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Re: Converting a DB from SQL_ASCII to UTF-8

From: Ivo Rossacher <rossacher(at)bluewin(dot)ch>
To: pgsql-admin(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Converting a DB from SQL_ASCII to UTF-8
Date: 2007-06-18 17:47:29
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-admin
There is no general answer to the question. It highly depends on how the data 
was entered.
SQL_ASCII is not an encoding but more the absence of any encoding. So whatever 
the client sends will be put into the database. So if you entered data with 
different encodings from the client side (typically different clients on 
different operating systems). What to do with the data depends highly on the 
used encodings of the clients. If you are very lucky and all entries were 
based on the same encoding you might run iconv or recode on the dump and 
reload the corrected dump. Otherwise you will have to manually, with the help 
of recode or iconv, adjust the dump.
If your server is once on UTF-8 the server will convert from and to the 
encoding of your client for you. SQL_ASCII asks the server not to convert 

Best regards
Am Montag, 18. Juni 2007 16:36 schrieb Michael Monnerie:
> Dear list,
> how would I convert an existing database (dbmail mail server,
> from SQL_ASCII to UTF-8?
> I cannot just dump and reload, because:
> psql:/mnt/dbmail:191030: FEHLER:  ungültige Byte-Sequenz für
> Kodierung »UTF8«: 0xdc62
> TIP:  Dieser Fehler kann auch auftreten, wenn die Bytesequenz nicht mit
> der Kodierung übereinstimmt, die der Server erwartet, welche
> durch »client_encoding« bestimmt wird.
> (How could I tell postfix to speak with me in english?)
> Now what would be the correct way to convert, without destroying any of
> the DB contents? There are e-mails there, so binary values are
> important, too.
> mfg zmi

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