I am working on a Raspberry Pi 3 project (my first, I’m embarrassed to say :-p) and downloaded NOOBS OS installer to install Raspbian on my new Pi.
Even though I torrented the ZIP file, I still wanted to check the SHA256 checksum of the download. I’m careful that way.
Here’s what I want to do: compute the SHA256 hash of the NOOBS Zip file and compare that to the checksum from the website:
Drop out to a command window. Enter this command (I don’t want the file name, so I run it through sed after the shamus command):
shasum -a 256 ./NOOBS_v2_4_3.zip | sed 's/^\(.[a-f0-9]*\) .*$/\1/'
Now, copy the line from the Terminal window, open a text editor, paste it in. Hit enter to get a new line in the editor, copy the SHA-256 hash from the NOOBS download page, and paste that in below it:
By eye, I can easily see these match, but I thought, “Sheesh, what a lot of work! There has to be a better way!” Spoiler alert: there is!
I found this post at StackOverflow, which linked to this post about process substitution.
So through a single command, I can compute the SHA-256 hash of the downloaded ZIP file, and compare that to the checksum from the NOOBS downloads page (okay, okay, I still have to manually copy the checksum from the downloads page and paste it into the command line after the echo):
diff <(shasum -a 256 ./NOOBS_v2_4_3.zip | sed 's/^\(.[a-f0-9]*\) .*$/\1/') \
Note: I’m using “\” to indicate the line is too long for WordPress to display, but the command works just fine with the backslash in there. Here’s a screenshot in case you need further convincing (I ran it twice, once with and once without the backslash):
Voila! When the command line comes back with no output (as diff does when there are no differences between “files”), I know the checksum is good!
So, to sum up, the basic format for this command (assumes you’re checking an SHA-256 hash) is:
diff <(shasum -a 256 /path/to/file/FILE_TO_CHECK | \
sed 's/^\(.[a-f0-9]*\) .*$/\1/') <(echo CHECKSUM_FROM_WEBSITE)
Hope you enjoyed this tip. Thanks for reading!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Raspberry Pi 3 project to get to!
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