August 26



By NickLitten

August 26, 2013

DLS, FLR, folder, IFS

So, an old colleague of mine just asked me: “Nick, I’m going to need your help here, it occurred to me that we don’t have a plan for backing up those Vendor Schedules we turned into pdf’s on the DLS a while back. QDLS is easy but IFS, is it just the same thing really without the restricted dos naming? Finding stuff is confusing me! Can you either help me on what command I can use on IBMi to review folders with vendor looking documents in them?”

Here is my email reply – remember this is all very much IMHO – Neatly copy/pasted into this blog in case it helps anyone else out there in IBM-i-land:

What is the IFS?

During the operating systems evolution from OS400 thru i5OS to IBM i, it has always had two separate file systems. It’s integral LIBRARY/FILE style way of doing things that we all know and love (libraries, files, programs, etc) and the DLO (document library objects) file system (also known DLS or sometimes called shared folders). One was for pure green screen access and the other was IBM’s first attempt at integrating with DOS systems (*cough* we wont mention OfficeVision right now). So, PC’s running on your network can access the AS400 (as it was then) using the network and it would look like a DOS/WINDOWS servers with its files called stuff like ‘/SHARE/SOMEFILE.TXT’ problem: DLS is limited to DOS 8-3 naming conventions.

Then the hierarchical file system (HFS) was introduced on the 400 and this led to the integrated file system (IFS). I just think of the IFS as a super layer above everything on the machine – which enables a view of the IBM i data in windows-ish format. With full lovely windows style files names ‘/sharestuff/look-how-long-this-filename-is.txt’


Remember the DLS is just a smelly old DOS style way of looking at IBM i stuff.

So we have separate distinct ways of looking at data:

  1. IBM i (the artists formerly known as i5OS, UDB, DB2, OS400)
  2. Windows (the artist formerly known as DOS)

The IFS is a kind of high level view of both of these data sets on our lovely black machine.

How do we look at native IFS stuff in Windows format?

you might access the /home directory from green screen by using

WRKLNK OBJ('/home/nlitten')

Ifs. Dls. Wtf

How do I look at DLS stuff using green?

Remember, the DLS is just a special subset of the IFS with some file naming restrictions and also hooks into the old OS400 authority system rather than just using native windows shares. So, we can access it from green screen very easily and back it up!

Lets use the saucy WRKLNK command:


Ibm. Ifs. Dls. Wtf? 1

And of course

How do we look at LIBRARY STUFF and file and all that?

We could also use the IFS commands to look through our libraries and files by going like this:

WRKLNK OBJ('/qsys.lib/nlitten.lib')

Ibm. Ifs. Dls. Wtf? 2

And of course… I seem to remember that VendorSchedules are stored in the DLS in a folder called ‘/PRD/VendorSchedules’… and /TST/VendorSchedules’ for the test stuff.

So if you wanna snaffle it one time, just use OPS NAVIGATOR to look at the folder and COPY/PASTE into your windows folder (my documents or whatever) or use a *SAVF on green screen. if you had a SAVF(TOBY/TOBY) then:


Does that help?

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