#include <iconv.h> size_t iconv(iconv_t cd, char **inbuf, size_t *inbytesleft, char **outbuf, size_t *outbytesleft);
The main case is when inbuf is not NULL and *inbuf is not NULL. In this case, the iconv() function converts the multibyte sequence starting at *inbuf to a multibyte sequence starting at *outbuf. At most *inbytesleft bytes, starting at *inbuf, will be read. At most *outbytesleft bytes, starting at *outbuf, will be written.
The iconv() function converts one multibyte character at a time, and for each character conversion it increments *inbuf and decrements *inbytesleft by the number of converted input bytes, it increments *outbuf and decrements *outbytesleft by the number of converted output bytes, and it updates the conversion state contained in cd. If the character encoding of the input is stateful, the iconv() function can also convert a sequence of input bytes to an update to the conversion state without producing any output bytes; such input is called a shift sequence. The conversion can stop for four reasons:
A different case is when inbuf is NULL or *inbuf is NULL, but outbuf is not NULL and *outbuf is not NULL. In this case, the iconv() function attempts to set cd's conversion state to the initial state and store a corresponding shift sequence at *outbuf. At most *outbytesleft bytes, starting at *outbuf, will be written. If the output buffer has no more room for this reset sequence, it sets errno to E2BIG and returns (size_t) -1. Otherwise, it increments *outbuf and decrements *outbytesleft by the number of bytes written.
|iconv()||Thread safety||MT-Safe race:cd|
Although inbuf and outbuf are typed as char **, this does not mean that the objects they point can be interpreted as C strings or as arrays of characters: the interpretation of character byte sequences is handled internally by the conversion functions. In some encodings, a zero byte may be a valid part of a multibyte character.
The caller of iconv() must ensure that the pointers passed to the function are suitable for accessing characters in the appropriate character set. This includes ensuring correct alignment on platforms that have tight restrictions on alignment.