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Bash: iconv makes shell unusable

From a Z/OS prompt, if I start bash, then use iconv to show an ASCII file, the whole bash shell becomes corrupted:

 bash-4.3$ iconv -f 1047 -t 819 test.txt
 ŽÂ/ËÇ”“„€

The ascii/ebcdic gibberish is then echoed, ^d or exit does not terminate the shell.

This behavior does not happen with sh or tcsh. Note the same behavior happens with other code pages.

Hi,
we know, that this usage of iconv breaks bash. However, in my opinion this command is meaningless. If you need to read a file, you should tag it with command:
chtag -tc 819 < file > #For ASCII file
chtag -tc 1047 < file > #For EBCDIC file
Then you can read it with command “cat < file >”.
If you want to change encoding of the file, you need to use redirection: iconv -f 1047 -t 819 test.txt > test1.txt

Thanks,
Tatiana

1 Like

I do not agree that iconv is per se meaningless because of using bash although I agree that there are many situations where indeed chtag is the better choice.

Funny: when I run iconv in a shell I get a corrupted prompt but the bash is still usable. Means: I press ENTER and then the prompt is ok. And of course I can enter commands aso.