taT4Nix | convert EBCDIC to ASCII and vice versa

So far, I have encountered this on data warehousing projects, probably this might happen in some other domains too. Anyways, if there’s an ebcdic file with you, mostly retrieved from Mainframe systems. Then, one would like to convert them to ASCII for making modifications using text editors on UNIX servers, like AIX.

I have used the following command several times for changing the file from ASCII to EBCDIC or vice-versa. So, this is how its done;

dd if=<ebcdic-file> of=<ascii-file> conv=ascii

Now, you can start modifying the ASCII version and once done, you may convert it back to EBCDIC to be used by your application.

dd if=<ascii-file> of=<ebcdic-file> conv=ebcdic

If you’re just replacing particular number of bytes with equivalent number of bytes having different characters, the conversion would be smooth and application reading the file should not have any issues.

However, I had some issues while adding/deleting records into/from ASCII version, as found when converted back to EBCDIC mode. The file was unreadable by the application and I had difficulty reverting without having backup of EBCDIC version.

Hope this helps 🙂


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