Download jq

jq is written in C and has no runtime dependencies, so it should be possible to build it for nearly any platform. Prebuilt binaries are available for Linux, OS X and Windows.

The binaries should just run, but on OS X and Linux you may need to make them executable first using chmod +x jq.

jq is licensed under the MIT license. For all of the gory details, read the file COPYING in the source distribution.

jq uses a C library for decimal number support. This is an ICU 1.8.1 licensed code obtained from the ICU downloads archive






Checksums and signatures

SHA-256 checksums are provided for all release and pre-release binaries. They can be found under sig/v1.x/sha256sum.txt. The checksums for jq 1.6 are in sig/v1.6/sha256sum.txt. The checksums for jq 1.5 are in sig/v1.5/sha256sum.txt.

Additionally, all binaries are signed by the jq Package Signing Key. The signatures can be found under sig/v1.x/*.asc. The signatures for jq 1.6 are in sig/v1.5/*.asc. The signatures for jq 1.5 are in sig/v1.5/*.asc. You can use GnuPG to verify a signature by downloading the signature and running gpg --verify signature.asc.

From source on Linux, OS X, Cygwin, and other POSIX-like operating systems

You can build it using the usual ./configure && make && sudo make install rigmarole.

If you're interested in using the lastest development version, try:

git clone
cd jq
autoreconf -i
./configure --disable-maintainer-mode
sudo make install

To build it from a git clone, you'll need to install a few packages first:

For Linux systems, these will all be in your system's package manager, and if you do development on the machine they're most likely already installed.

On OS X, these are all included in Apple's command line tools, which can be installed from Xcode. However, you may find that you need a newer version of Bison than the one provided by Apple. This can be found in Homebrew or MacPorts.

The --disable-maintainer-mode flag says to use the pre-generated lexer and parser that come with the code. To compile the lexer and parser also from source, leave out this flag. You will need to install Flex and Bison.

Building the documentation

jq's documentation is compiled into static HTML using Python. To build the docs, run pipenv run python3 from the docs/ subdirectory. To serve them locally, you can run python3 -m SimpleHTTPServer. You'll need a few Python dependencies, which can be installed by following the instructions in docs/

The man page is built by make jq.1, or just make, also from the YAML docs, and you'll still need the Python dependencies to build the manpage.