Linux Commands Examples

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Convert encoding of given files from one encoding to another


iconv -f encoding [-t encoding] [inputfile]...

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echo "123" | iconv -f CP1251 -t UTF-8 
example added by Pavel
echo "123" | iconv -f CP1251 -t UTF-8
example added by Pavel


The iconv program converts the encoding of characters in inputfile, or from the standard input if no filename is specified, from one coded character set to another. The result is written to standard output unless otherwise specified by the --output option.
, -f encoding

Convert characters from encoding.

--to-code, -t encoding

Convert characters to encoding. If not specified the encoding corresponding to the current locale is used.

--list, -l

List known coded character sets.


Omit invalid characters from output.

--output, -o file

Specify output file (instead of stdout).

--silent, -s

Suppress warnings, but not errors.


Print progress information.

--help, -?

Give help list.


Give a short usage message.

--version, -V

Print program version.


The values permitted for --from-code and --to-code can be listed by the iconv --list command, and all combinations of the listed values are supported. Furthermore the following two suffixes are supported:

When the string "//TRANSLIT" is appended to --to-code, transliteration is activated. This means that when a character cannot be represented in the target character set, it can be approximated through one or several similarly looking characters.


When the string "//IGNORE" is appended to --to-code, characters that cannot be represented in the target character set will be silently discarded.


iconv was written by Ulrich Drepper as part of the GNU C Library.

This man page was written by Joel Klecker <espy[:at:]debian[:dot:]org>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system.

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