GtkHash is a simple and lightweight tool for generating checksums on Linux. You can also verify the validity of a given checksum using this tool. Comparing checksums is a great way to ensure data integrity because it can help you be sure that you are downloading files from a secure site.
Let’s see how you can verify 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 such as Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install gtkhash
Use the command below to install GtkHash on RPM based systems like Fedora and CentOS:
dnf install gtkhash
If you are using an Arch-based distribution like Manjaro, run:
sudo pacman -S gtkhash
In addition, GtkHash is also available as an instant package. So, if you prefer a graphical installation, you can choose to install the snap package or use the GUI app store of your specific distribution.
How to use GtkHash
Now that you have GtkHash installed and ready to use, launch it from the Applications menu. You can also invoke it from a terminal emulator by typing the following command:
Once you fire up GtkHash, you will notice that it has minimal user interface. There is a file explorer which allows you to choose the file you want to check. After selecting a file, click on the Chop button at the bottom of the window.
By default, GtkHash calculates checksums using the MD5, SHA1, SHA256, and CRC32 functions. You can specify other digest algorithms from the Preferences section.
Moreover, you can also validate the authentication of your files using GtkHash. Select a message digest for a file by selecting the File> Open option. Enter the HMAC key if the file uses a hash-based message authentication code.
To save the hashes calculated by GtkHash, go to File> Save As and enter a file name to save the result. You can also calculate summaries for multiple files by selecting File List from the context menu. Simply go to View> File List and start adding your files.
How to customize GtkHash
Although fairly minimal, GtkHash does offer several customization options. Namely, you can choose from a large number of checksum algorithms and set the default summary format to Lowercase or Uppercase Hexadecimal as well as Base64.
Go to Edit> Preferences to customize your GtkHash options. You will find a list of several hash functions in this window. Check the ones you want to use.
Click on the Summary Format and choose the format you want to use. There are three options here, as shown above.
How to install the GtkHash extension for file managers
If you are an advanced user, you may want to calculate message summaries directly from your file manager. Fortunately, GtkHash also has some great plugins for popular Linux file managers, including Nemo, Thunar, Nautilis, and Caja.
To install the GtkHash extension for your file manager, you need to use your distribution’s graphical package manager. For example, you can search for GtkHash in Synaptic Package Manager if you are using Ubuntu.
It will list the available packages including file manager plugins. Select the plugin for your system’s file manager, then apply the changes. It will install the GtkHash extension for the selected file manager.
How to use the GtkHash extension for file managers
Once you have installed the required plugin, you can calculate hashes directly from your file manager. Open the file manager for which you installed the GtkHash plugin and right click on a file. Go to Properties, and you will find a new option called Condensed.
It allows users to select hash functions and create checksums directly from the menu. You can also validate the authentication of files using the HMAC function.
Validate file integrity on Linux with GtkHash
GtkHash is the simplest graphical tool for validating file integrity on Linux. You can also use it to confirm whether a recently downloaded file is genuine or not. If you are someone who takes privacy seriously, we strongly suggest that you install GtkHash today.
GtkHash is all you need to check file integrity on Linux. But what if you have a Windows machine? Don’t worry, there are some great hash checkers for Windows as well.
Do you skip file hash verification at your own risk? Use these tools to verify that the file you are downloading is safe.
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