UTF-8 compatible JSON5 parser for PHP

v2.1.0 2019-03-28 18:28 UTC


Latest Version on Packagist PHP 5.4+ Software License Build Status Coverage Status SensioLabs Insight UTF-8 Compatible Total Downloads

This library is a PHP fork of the JSON5 reference implementation.

JSON5 is a JS-compatible extension to JSON which allows comments, trailing commas, single-quoted strings, and more:

    foo: 'bar',
    while: true,

    this: 'is a \
multi-line string',

    // this is an inline comment
    here: 'is another', // inline comment

    /* this is a block comment
       that continues on another line */

    hex: 0xDEADbeef,
    half: .5,
    delta: +10,
    to: Infinity,   // and beyond!

    finally: 'a trailing comma',
    oh: [
        "we shouldn't forget",
        'arrays can have',
        'trailing commas too',

See the JSON5 website for additional examples and details.


Via Composer

$ composer require colinodell/json5


This package adds a json5_decode() function which is a drop-in replacement for PHP's built-in json_decode():

$json = file_get_contents('foo.json5');
$arr = json5_decode($json);

It takes the same exact parameters in the same order. For more details on these, see the PHP docs.

To achieve the best possible performance, it'll try parsing with PHP's native function (which usually fails fast) and then falls back to JSON5.


This function will always throw a SyntaxError exception if parsing fails. This is a subclass of the new \JsonException introduced in PHP 7.3. Providing or omitting the JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR option will have no effect on this behavior.

For users on PHP 7.2 and below: a PHP 7.3 polyfill is included with this library so that you can safely reference \JsonException and JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR in your own code.

Binary / Executable

A binary/executable named json5 is also provided for converting JSON5 to plain JSON via your terminal.

Usage: json5 [OPTIONS] [FILE]

  -h, --help  Shows help and usage information

  (Reading data from STDIN is not currently supported on Windows)


Converting a file named file.json5:

json5 file.json5

Converting a file and saving its output:

json5 file.json5 > file.json

Converting from STDIN:

echo -e "{hello: 'world!'}" | json5

Converting from STDIN and saving the output:

echo -e "{hello: 'world!'}" | json5 > output.json

Change log

Please see CHANGELOG for more information on what has changed recently.


$ composer test


Please see CONTRIBUTING and CODE_OF_CONDUCT for details.


If you discover any security related issues, please email colinodell@gmail.com instead of using the issue tracker.



The MIT License (MIT). Please see License File for more information.