Convert encoding of a file from one character set encoding to another.

Syntax
      iconv [Option...] -f encoding -t encoding inputfile 
      iconv -l

Options

   -f encoding
   --from-code encoding
          Convert characters From encoding.

   -t encoding
   --to-code encoding
          Convert characters To encoding.

   --list
          List known coded character sets
          The encodings available are system dependent.

   -o file
   --output file
          Specify an output file (instead of stdout.)

Options controlling conversion problems:

   -c     When this option is given, characters that cannot be converted are silently
          discarded, instead of leading to a conversion error.

   --unicode-subst=formatstring
          Replace Unicode characters that cannot be represented in the target
          encoding with a placeholder string that is constructed from formatstring,
          applied to the Unicode code point. The formatstring must be in the same
          format as for the printf command or the  printf() function, taking either
          no argument or exactly one unsigned integer argument.

   --byte-subst=formatstring
          Replace bytes in the input that are not valid in the source encoding 
          with a placeholder string constructed from the given formatstring,
          applied to the byte's value. The formatstring must be in the same
          format as for the printf command or  the  printf()  function, taking either
          no argument or exactly one unsigned integer argument.

   --widechar-subst=formatstring
          Replace wide characters in the input that are not valid in the source
          encoding with a placeholder string that is constructed from the given
          formatstring, applied to the byte's value. The formatstring must
          be in the same format as for the printf command or the  printf() function,
          taking either no argument or exactly one unsigned integer argument.

Options controlling error output:

   −s
   −−silent
        Suppress error messages about invalid or unconvertible characters are omitted

   --verbose
        Print progress information.

The iconv program converts the encoding of characters in inputfile from one coded character set to another. The result is written to standard output unless otherwise specified by the –output option.

Examples

Convert input.txt from ISO-8859-1 to UTF-8 and save as output.txt

$ iconv -f ISO-8859-1 -t UTF-8 < input.txt > output.txt

Script to convert all files in a directory from Windows 1242 to UTF8 (from brianwc/ShareAlike.org)

#/bin/bash
LIST=`ls *`
for i in $LIST;
do iconv -f WINDOWS-1252 -t UTF8 $i -o $i.”utf8″;
mv $i.”utf8″ $i;
done

Related linux commands:

uuencode – Encode a binary file
Character encoding – Wikipedia
Equivalent Windows command: TYPE – Convert to Windows 1252.

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