Sign inDemoInstall


Package Overview
File Explorer

Advanced tools

Install Socket

Detect and block malicious and high-risk dependencies



Convert character encodings in pure javascript.

Version published
Install size
620 kB

Package description

What is iconv-lite?

The iconv-lite npm package provides utilities for converting character encodings in pure JavaScript. It supports many different encodings and can convert to and from Buffer objects without the need for a native C++ binding. This makes it a lightweight and portable solution for encoding conversion.

What are iconv-lite's main functionalities?

Encoding Conversion

Converts text from one character encoding to another. The example shows how to decode a buffer to a string and encode a string to a buffer using Windows-1251 encoding.

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

// Convert from an encoded buffer to js string.
const str = iconv.decode(Buffer.from([0x63, 0x61, 0x66, 0xe9]), 'win1251');

// Convert from js string to an encoded buffer.
const buf = iconv.encode('Sample input text', 'win1251');

Streaming Conversion

Provides a streaming interface for encoding conversion. This example demonstrates how to create a read stream from a file and pipe it through iconv-lite's decode stream.

const iconv = require('iconv-lite');
const fs = require('fs');

// Decode stream (from a file, for example)
const readStream = fs.createReadStream('file.txt');
const decodeStream = iconv.decodeStream('win1251');


decodeStream.on('data', function(str) {
  console.log(str); // converted text

Encoding Detection

Checks if a particular encoding is supported by iconv-lite. The example checks if UTF-8 encoding is supported.

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

// Check if encoding is supported
const encodingSupported = iconv.encodingExists('utf-8');

console.log(encodingSupported); // true or false

Other packages similar to iconv-lite



iconv-lite - pure javascript character encoding conversion

Build Status


  • Pure javascript. Doesn't need native code compilation.
  • Easy API.
  • Works on Windows and in sandboxed environments like Cloud9.
  • Encoding is much faster than node-iconv (see below for performance comparison).


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

// Convert from an encoded buffer to string.
str = iconv.decode(buf, 'win1251');

// Convert from string to an encoded buffer.
buf = iconv.encode("Sample input string", 'win1251');

// Check if encoding is supported

Supported encodings

  • All node.js native encodings: 'utf8', 'ucs2', 'ascii', 'binary', 'base64'
  • All widespread single byte encodings: Windows 125x family, ISO-8859 family, IBM/DOS codepages, Macintosh family, KOI8 family. Aliases like 'latin1', 'us-ascii' also supported.
  • Multibyte encodings: 'gbk', 'gb2313', 'Big5', 'cp950'.

Others are easy to add, see the source. Please, participate. Most encodings are generated from node-iconv. Thank you Ben Noordhuis and iconv authors!

Not supported yet: EUC family, Shift_JIS.

Encoding/decoding speed

Comparison with node-iconv module (1000x256kb, on Ubuntu 12.04, Core i5/2.5 GHz, Node v0.8.7). Note: your results may vary, so please always check on your hardware.

operation             iconv@1.2.4   iconv-lite@0.2.4 
encode('win1251')     ~115 Mb/s     ~230 Mb/s
decode('win1251')     ~95 Mb/s      ~130 Mb/s


When decoding, a 'binary'-encoded string can be used as a source buffer.
Untranslatable characters are set to � or ?. No transliteration is currently supported, pull requests are welcome.


git clone
cd iconv-lite
npm install
npm test

# To view performance:
node test/performance.js


  • 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).



Last updated on 15 Jul 2013

Did you know?

Socket for GitHub automatically highlights issues in each pull request and monitors the health of all your open source dependencies. Discover the contents of your packages and block harmful activity before you install or update your dependencies.


Related posts

SocketSocket SOC 2 Logo


  • Package Alerts
  • Integrations
  • Docs
  • Pricing
  • FAQ
  • Roadmap

Stay in touch

Get open source security insights delivered straight into your inbox.

  • Terms
  • Privacy
  • Security

Made with ⚡️ by Socket Inc