How To: perform MD5 or SHA1 check /for total noobs/Win+Linux

Write tutorials here
There are more tutorials here
Forum rules
Please don't add support questions to tutorials,start your own thread in the appropriate sub-forum instead. Before you post please read this
Post Reply

Did you ALWAYS make checksum of ALL important / VIP downloaded files?

Not at all :?
Mostly forgot to do :|
Yes, I always did 8)
Total votes: 33


How To: perform MD5 or SHA1 check /for total noobs/Win+Linux

Post by Elisa »

* [Just a note before voting: the question is meant as for your past because I do hope after reading this how-to you will always do it]

How To: perform MD5 or SHA1 check of any file
[this how-to is just for the beginners aka total noobs]

I read often many answers to helper's questions -> did you perform a md5 checksum to be sure you downloaded true and not corrupted media, file etc.?
- Huh? Whoa...? What ? What is that...? :shock: :o
:roll: :|

I am sure - everyone, a silly noob or a geek (gurus do that, don't they? :D ) must do the check, as Fred has told such cool meaning (here: Fred's post):

Never ever try to use an iso that you can't get the correct md5 sum to verify. If you do, you have no idea what you are exposing your computer and data to. If you are lucky, it just won't work right. If you aren't lucky.... well.... use your imagination.

What is md5, sha1 and other hashings? Read here for more details.
Quickly - a quotation of Boo:
If you go to the Mint Downloads page you will notice a row "MD5" under the release name. eg Cassandra.

so for the edition of mint you have go down to the MD5 row.
this MD5 value will look like a big mess of numbers and letters.
this is a unique value for the iso file used to check if the iso you downloaded is the same as the one on the site.
some cd/dvd burning software will calculate this value for an iso you want to burn. otherwise you need an md5sum application, it is part of all linux systems. if you are using windows google for a windows md5sum application and install it.
If you are on window$ system and downloading from win environm., I will introduce you 2 applications/programs for window$ which can check md5, sha1 and some other hashes.

App "WinMd5Sum" Portable - is really a portable, not installing into system.
After downloading the target file "winMd5SumPortable_1.0.1.55_Rev_3_English.paf.exe" which hash md5 is "7237b0ef4872489c583250499ed9b25e" (don't forget to check it :wink: ), just run it. It will look like it's installing, but don't be afraid, it's just an executable archive and it's just extracting main executable program + some additional files, like help files, source files (if would like to compile it by yourself :) ).

Once see is 10 times better than twice to speak about it :D Let's see the pictures.
All win$ programs were tested in wine of the cool LinuxMINT 9 KDE + screens were made and edited (!) in its inner app of the cool Shutter. BTW it is in your repository :idea:

Fig. 1 - Just click on your downloaded file, it starts to extract...
WinMd5Sum screenshot - exctracting, fig. 1
WinMd5Sum screenshot - exctracting, fig. 1
winmd5sum_1.jpg (32.26 KiB) Viewed 10079 times

Then just choose the location where the portable content will be extracted.
WinMd5Sum screenshot - exctracting, fig. 2
WinMd5Sum screenshot - exctracting, fig. 2
winmd5sum_2.jpg (34.15 KiB) Viewed 10079 times
WinMd5Sum screenshot - exctracting, fig. 3
WinMd5Sum screenshot - exctracting, fig. 3
winmd5sum_3.jpg (21.13 KiB) Viewed 10079 times
And that's all the magic. Program extracted, it can be copied even in your flash/usb disk and just run. Remember, it's .exe - win$ program...
Ok, so click on extracted winMd5Sum.exe (extracted into "winMd5SumPortable" folder/directory)
Just click at the right "3 dots button" when you will browse and select the file.
Immediately, after selecting file, the md5 hash is calculated and visible in the "Md5 Sum" window. The last empty window is useful to paste (Ctrl + V) hash to be compared with the file calculated :wink:
Let's see the example with this downloaded file - winMd5SumPortable_1.0.1.55_Rev_3_English.paf.exe Click on "Compare" to see the result.

The last win program is CyoHash which must be installed but as far as I am told, the content of installed files in the folder can be also copied to other place and that .exe - CyoHash.exe just to run. I didn't tested it, only in wine on Linux.
The main difference between WinMd5Sum and CyoHash is - CyoHash supports more hashes: md5, sha1, sha1-base32 and crc32. `

Classic install setup...
...followed selection of destination folder...
Setup's done. Just click on the installed exe - "CyoHash.exe"
Image + Image
After selecting a file, we have to choose hash algorithm and then you have to click on OK button to commit the calculation.
After this step, another result window appears with a choice "Validate" in the left bottom corner.
Check that option to paste string to be compared with the calculated...

As the example was chosen TorChat - a cool app and Decentral Anonymous Instant Messenger which you can download for Linux as well as Window$. Yep, the referred hash on that page (as well as other hashes are visible just after your click on desired file download) is just SHA1, not md5 that's why you can find CyoHash helpful too.

That's all as for Window$ apps review. If you know any other on-your-opinion interesting win hash app, let us know.

