iconv is a computer program and a standardized application programming interface (API) used to convert between different character encodings. "It can convert from any of these encodings to any other, through Unicode conversion."
All recent Linux distributions contain a free implementation of iconv utility and
iconv() function as part of the GNU C Library which is the C library for current Linux systems. The library's iconv() function is licensed as LGPL, so it is linkable with closed source applications, while the iconv utility is licensed as GPL, so derivatives must be open and in GPL too. To use the library, the GNU glibc locales need to be installed, which are provided as a separate package (usually named glibc-locale) normally installed by default.
iconv -f iso-8859-1
An input file
infile can be converted from ISO-8859-1 to UTF-8 and output to output file
iconv -f iso-8859-1 -t utf-8 <infile >outfile
iconv is also available for many programming languages. For example, one of the libraries supported by PHP (also under Windows using a DLL file), so it is possible to use iconv() from a PHP program easily.
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