- Ant Bryan
- Charles Iliya Krempeaux
- Denis Defreyne
Currently, MD5 and SHA-1 checksums are either listed on a webpage or email (see Example #1) or stored in a separate file such as (filename.ext.md5 or filename.ext.sha1) (see Example #2). There is no standard or automatic way to use them. Verifying a file after you have the hash is not complex, but it is more than the average user is used to doing (see OpenOffice.org: Using MD5 sums). MD5 checksums are 32 digit hexadecimal numbers, while SHA-1 checksums are 40, and SHA-256 checksums are 64.
Who offers MD5/SHA-1 checksums with software
This is only a small sampling.
- Apache HTTP Server in .md5 file from web.
- Cisco MD5 for versions of IOS from Software Center on Cisco website.
- Darwin MD5 on web.
- Fedora Project SHA-1 on web and SHA1SUM file on ftp.
- FreeBSD on web and in CHECKSUM.MD5 and CHECKSUM.SHA256 files.
- GCC on ftp as md5.sum file.
- Gentoo as .md5 file on ftp.
- GNOME as MD5SUMS-for-gz and MD5SUMS-for-bz2 files on ftp.
- GnuPG SHA-1 on web.
- KDE on web and on ftp as MD5SUMS file.
- Knoppix in .md5 and .sha1 file.
- MySQL MD5 on web.
- OpenOffice.org MD5 on web.
- OpenSSH SHA-1 in release announcement.
- OpenSSL .md5 and .sha1 files linked to from web.
- Perl link to .md5 on web.
- PostgreSQL in a .md5 file.
- Python MD5 on web
- Ubuntu as MD5SUMS on ftp.
- X.org md5sums file on ftp.
Example #1: OpenOffice.org MD5 sums
English Application Binaries e0d123e5f316bef78bfdf5a008837577 OOo_2.0.1_LinuxIntel_install.tar.gz 35d91262b3c3ec8841b54169588c97f7 OOo_2.0.1_LinuxIntel_install_wJRE.tar.gz cc273fe9d442850fa18c31c88c823e07 OOo_2.0.1_SolarisSparc_install.tar.gz ff6626c69507a6f511cc398998905670 OOo_2.0.1_SolarisSparc_install_wJRE.tar.gz ce099d7e208dc921e259b48aadef36c1 OOo_2.0.1_Solarisx86_install.tar.gz 4fb319211b2e85cace04e8936100f024 OOo_2.0.1_Solarisx86_install_wJRE.tar.gz 66bd00e43ff8b932c14140472c4b8cc6 OOo_2.0.1_Win32Intel_install.exe 2d86c4246f3c0eb516628bf324d6b9a3 OOo_2.0.1_Win32Intel_install_wJRE.exe
Example #2: Knoppix MD5 and SHA-1 sums in separate files
KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso.md5: 1188f67d48c9f11afb8572977ef74c5e *KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso.sha1: 56857cfc709d3996f057252c16ec4656f5292802 *KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso
Note: This directory also contains filename.ext.md5.asc and filename.ext.sha1.asc files containing the same checksums and PGP signatures in one file.
As described above, I believe almost all solutions are manual (see OpenOffice.org: Using MD5 sums), an 8 step process on Windows and 3 steps on Linux. Link Fingerprints which are used by MD Hash Tool, a very old Firefox extension, is one exception. Here is a Link Fingerprint example:
A Link Fingerprint begins with a traditional URL, then #!md5!, then the MD5 hash.
Metalinks are an XML file format (.metalink) that contain mirrors and checksum information for downloading files. They are used by download programs/managers and mainly open source projects. After a download finishes, the checksum is automatically verified.
Brad Fitzpatrick also suggested referring to "files/patches/changesets" by their unique digest.
Some HTTP server applications compute a hash over the response body to serve as an effective ETag. The server must still compute the body but can benefit from reduced network utilization and reduced downstream cache thrashing. Such applications must be willing to risk a hash collision, albeit scoped to a single URL.
Including a hash in a URL can lead to great cacheability, since the TTL can likely be set to an infinite value. Such URLs are often referred to as versioned URLs.
media:hash in Yahoo Media RSS Module
Yahoo's Media RSS Module adds
<media:hash> to RSS feed enclosures, like this: