How To Fix “jq command not found” Error?


“jq” is a powerful command-line tool used for parsing and manipulating JSON data. It plays a crucial role in data processing and is often employed by developers, system administrators, and data analysts. However, you might encounter an error that says “jq command not found” when trying to use it. Don’t worry; this article will guide you through the troubleshooting process to fix this issue.

Understanding the “jq command not found” Error

The “jq command not found” error message indicates that the system cannot locate the “jq” executable. When you try to execute a command in the terminal, the operating system searches for the specified program in the directories listed in the PATH environment variable. If it fails to find “jq” in any of these directories, the error occurs.

Reasons Behind the Error

Missing jq Installation

One common reason for this error is the absence of the “jq” tool on your system. Unlike many built-in commands, “jq” needs to be installed separately.

Incorrect PATH Variable

Another reason could be an incorrect or incomplete PATH variable configuration. If the directory containing the “jq” executable is not included in the PATH, the system won’t be able to locate it.

Troubleshooting the “jq command not found” Error

Let’s go through the steps to fix the error and get “jq” up and running on your system.

Method 1: Installing jq on Linux/macOS

  1. Linux:
    • Open a terminal window and enter the following command to install “jq”:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install jq
  • Enter your password if prompted, and “jq” will be installed.


brew install jq

Homebrew will download and install “jq” for you.

Method 2: Installing jq on Windows

Using Chocolatey: Open a Command Prompt with administrator privileges and run the following command to install “jq”:

choco install jq

Method 3: Updating the PATH Variable

If “jq” is already installed but you are still encountering the error, you need to check the PATH variable.

  1. Open the terminal or Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command to see the current PATH configuration:
echo $PATH         # On Linux/macOS
echo %PATH%        # On Windows

  1. Ensure the directory containing the “jq” executable is listed in the output.
  2. If it’s not there, you can add it to the PATH using the following command:
export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/jq       # On Linux/macOS
setx PATH "%PATH%;C:\path\to\jq"   # On Windows

Verifying the jq Installation

After following one of the installation methods, it’s essential to verify if “jq” is now accessible.

  1. Open a new terminal or Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command to check the installed version of “jq”:
jq --version


Congratulations! You’ve successfully fixed the “jq command not found” error and installed “jq” on your system. Now, you can effortlessly process and manipulate JSON data using this fantastic command-line tool.


  1. Why is jq important in data processing?
    • “jq” is crucial in data processing as it allows developers and analysts to extract, filter, and transform JSON data efficiently.
  2. Can I use jq with JSON data only?
    • Yes, “jq” is specifically designed to work with JSON data, making it a go-to tool for handling such data structures.
  3. Will installing jq cause any conflicts with other software?
    • No, “jq” is a standalone tool that doesn’t interfere with other software on your system.

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