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How can I pretty-print JSON in a shell script?


Question

Is there a (Unix) shell script to format JSON in human-readable form?

Basically, I want it to transform the following:

{ "foo": "lorem", "bar": "ipsum" }

... into something like this:

{
    "foo": "lorem",
    "bar": "ipsum"
}
2018/11/09
1
3110
11/9/2018 11:41:50 PM


You can use: jq

It's very simple to use and it works great! It can handle very large JSON structures, including streams. You can find their tutorials here.

Usage examples:

$ jq --color-output file1.json file1.json | less -R

$ command_with_json_output | jq .

$ jq # stdin/"interactive" mode, just enter some JSON

$ jq <<< '{ "foo": "lorem", "bar": "ipsum" }'
{
  "bar": "ipsum",
  "foo": "lorem"
}

Or use jq with identity filter:

$ jq '.foo' <<< '{ "foo": "lorem", "bar": "ipsum" }'
"lorem"
2020/06/23

I use the "space" argument of JSON.stringify to pretty-print JSON in JavaScript.

Examples:

// Indent with 4 spaces
JSON.stringify({"foo":"lorem","bar":"ipsum"}, null, 4);

// Indent with tabs
JSON.stringify({"foo":"lorem","bar":"ipsum"}, null, '\t');

From the Unix command-line with Node.js, specifying JSON on the command line:

$ node -e "console.log(JSON.stringify(JSON.parse(process.argv[1]), null, '\t'));" \
  '{"foo":"lorem","bar":"ipsum"}'

Returns:

{
    "foo": "lorem",
    "bar": "ipsum"
}

From the Unix command-line with Node.js, specifying a filename that contains JSON, and using an indent of four spaces:

$ node -e "console.log(JSON.stringify(JSON.parse(require('fs') \
      .readFileSync(process.argv[1])), null, 4));"  filename.json

Using a pipe:

echo '{"foo": "lorem", "bar": "ipsum"}' | node -e \
"\
 s=process.openStdin();\
 d=[];\
 s.on('data',function(c){\
   d.push(c);\
 });\
 s.on('end',function(){\
   console.log(JSON.stringify(JSON.parse(d.join('')),null,2));\
 });\
"
2019/04/09

I wrote a tool that has one of the best "smart whitespace" formatters available. It produces more readable and less verbose output than most of the other options here.

underscore-cli

This is what "smart whitespace" looks like:

I may be a bit biased, but it's an awesome tool for printing and manipulating JSON data from the command-line. It's super-friendly to use and has extensive command-line help/documentation. It's a Swiss Army knife that I use for 1001 different small tasks that would be surprisingly annoying to do any other way.

Latest use-case: Chrome, Dev console, Network tab, export all as HAR file, "cat site.har | underscore select '.url' --outfmt text | grep mydomain"; now I have a chronologically ordered list of all URL fetches made during the loading of my company's site.

Pretty printing is easy:

underscore -i data.json print

Same thing:

cat data.json | underscore print

Same thing, more explicit:

cat data.json | underscore print --outfmt pretty

This tool is my current passion project, so if you have any feature requests, there is a good chance I'll address them.

2017/11/15

I usually just do:

echo '{"test":1,"test2":2}' | python -mjson.tool

And to retrieve select data (in this case, "test"'s value):

echo '{"test":1,"test2":2}' | python -c 'import sys,json;data=json.loads(sys.stdin.read()); print data["test"]'

If the JSON data is in a file:

python -mjson.tool filename.json

If you want to do it all in one go with curl on the command line using an authentication token:

curl -X GET -H "Authorization: Token wef4fwef54te4t5teerdfgghrtgdg53" http://testsite/api/ | python -mjson.tool
2017/11/15

Thanks to J.F. Sebastian's very helpful pointers, here's a slightly enhanced script I've come up with:

#!/usr/bin/python

"""
Convert JSON data to human-readable form.

Usage:
  prettyJSON.py inputFile [outputFile]
"""

import sys
import simplejson as json


def main(args):
    try:
        if args[1] == '-':
            inputFile = sys.stdin
        else:
            inputFile = open(args[1])
        input = json.load(inputFile)
        inputFile.close()
    except IndexError:
        usage()
        return False
    if len(args) < 3:
        print json.dumps(input, sort_keys = False, indent = 4)
    else:
        outputFile = open(args[2], "w")
        json.dump(input, outputFile, sort_keys = False, indent = 4)
        outputFile.close()
    return True


def usage():
    print __doc__


if __name__ == "__main__":
    sys.exit(not main(sys.argv))
2015/07/21

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/352098
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