ASCII to EBCDIC - DD command

Posted on 2006-07-24
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I'm using the DD command in UNIX to convert ASCII to EBCDIC so that I can print via "lp" to a AS/400 attached printer.  I'm using the AS/400 as a print server.  The command below works fine except that the carriage return/line feed disappear.  The file prints without the carriage return line feed.

Here is the unix command:
cat $file | dd ibs=80 cbs=132 conv=ebcdic | lp -d AS400PRNT -s

Not that it should matter, but I'm running this under HPUX.
Question by:javajws
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

ID: 17172918
have you tried:

    dd if=$file ibs=80 cbs=132 conv=ebcdic | lp -d AS400PRNT -s

Does the file have CRLF in it?  Normally on UNIX records are terminated by LF only.

Author Comment

ID: 17175492
Using the IF parameter does help with the CRLF but the length of the file is 132 instead of 80.  I'm guessing this is because of using the CBS of 132.  When I use a CBS of 80, the CRLF disappears again.

I also tried using the "iconv" UNIX command to convert from ascii to ebcdic:
iconv -f roma8 -t cp037 $file | lp -d AS400PRNT -s

and I get the same results.  No carriage return/line feed.
LVL 57

Expert Comment

ID: 17175849
What happens if you use cbs=82?

Is each line in the file actually 80 bytes long?
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Author Comment

ID: 17176169
It still prints landscape and the CRLFs are not correct.
LVL 57

Expert Comment

ID: 17176471
Does the input file contain CRLF to start with?
LVL 57

Accepted Solution

giltjr earned 500 total points
ID: 17176494
O.K. try

  dd if=$file ibs=80 cbs=132 conv=ebcdic ofs=printit
   lp -d AS400PRNT -s printit
LVL 57

Expert Comment

ID: 17176622
I did a couple of quick tests.  The dd command does not add CRLF, so if the original file does not have them in there, they won't be afterwards.  They must exist before hand.

Also, the ibs and cbs are not LRECL's, but "blocksize", which is the number of bytes that will be read and then converted at a time.  This does not make the dd command treat the input as if it was 80 byte records and write 132 byte records.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 17185318
As giltjr stated above, Unix files usually have only LF and not CR. Most Unixen have a 'unix2dos' or (for HP-UX) 'ux2dos' command to add the CR.

That would get you
  unix2dos < file | dd ... | lp ...

If your system doesn't have this command you can also write it pretty trivially in awk, sed, perl, whatever. Here is a version in awk
   awk '{ printf "%s\r\n", $0; }'

Expert Comment

ID: 17188524

Have you tried 'conv=ibm' in you dd command.

IBM use a varient of ebcdic !! AS/400 is IBM tech stack - just a thought


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