~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~

The above written how-to supposes that the LinuxMINT distros are downloaded from Window$ and for Win$ users. The md5 hashes are mentioned on each LinuxMINT exact edition -> .iso file, which is in fact the content of the boot-able CD/DVD media, which must be burned - choosing from a burner app/sw menu: Open image or Burn image followed pointing to downloaded .iso file, not as a New project and adding the .iso file to that etc. :roll: Just remember - to select the slow burning speed. I always choose 4x.
Of course, there are also CLI applications in Windows, not only GUI. But let's say true - most of us know very well how much are win$iees lame to use any CLI magic and they're mostly - and the only like click here, click there aka GUI users, aren't they? :roll:

Linux newbies have much more resources which way or app to choose when calculating almost whatever hash algorithm :)
Let's start for noobs with IMO the best GUI app -> GtkHash which is in your repo, of course :wink:

GtkHash supports really many hash algorithms, app is such easy, no need to whatever explain :D

Another way how to calculate md5 hash in KDE or Dolphin is selecting md5 (only) function from the right button click on a file.


I suppose there are some native ways in Gnome or other desktops how to calculate at least md5, so if anyone wanna share, you're welcome.

Finally, the quickest way how to calculate almost any hash algorithm is terminal or CLI magic :D
Just mentioning some examples and sources because skilled geeks and gurus know... :wink:
However, this how-to is just for the total beginners aka newbies-noobs :mrgreen:

All of you have coreutils (check your Synaptic Package Manager) in the repositories. When you look up them e.g. in Synaptic, you will see that coreutils include many interesting and helpful commands:

basename cat chgrp chmod chown chroot cksum comm cp csplit cut date dd df dir
dircolors dirname du echo env expand expr factor false fmt fold groups head
hostid id install join link ln logname ls md5sum mkdir mkfifo mknod mktemp
mv nice nl nohup od paste pathchk pinky pr printenv printf ptx pwd readlink
rm rmdir sha1sum seq shred sleep sort split stat stty sum sync tac tail tee
test touch tr true tsort tty uname unexpand uniq unlink users vdir wc who
whoami yes

The quickest and easiest way how to use md5sum or sha1sum in terminal:

md5sum file

Result in terminal is hash string. The hash string can be stored also in a text file:

md5sum file > txtfile.md5

where you have to specify file => concrete file and txtfile.md5 => file output (name) which will be created immediately.
Just play with CLI, you will see that even CLI can be fun too :D

For additional studying, some meaningful resources: ... sum-how-to

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

- Jeremy S. Anderson
Last edited by Elisa on Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9056
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 8:31 pm

Re: How To: perform MD5 or SHA1 check /for total noobs/Win+L

Post by richyrich »

Thanks . . and the BEST of your suggestions is :
Never ever try to use an iso that you can't get the correct md5 sum to verify.
don't even burn it to disk !
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2743
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:53 am
Location: Formerly of Kentucky, the land of Mint Juleps

Re: How To: perform MD5 or SHA1 check /for total noobs/Win+L

Post by dawgdoc »

Great job there Elisa. This will be a great resource to refer people to.

I suppose there are some native ways in Gnome or other desktops how to calculate at least md5, so if anyone wanna share, you're welcome.
It is the same for the Gnome desktop environment. Just right click the .iso file and there is an option to check the md5, this can be done on the desktop or in Nautilus.
HP 15-bw0017cl -- Mint 19.3 Cinnamon
Compaq Presario CQ62 -- Mint 17 Cinnamon (support for 80 y/o family members 1st install)
The Secret of the Ninth Planet by Donald A. Wollheim
User avatar
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2082
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: France

Re: How To: perform MD5 or SHA1 check /for total noobs/Win+L

Post by linuxviolin »

All of this is quite good... But you can also, and this works in all distros, just open this simple GUI called Terminal :D and, after you have downloaded your file, e.g. an ISO image, and the text file with its sum (you can create it if the site just give you the sum on the site but not in a file) in the same folder, you just type:

Code: Select all

md5sum (or sha1sum or other) -c TheNameOfYourFileWithTheSum
After some calculation time you should get:

Code: Select all

TheNameOfYourFile.iso: OK
if your file is correct... Quite simple. :wink:
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (Leonardo da Vinci)
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: How To: perform MD5 or SHA1 check /for total noobs/Win+L

Post by ashaes »

I enjoyed the read as well. Thank you much.
Just in case. As I found out, though, there is another possibility to check the SHA1SUM via Terminal + commands:

~$ sha1sum '/Directories/Up_until_the actual_file_to_be_checked.iso'

Rather then just typing the filename itself (which in my case didn't work, oddly...)
[that you can do also by dragging the file into the terminal after the command.]
What the program then did was, it retrieves the SHA1SUM from the .iso file which pops up a line underneath. (closely followed up by the same Directory listing, just without the ' ' )
Then you can manually check the file's sha1sum for its genuity against the other given sources (website, additional text file, etc.).

I am happy to finally be a part of this nice forum.

(a few days ago I switched from Mint 14 to 17)
Post Reply

Return to “Tutorials”