Full example for using JSONcpp on Unix

I've been trying to parse JSON files with C++, and I've found a distinct lack of full examples on how to do so. Specifically, I've struggled to find the proper commands to actually compile the code. For future reference (and to help any beginners out), here's a full example of how to use JSONcpp in your code (N.B. You're supposed to enter all of the following code in your terminal).

  1. Download the source from github. In the directory that you want to install the source code into, enter

     git clone https://github.com/open-source-parsers/jsoncpp
     cd jsoncpp
  2. Create the makefiles. For this step, you must have cmake installed; if it is not installed, you can install it with your system package manager. 1 From jsoncpp/, run

     mkdir -p build/debug
     cd build/debug
     cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debug -DJSONCPP_LIB_BUILD_SHARED=OFF -G "Unix Makefiles" ../../../jsoncpp
     cd ../..
  3. Enter pwd and make a note of the output. Now, go to the folder containing the code in which you want to use JSONcpp in. Create a new file called "main.cpp" and enter the following code (taken from Stack Overflow):

     #include <fstream>
     #include <iostream>
     #include "json/json.h"
     int main() {
         Json::Value root;
         std::ifstream file("test.json");
         file >> root;
         std::cout << root;

    Create another file called "test.json" with the json content you want to read; I used

         "stocks": [
             {"symbol": "AAPL",
              "amount": 1.03213,
              "last_price": 1.20},
             {"symbol": "MSFT",
              "amount": 2.31039},
             {"symbol": "F",
              "amount": 0.543589}
  4. Compile the code using a "Makefile." Using your favourite text editor, create a file called "Makefile" and enter the following code (replacing JSONCPPPATH with the results from running pwd earlier; mine looks like /Users/ft/Source/jsoncpp/):

     CXX = g++
     LDFLAGS = -LJSONCPPPATH/build/depug/src/lib_json -ljsoncpp
     INC = -IJSONCPPPATH/include
     main: main.cpp
         $(CXX) -o main $(LDFLAGS) $(INC) main.cpp

    IMPORTANT: you have to indent the $(CXX) -o main... line with 1 TAB and not 4 SPACES or it won't work. GNU Make requires a tab for indentation.

  5. Now, compile the code by running make main. You should now be able to run the code by entering ./main. It will print the contents of your test.json file to your terminal.