"jq is a lightweight and flexible command-line JSON processor." - https://stedolan.github.io/jq/

Examples

Sort a json file

jq -S . foo.json

Grab first element of an array, and print the value of 'timestamp' of that element.

echo '
[
  {
    "foo": "this is foo string",
    "timestamp": "this is the timestamp"
  },
  {
    "second element": "second element value"
  }
]' | jq '.[0].timestamp'

Construct Flickr URLs from an API call

curl -s "https://api.flickr.com/services/rest/?"\
"&api_key=9c72f03c0583a34bd703bd82d8773cc0"\
"&format=json"\
"&method=flickr.photos.getRecent"\
"&nojsoncallback=1" |
  jq -S '
    .["photos"]["photo"][] |
    "https://flickr.com/photos/" + .owner + "/" + .id
  '

Use mco to find packages of a certain version on a certain OS

This example could be used as an alternative to grep, where only the value of a key/value pair is matched.

mco rpc package status package=apt -j -F lsbdistcodename=trusty |
  jq -c '
    .[] |
    select(.data.ensure == "1.0.1ubuntu2") | {
      version: .data.ensure, hostname: .sender
    }
  '

This example echoes some yaml, uses python to convert it to json, then filters matching data using jq. It could be used as an alternative to grep, where only the key of a key/value pair is matched.

echo "
data:
  - This is a string, not an object, and contains the substrings foo and bar
  - name: foo_name
    value: foo_value
  - name: bar_name
    value: bar_value" |
python -c "import yaml, sys, json; print json.dumps(yaml.safe_load(sys.stdin))" |
jq '
  .["data"][] |
  select(type=="object") |
  select (.name | . and contains("bar_n"))
'

Build a json entry from scratch

This uses bash paramber expansion and subshell syntax, and may not work in other shells.

create_json() {
  local user=${1:-${USER}}
  local host=${2:-${HOSTNAME}}
  local more_stuff=${3:-$(uname -a)}
  json=$(
    jq -c -n \
      --arg timestamp  "$(date "+%F %T%z")" \
      --arg host       "${host}" \
      --arg user       "${user}" \
      --arg more_stuff "${more_stuff}" \
      '{
        timestamp:  $timestamp,
        host:       $host,
        user:       $user,
        more_stuff: $more_stuff
      }'
  )
  echo "$json"
}

Render yaml with anchors as json data

This example shows how you can use python and jq to view the result of dereferenced yaml anchors, a construct that is not supported by json. This example is less about how to use jq syntaxes, and more about how it can be used to view data that is otherwise difficult to sort through.

echo "
job1: &template
  directory: /tmp
  extra_parameters: nosuid,noatime
  remote_host: 10.1.1.1
  user: nobody
job2:
  <<: *template
  remote_host: 10.2.2.2
job3:
  <<: *template
  remote_host: 10.3.3.3
" |
python -c "import yaml, sys, json; print json.dumps(yaml.safe_load(sys.stdin))" |
jq -S .

Select matches, and print a subset of values

jq '.[] | select(.data.ensure != "purged") | [.sender,.data.ensure]' $*

Output bare values for use as inputs

This is a contrived example, the better way to get this info would be awless list instances --format tsv --columns name,privateip,launched

$ awless list instances --format json | jq -r '.[] | "\(.Name) \(.PrivateIP) \(.Launched)"' | column -t
salt-master       172.18.9.48   2015-04-10T21:28:03Z
consul-server-01  172.18.9.116  2015-05-15T06:13:19Z
consul-server-02  172.18.9.117  2015-05-15T06:13:19Z
consul-server-03  172.18.9.118  2015-05-15T06:13:19Z

Show labels for each locally stored docker SHA

docker images --format '{{.ID}}' |
while read -r X ; do
  docker inspect $X |
  jq '.[] | [ .RepoTags, .Config.Labels ]'
done

Sort all JSON contents

Be aware that sometimes JSON should not be sorted, as arrays are sometimes expected to maintain their order.

jq -S '. | walk( if type == "array" then sort else . end )'

Or set up a shell alias

alias jqsort="jq -S '. | walk( if type == \"array\" then sort else . end )'"

See Also