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Convert character encodings in pure javascript.
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iconv-lite - native javascript conversion between character encodings.


var iconv = require('iconv-lite');

// Convert from an encoded buffer to string.
str = iconv.fromEncoding(buf, 'win-1251');
// Or
str = iconv.decode(buf, 'win-1251');

// Convert from string to an encoded buffer.
buf = iconv.toEncoding("Sample input string", 'win-1251');
// Or
buf = iconv.encode("Sample input string", 'win-1251');

Supported encodings

Currently only a small part of encodings supported:

  • All node.js native encodings: 'utf8', 'ucs2', 'ascii', 'binary', 'base64'.
  • Base encodings: 'latin1'
  • Cyrillic encodings: 'windows-1251', 'koi8-r', 'iso 8859-5'.
  • Simplified chinese: 'gbk', 'gb2313'.

Other encodings are easy to add, see the source. Please, participate.

Encoding/decoding speed

Comparison with iconv module (1000 times 256kb, on Core i5/2.5 GHz).

Operation\module            iconv       iconv-lite (this)
toEncoding('win1251')       19.57 mb/s  49.04 mb/s
fromEncoding('win1251')     16.39 mb/s  24.11 mb/s


This module is JavaScript-only, thus can be used in a sandboxed environment like Cloud9.

Untranslatable characters are set to '?'. No transliteration is currently supported, pull requests are welcome.


npm install --dev iconv-lite


  • Support streaming character conversion, something like util.pipe(req, iconv.fromEncodingStream('latin1')).
  • Add more encodings.
  • Add transliteration (best fit char).
  • Add tests and correct support of variable-byte encodings (currently work is delegated to node).
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