ICONV_OPEN(3) Linux Programmer's Manual ICONV_OPEN(3)NAMEiconv_open - allocate descriptor for character set conversion
iconv_t iconv_open(const char *tocode, const char *fromcode);
The iconv_open() function allocates a conversion descriptor suitable
for converting byte sequences from character encoding fromcode to char‐
acter encoding tocode.
The values permitted for fromcode and tocode and the supported combina‐
tions are system-dependent. For the GNU C library, the permitted val‐
ues are listed by the iconv --list command, and all combinations of the
listed values are supported. Furthermore the GNU C library and the GNU
libiconv library support the following two suffixes:
When the string "//TRANSLIT" is appended to tocode, translitera‐
tion 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 tocode, characters
that cannot be represented in the target character set will be
The resulting conversion descriptor can be used with iconv(3) any num‐
ber of times. It remains valid until deallocated using iconv_close(3).
A conversion descriptor contains a conversion state. After creation
using iconv_open(), the state is in the initial state. Using iconv(3)
modifies the descriptor's conversion state. (This implies that a con‐
version descriptor can not be used in multiple threads simultaneously.)
To bring the state back to the initial state, use iconv(3) with NULL as
The iconv_open() function returns a freshly allocated conversion
descriptor. In case of error, it sets errno and returns (iconv_t) -1.
The following error can occur, among others:
EINVAL The conversion from fromcode to tocode is not supported by the
This function is available in glibc since version 2.1.
SEE ALSOiconv(1), iconv(3), iconv_close(3)COLOPHON
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GNU 2008-08-11 ICONV_OPEN(3)