on device 480 with a volume serial of RPF153 using standard tape labels (SL), a density of 6,250 bytes per inch (6250 BPI) as well as the job name (RPF153$1), and the job step (ALLOC) that is requesting the tape.

  5. Attach the tape by entering devinit 480 /path/to/rpf153.aws where /path/to is the path to rpf153.aws.
  6. After a few seconds, the job should have completed. The following message will show up on the master console when it's done:
  7. - JOB    1  IEF404I RPF153$1 - ENDED - TIME=21.44.07
    - JOB    1  $HASP395 RPF153$1 ENDED
  8. You can logon to MVS now and type RPF at a TSO READY prompt to start RPF.