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Command line JSON processor

Developed by Stephen Dolan

Maintained by Feram GmbH Claim Stewardship

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jq is like sed for JSON data - you can use it to slice and filter and map and transform structured data with the same ease that sed, awk, grep and friends let you play with text.

jq is written in portable C, and it has zero runtime dependencies. You can download a single binary, scp it to a far away machine of the same type, and expect it to work.

jq can mangle the data format that you have into the one that you want with very little effort, and the program to do so is often shorter and simpler than you’d expect.


Tags json
Version 1.5
Price Free
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For more details, check out the external changelog.

  1. Jq 1.5

    Released on 2015-08-15

    • regexp support (using Oniguruma)!
    • a proper module system import "foo/bar" as bar; import foo/bar.jq’s defs into a bar::* namespace and include "foo/bar"; import foo/bar.jq’s defs into the top-level
    • destructuring syntax (. as [$first, $second, {$foo, $bar}] | …)
    • math functions
    • an online streaming parser
    • “minimal I/O builtions (inputs, debug) One can now write: jq -n ‘reduce inputs as $i ( … )’ to reduce inputs in an online way without having to slurp them first! This works with streaming too.”
    • try/catch, for catching and handling errors (this makes for a dynamic non-local exit system)
    • a lexical non-local exit system One can now say label $foo | ..... | break $foo where the break causes control to return to the label $foo, which then produces empty (backtracks). There’s named and anonymous labels.
    • tail call optimization (TCO), which allows efficient recursion in jq
    • a variety of new control structure builtins (e.g., while(cond; exp), repeat(exp), until(cond; next)), many of which internally use TCO
    • “an enhanced form of reduce: foreach exp as $name (init_exp; update_exp; extract_exp)”
    • the ability to read module data files
    • import “foo/bar” as $bar; # read foo/bar.json, bind to $bar::bar
    • –argjson var ‘<JSON text>’
    • Using –arg var bit me too many times :)
    • –slurpfile var “filename”
    • Replaces the –argfile form (which is now deprecated but remains for backward compatibility).
    • support for application/json-seq (RFC7464)
    • a large variety of new utility functions, many being community contributions (e.g., bsearch, for binary searching arrays)
    • datetime functions
    • a variety of performance enhancements
    • def($a): ...; is now allowed as an equivalent of def(a): a as $a | ...;
    • test and build improvements, including gcov support
  2. Jq 1.4

    Released on 2014-06-09

    • Command-line arguments:
      • jq –arg-file variable file
      • jq –unbuffered
      • jq -e / –exit-status (set exit status based on outputs)
      • jq -S / –sort-keys (now jq no longer sorts object keys by default
    • Syntax:
      • .. -> like // in XPath (recursive traversal)
      • question mark (e.g., .a?) to suppress errors
      • .“foo” syntax (equivalent to .[“foo”])
      • better error handling for .foo
      • added % operator (modulo)
      • allow negation without requiring extra parenthesis
      • more function arguments (up to six)
    • Filters:
      • any, all
      • iterables, arrays, objects, scalars, nulls, booleans, numbers, strings, values
    • String built-ins:
      • split
      • join (join an array of strings with a given separator string)
      • ltrimstr, rtrimstr
      • startswith, endswith
      • explode, implode
      • fromjson, tojson
      • index, rindex, indices
    • Math functions:
      • floor, sqrt, cbrt, etetera (depends on what’s available from libm)
    • Libjq: A C API interface to jq’s JSON representation and for running jq programs from C applications
  3. Jq 1.3

    Released on 2013-05-19

  4. Jq 1.2

    Released on 2012-12-20

  5. Jq 1.1

    Released on 2012-10-21

  6. Jq 1.0

    Released on 2012-10-21

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