Howto: Verify integrity of the tar balls or source code

Posted on in Categories Linux, Security, Tips, UNIX last updated December 2, 2005

Verifying integrity of the tar balls or source code is an essential step, which makes sure that you are going to use guanine software (also know as checksum). Every Linux or UNIX admin should be aware of this test. However, what is a checksum? A checksum is a form of a very simple measure for protecting the integrity of data from both hackers (read as crackers) and data transmission error over network i.e. make sure no one has tampered with a source file (see checksum @ wikipedia) For file verification, use any one of the following command:

  1. sha1sum – check SHA1 (160-bit) checksums
  2. md5sum – check MD5 (128-bit) checksums
  3. gpg – Use to validate a GPG certificate

Therefore, whenever you visit source-code download site, you will come across md5sum, sha1sum, or gpg signature keys listed. Following is general syntax to verify keys with different commands:

  • sha1sum {source-code-file-name}
  • md5sum {source-code-file-name}
  • gpg –verify {source-code-file-name.sig} {source-code-file-name}

Examples ~ sure, without examples no one able to grasp the idea:

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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