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jsonaxe: a powerful command-line JSON processor with an expressive Pythonic interface
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jsonaxe is a command-line JSON processor with an expressive python interface

jsonaxe is written in Python and can be installed by copying the jsonaxe script into a location on your $PATH.


First, clone the Git repository:

$ git clone git://
$ cd jsonaxe

Then choose an installation method that works best for you:

Per-user installation

$ make install

This will install $HOME/bin/jsonaxe and $HOME/share/doc/jsonaxe.

System-wide installation

# make install prefix=/usr/local

This will install /usr/local/bin/jsonaxe and /usr/local/share/doc/jsonaxe.

You can change the prefix parameter to any other location.


$ ./jsonaxe -h
usage: jsonaxe [-h] [--raw] [--expand] <query> [<file>]

positional arguments:
<query>       query expression
<file>        json file, defaults to "-" (stdin)

optional arguments:
-h, --help    show this help message and exit
--raw, -r     output raw text
--expand, -x  expand environment $variables in strings


$ ./jsonaxe 'objects' test/data.json
  "a": {
    "b": {
      "c": "C value"

# nested objects can be traversed using dot "."
$ ./jsonaxe 'objects.a.b.c' test/data.json
"C value"

# square-bracket object["key"] syntax works too
$ ./jsonaxe 'objects["a"]["b"]["c"]' test/data.json
"C value"

# python-style string expressions can drill down to a specific character
$ ./jsonaxe 'objects.a.b.c[0]' test/data.json

# the full slice syntax can be used, e.g. every 2nd character from 0-5
$ ./jsonaxe 'objects.a.b.c[0:5:2]' test/data.json

# manipulate object values in-place
$ ./jsonaxe 'objects.a.b.put("d", 42)' test/data.json
    "c": "C value",
    "d": 42


jsonaxe expressions are written in Python, so all of the built-in python operators and functions are available, including lambda expressions for creating quick filters.

jsonaxe expressions operate on the json object directly. The result of evaluating the expression is what is printed to stdout.

The following methods are available on the implicit current object when jsonaxe expressions are evaluated.

append(<value>): Append to the current array
capitalize(): Capitalize strings
delete(<key>): Delete values from dictionaries
filter(<fn>): Filter data with a filter function
fnmatch(<glob>): Filter data using an fnmatch expression
format(<string>): Format data using a format string
get(<key|index>): Get the item at the specified dict key or list index
insert(<index>, <value>): Insert <value> at <index>
join(<string>): Combine string arrays with the specified delimeter
keys(): Inspect the object's keys
lower(): Downcase strings
lstrip(<string>): Strip whitespace from the beginning of a string
map(<fn>): Apply a function to the data
match(<regex>): Filter data  with a regular expression
partition(<delimeter>): Partition a string by delimiter
put(<key>, <value>): Set data on the current object
remove(<key>): Remove a specific entry
replace(<old>, <new>): Replace values in a string
reverse(): Reverse a list
rstrip(): Strip whitespace from the end
save(<filename>): save current state to <filename>
sort(): sort data
split(<string>): Split strings
strip(): Strip whitespace
title(): Title-case strings
upper(): Upper-case strings
values(): Inspect the object's values

See the unit tests or the source code for the full list of supported functions.

See also

jsonaxe was inspired by jq, the original JSON command-line processor.


jsonquery is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL version 2 or higher. See the COPYING file for the full license text.

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