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md_src_plugins_iconv_README(3elektra) Elektra md_src_plugins_iconv_README(3elektra)


md_src_plugins_iconv_README - README

  • infos = Information about iconv plugin is in keys below
  • infos/author = Markus Raab
  • infos/licence = BSD
  • infos/needs =
  • infos/provides = conv
  • infos/placements = postgetstorage presetstorage
  • infos/description = Converts values of keys between charsets

This plugin is a filter plugin that converts between different character encodings.


Consider a user insisting on a latin1 character encoding because of some old application. All other users already use, for example, UTF-8. For these users, the configuration files are encoded in UTF-8. So we need a solution for the user with latin1 to access the key database with proper encoding.

On the other hand, contemplate an XML file which requires a specific encoding. But the other key databases work well with the users encoding. So a quick fix for that backend is needed to feed that XML file with a different encoding.

Iconv plugin provides a solution for both scenarios. It converts between many available character encodings. With the plugin’s configuration the user can change the from and to encoding. The default values of the plugin configuration are: from encoding will be determined at run time. to encoding is UTF-8.


  • to is per default UTF-8, to have unicode configuration files
  • from is per default the users locale

Note that for writing the configuration from and to is swapped. A key database that requires a specific encoding can make use of it. To sum up, every user can select a different encoding, but the key databases are still properly encoded for anyone.


For example ~/.config/iconv.ini should be latin1, but all users have UTF-8 settings:

kdb mount iconv.ini /example/iconv ini iconv from=UTF-8,to=ISO-8859-1
file ~/.config/iconv.ini # iconv.ini: ISO-8859 text
kdb get user/example/iconv/a # converts ISO-8859 to UTF-8
kdb set user/example/iconv/a öäß # converts UTF-8 to ISO-8859
Sun May 29 2016 Version 0.8.14