IBM i User Profile – Special Authorities

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January 23, 2023

IBM i User Profile – Special Authorities

By NickLitten

January 23, 2023

IBM i, allobj, audit, authority, iosyscfg, jobctl, savsys, service, spcaut, splctl

IBM i Authority is a wonderful beast with many layers of complexity. Like a big red onion, peeling back these layers is simple to do, but sometimes causes some tears, or occasionally full-on sobbing and weeping.

  • On the positive side, setting these layers of authority is pretty straightforward as long you stay focused and keep it simple.
  • On the negative side, these many onion layers can be daunting, more than a little confusing, and easy to royally screw up!

The system can be anywhere from ultra secure to the other (naughty) end of the spectrum commonly known as “wide open”.

Since, I regularly see *ALLOBJ defined as a user class in various IT departments, let’s look at User Classes first.

note: I am not going to use any swear words, but if you are using *ALLOBJ to bypass the IBM i System Authority settings then you are F$^%#$%^$ nuts and leaving the box wide open.

IBM i User Profile – Special Authorities

Special authorities


All-object (*ALLOBJ) special authority lets the user access anything on the system. It overrides any private authority settings and gives the user carte-blanche to go poking around in any file, any library, any program, basically they can do anything with any data anywhere on the system. They can read, edit and delete stuff. Very dangerous – use with extreme caution.

*SECADM special authority

Security administrator (*SECADM) special authority lets you fiddle with user profiles. If you have *SECADM you can create, change, and delete user profiles. Elevating and de-elevating (is that even a word?) other user profiles with ease.

*JOBCTL special authority

The Job control (*JOBCTL) special authority allows a user to change the priority of jobs and of printing, end a job before it has finished, or delete output before it has printed. *JOBCTL special authority can also give a user access to confidential spooled output, if output queues are specified OPRCTL(*YES).

*SPLCTL special authority

Spool control (*SPLCTL) special authority allows the user to play with spool control functions. This includes browsing, changing, deleting, displaying, holding and releasing IBM i spooled files.

*SAVSYS special authority

Save system (*SAVSYS) special authority is fairly self evident. It lets the user save, restore, and free storage for all objects on the system, regardless of whether the user has object existence authority to the objects.

*SERVICE special authority

Service (*SERVICE) special authority grants access to STRSST (start system service tools). *SERVICE allows the user to debug a program with only *USE authority and to perform the display and alter service functions. It also allows the more pointy headed users to do things like trace functions.

*AUDIT special authority

Audit (*AUDIT) special authority gives the user the ability to view and change system auditing characteristics.

*IOSYSCFG special authority

System configuration (*IOSYSCFG) special authority gives the user the ability to change how the system is configured. Users with IOSYSCFG can add or remove communications configuration information, work with TCP/IP servers, and configure the integrated webserver – the ICS (internet connection server). Generally, commands for configuring communications require *IOSYSCFG special authority.

  • Could you please share a sample user profile with only access to take the entire system backup using go save option

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