Table to json with jq and awk

foursixnine profile image Santiago Zarate Originally published at foursixnine.io on ・1 min read

The problem

Say you have a table that looks like this:

ARCH x86_64
FLAVOR Server-DVD-Incidents-Install

It’s just that it contains about 78 or more entries. Of course for a very skilled engineer or a person with a lot of tricks under the hood, this might be a very trivial task in vim or something like this, I guess that with a couple of replaces here and there, you’d get somewhere; but I’m not skilled, other than at eating.

The Solution

So I took my Key Value table saved it to a file and after googling a bit, now I’m more versed into awk :D:

cat FILE.txt | \ 
    awk 'BEGIN { print "{" } \ 
        { printf "\"%s\":\"%s\",", $1,$2} \ 
        END { print "\"MANUALLY_GENERATED_ISO_POST\":1 }" }'
        | jq > x86_64-ready.json'"}'

I guess this could have been done easier and prettier, but fits my need and might save you too at some point. Just make sure you have jq installed ok?

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foursixnine profile

Santiago Zarate


I do free and opensource software. I eat. I travel. I take pictures. I bike. I love linguistics. I do @eltravelosaurio and use #travelingtrex.


markdown guide

I find scripting languages to be much easier to write this stuff in and easier to fix later.

const fs = require('fs');
const data = fs.readFileSync('./FILE.txt').toString();
const lines = data.split('\n');
const json = lines.reduce((acc, l) => {
  const kv = l.split(' ');
  acc[kv[0]] = kv[1];
  return acc,
}, {});
fs.writeFileSync('./file.json', JSON.stringify(json, undefined, 2));

You can also just use the Node REPL for one-off conversions. I use this pattern for CSV to JSON all the time, which would be a nightmare using awk.


I guess something similar could be done in Perl, Ruby or any other language capable of reading files and with json object representation capabilities. Thing is, I end up using awk a lot, for many things. But I'll keep your idea in hand and maybe update with a easier to follow $script version. If I ever have to do that again :)


Why not just

jq -Rn '[inputs/" "|{(.[0]):.[1]}]|add' file



@that's even better! \o/ :) Will keep it in mind next time I need to do this! Thanks!