man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014



geniconvtbl - generate iconv code conversion tables


geniconvtbl [-fnq] [-p preprocessor] [-W arg] [-Dname] 
     [-Dname=def] [-Idirectory] [-Uname] [infile]...


The geniconvtbl utility accepts code conversion rules defined in flat text file(s) and writes code conversion binary table file(s) that can be used to support user-defined iconv code conversions (see iconv(1) and iconv(3C) for more detail on the iconv code conversion).


The following options are supported:


Overwrites output file if the output file exists.


Does not generate an output file. This is useful to check the contents of the input file.

–p preprocessor

Uses specified preprocessor instead of the default preprocessor, /usr/lib/cpp.


Quiet option. It suppresses warning and error messages.

–W arg

Passes the argument arg to the preprocessor. If this option is specified more than once, all arguments are passed to the preprocessor.


geniconvtbl recognizes these options and passes them and their arguments to the preprocessor.


The following operand is supported:


A path name of an input file. If no input file is specified, geniconvtbl reads from the standard input stream. The user can specify more than one input file if necessary.



If input is from the standard input stream, geniconvtbl writes output to the standard output stream. If one or more input files are specified, geniconvtbl reads from each input file and writes to a corresponding output file. Each of the output file names will be the same as the corresponding input file with .bt appended.

The generated output files must be moved to the following directory prior to using the code conversions at iconv(1) and iconv(3C):


The output file name should start with one or more printable ASCII characters as the 'fromcode' name followed by a percentage character (%), followed by one or more printable ASCII characters as the 'tocode' name, followed by the suffix '.bt'. The 'fromcode' and 'tocode' names are used to identify the iconv code conversion at iconv(1) and iconv_open(3C)). The properly named output file should be placed in the directory, /usr/lib/iconv/geniconvtbl/binarytables/.


Example 1 Generating an iconv code conversion binary table

The following example generates a code conversion binary table with output file name

example% geniconvtbl convertA2B
Example 2 Generating multiple iconv code conversion binary tables

The following example generates two code conversion binary tables with output files and

example% geniconvtbl test1 test2
Example 3 Using another preprocessor

The following example generates a code conversion binary table once the specified preprocessor has processed the input file:

example% geniconvtbl -p /opt/SUNWspro/bin/cc -W -E convertB2A
Example 4 Placing a binary table

To use the binary table created in the first example above as the engine of the conversion 'fromcode' ABC to 'tocode' DEF, become super-user and then rename it and place it like this:

example# mv \
Example 5 Providing modified ISO8859-1 to UTF-8 code conversion

Write a geniconvtbl source file that defines the code conversion. For instance, you can copy over /usr/lib/iconv/geniconvtbl/srcs/ISO8859-1_to_UTF-8.src into your directory and make necessary changes at the source file. Once the modifications are done, generate the binary table:

example% geniconvtbl ISO8859-1_to_UTF-8.src

As super-user, place the generated binary table with a unique name at the system directory where iconv_open(3C) can find the binary table:

example su
example% cp \

After that, you can do the iconv code conversion. For instance:

example% iconv -f my-iso-8859-1 -t utf-8 testfile.txt

Environment Variables

See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of geniconvtbl: LANG and LC_CTYPE.

Exit Status

The following exit values are returned:


No errors occurred and the output files were successfully created.


Command line options are not correctly used or an unknown command line option was specified.


Invalid input or output file was specified.


Conversion rules in input files are not correctly defined.


Conversion rule limit of input files has been reached. See NOTES section of geniconvtbl(4).


No more system resource error.


Internal error.



conversion binary tables


conversion source files for user reference


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:


See also

cpp(1), iconv(1), iconv(3C), iconv_close (3C), iconv_open(3C), geniconvtbl(4), attributes(5) , environ(5), iconv(5)

Solaris Internationalization Guide for Developers


The generated and correctly placed output files, /usr/lib/iconv/geniconvtbl/binarytables/*.bt, are used in both 32-bit and 64-bit environments.