Verify File Integrity on Linux the Straightforward Approach With GtkHash

GtkHash is a simple and easy tool for generating checksums on Linux. You can also use this tool to check the validity of a specific checksum. Comparing checksums is a great way to ensure data integrity because it allows you to be sure that you are downloading files from a secure site.

Let's see how you can check the integrity of your files on Linux using GtkHash.

How to install GtkHash

GtkHash is available in the repositories of many popular Linux distributions. You can use the following command to install GtkHash on Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install gtkhash

Use the following command to install GtkHash on RPM based systems like Fedora and CentOS:

dnf install gtkhash

If you're using an Arch-based distro like Manjaro, run:

sudo pacman -S gtkhash

In addition, GtkHash is also available as a snap package. So if you prefer a graphical installation, you can either install the Snap package or use your specific distribution's GUI app store.

How to use GtkHash

After GtkHash is installed and ready to use, launch it from the application menu. You can also invoke it from a terminal emulator by entering the following command:

gtkhash

Once you launch GtkHash, you'll find that it has a minimal user interface. There is a file explorer that you can use to select the file that you want to review. After choosing a file, click on the hash Button at the bottom of the window.

By default, GtkHash calculates checksums with the functions MD5, SHA1, SHA256 and CRC32. You can use other digest algorithms from the settings Section.

In addition, you can also use GtkHash to validate the authentication of your files. Select a message digest for a file by opening the File> Open Opportunity. Enter the HMAC key if the file uses a hash-based message authentication code.

To save the digests calculated by GtkHash, go to File> Save As and enter a filename to save the result. You can also calculate digests for multiple files by selecting the file list from the context menu. Just go to View> File List and start adding your files.

How to customize GtkHash

Although pretty minimal, GtkHash offers several customization options. You can choose from a large number of checksum algorithms and set the standard digest format to either lowercase or uppercase hexadecimal as well as Base64.

Go to Edit> Preferences to customize your GtkHash options. In this window you will find a list with several hash functions. Check the ones you want to use.

click on the Digest format Option and select the format you want. As described above, there are three options here.

How to install the GtkHash extension for file manager

If you are a power user, you may want to calculate message digests right from your file manager. Fortunately, GtkHash also has excellent plugins for popular Linux file managers, including Nemo, Thunar, Nautilis, and Caja.

To install the GtkHash extension for your file manager, you will need to use your distribution's graphical package manager. For example, you can search for GtkHash in the Synaptic Package Manager if you're using Ubuntu.

It lists the packages available, including the file manager plugins. Select the plug-in for your system's file manager and then apply the changes. It will install the GtkHash extension for the selected file manager.

How to use GtkHash extension for file manager

Once you have the required plugin installed, you can calculate the hashes directly from your file manager. Open the file manager you installed the GtkHash plugin for and right click on a file. Go to properties, and you'll find a new option called Summaries.

It allows users to select the hash functions and generate the checksums directly from the menu. You can also use the HMAC function to validate file authentication.

Check file integrity on Linux with GtkHash

GtkHash is the simplest GUI tool for checking file integrity on Linux. You can also use it to check whether a newly downloaded file is authentic or not. If you're serious about privacy, we highly recommend installing GtkHash today.

GtkHash is all you need to check file integrity on Linux. But what if you have a Windows machine? Don't sweat it out, there are some great hash checkers for Windows out there too.

6 free hash checkers to check the integrity of every file

Are you ignoring file hash verification at your own risk? Use these tools to verify that the downloaded file is safe.

Continue reading

About the author

Rubaiat Hossain
(42 published articles)

Rubaiat is a CS graduate with a strong passion for open source. Aside from being a Unix veteran, he's also into network security, cryptography, and functional programming. He is a passionate collector of used books and has an endless admiration for classic rock.

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By Rubaiat Hossain

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