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yq
a lightweight and portable command-line YAML processor. yq uses jq like syntax but works with yaml files as well as json. It doesn't yet support everything jq does - but it does support the most common operations and functions, and more is being added continuously.
yq is written in go - so you can download a dependency free binary for your platform and you are good to go! If you prefer there are a variety of package managers that can be used as well as docker, all listed below.

Notice for v4.x versions prior to 4.18.1

Since 4.18.1, yq's 'eval/e' command is the default command and no longers needs to be specified.
Older versions will still need to specify 'eval/e'.
Similarly, '-' is no longer required as a filename to read from STDIN (unless reading from multiple files).
TLDR:
Prior to 4.18.1
cat file.yaml | yq e '.cool' -
4.18+
cat file.yaml | yq '.cool'
When merging multiple files together, eval-all/ea is still required to tell yq to run the expression again all the document at once.

Quick Usage Guide

Read a value:
yq '.a.b[0].c' file.yaml
Pipe from STDIN:
cat file.yaml | yq '.a.b[0].c'
Update a yaml file, inplace
yq -i '.a.b[0].c = "cool"' file.yaml
Update using environment variables
NAME=mike yq -i '.a.b[0].c = strenv(NAME)' file.yaml
Merge multiple files
yq ea '. as $item ireduce ({}; . * $item )' path/to/*.yml
Multiple updates to a yaml file
yq -i '
.a.b[0].c = "cool" |
.x.y.z = "foobar" |
.person.name = strenv(NAME)
' file.yaml
Take a look at the discussions for common questions, and cool ideas

Install

See the github page for the various ways you can install and use yq

Known Issues / Missing Features

  • yq attempts to preserve comment positions and whitespace as much as possible, but it does not handle all scenarios (see https://github.com/go-yaml/yaml/tree/v3 for details)
  • Powershell has its own...opinions on quoting yq
See tips and tricks for more common problems and solutions.
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Notice for v4.x versions prior to 4.18.1
Quick Usage Guide
Install
Known Issues / Missing Features