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How can I determine the character encoding of a file?

How can I determine the character encoding of a file?
i.e. BIG5, SHIFT_JIS, UTF-8, etc.
This is on linux or any other unix flavors

I know iconv converts from one encoding to another, but this doesn't help me.
I guess something similar to auto_ef in solaris 10.

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try to interpret in an encoding and check if makes sense.
From the auto_ef man page :

        "The auto_ef utility identifies the encoding of a given file. The utility judges the
        encoding by using the iconv code conversion, determining whether a certain
        code conversion was successful with the file, and also by performing frequency
        analyses on the character sequences that appear in the file."

So, it uses iconv internally.

Here's the source code for auto_ef :


You can try to get it to work on your system (if there isn't a version available for your system already).

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