I'm having doubts when trying to run a query with JQ. I have an SQS queue with Tags applied and when I run

aws sqs list-queue-tags --region sa-east-1 --queue-url <my-url-queue> --output json | jq

returns the output:

  "Tags": {
    "owner": "foo",
    "Name": "bar-queue"

So...I just filter using like this:

aws sqs list-queue-tags --region sa-east-1 --queue-url <my-url-queue> --output json | jq '.Tags[] | [.Name]'


aws sqs list-queue-tags --region sa-east-1 --queue-url <my-url-queue> --output json | jq '.Tags[].Name'

and other methods without success, always output: jq: error (at <stdin>:6): Cannot index string with string "Name"

Maybe I'm having a noobie hahaha, but someone can help me?

1 Answer 1


Take heart, I've been struggling with JMESPath query expressions for the past couple of years! It's been a long time getting used to them.

In your example output, Tags is a JSON object rather than a list, so the [] in your JMESPath expression is causing the error. Try this as your jq command:

jq '.Tags.Name'

You'll get:


You can use the -r option to jq to get the output without quotes.

However I think you can do better by having the aws command do this filtering for you. Try the --query option:

aws sqs list-queue-tags --region sa-east-1 --queue-url <my-url-queue> --query 'Tags.Name'

Yes, the expression for the aws command doesn't have the leading .. If you don't want the quotes around the output, add the option --output text.

Edited to add these notes about JMESPath expressions for jq vs. aws:

The leading . character isn't the only difference between expressions that jq likes and the ones the aws command likes. I don't have an exhaustive list, but I have needed to use different quotes around path names for one program than I used for the other.

There are pretty good tutorials on query expressions for each of these programs:

And a website that's useful for interactively trying out expressions, once you've figured out how the site works: https://jmespath.org . It includes a link to another, more general tutorial.

  • Great bro, thanks for the explanation, both examples works fine!
    – Vader
    Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 14:56

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