How to Check Hashes like MD5 and SHA

Siddhesh SonjePosted by

In last tutorial we learnt about what are hashes! In this tutorial we will see how to check them.


Let’s Start:

Calculating File Hashes via Command-Line

Linux and OS X

When you’re downloading files, you’ll see the checksums listed on the website somewhere. But how do you compare yourself?

Linux distros will have this ability built-in. Just pop open a terminal and enter the following command:

” md5sum path/to/file.iso “


I used the example of an .iso, but you can get hashes on any time of file.

If you’re on a Mac, you can open up and use this:

” md5 path/to/file.7z “

Replace ‘md5’ with ‘sha1’ in both of the previous commands to check the SHA-1 hash.





Windows doesn’t have a built-in tool to check hashes, but Microsoft does provide one from their website.

Microsoft File Checksum Integrity Verifier Utility

Once you download and extract the file (there’s no installation), open up a Command Prompt window. Navigate to where the file is, and then use the following command to check MD5 hashes:

fciv.exe C:\path\to\file.bin

FCIV checks MD5 by default, but it can also check SHA-1 hashes, too:

fciv.exe –sha1 C:\path\to\



GUI-Based Tools for Checking Hashes


If you’re on Windows or OS X and you don’t like using the command-line, there’s a really great graphical utility you can use called HashTab.

Head on over to the HashTab webpage, download the app, and install it.

Now, just right-click on your file, and go to Properties.


You’ll see a new “Hashes” tab.


Your computer will automatically start calculating the three default hashes: CRC32, MD5, and SHA-1.


If you click the Settings link, you can customize which hashes show up. There are quite a few to choose from!


As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to checking your downloads, particularly for firmware images and the like. Now that you know what to do with the checksums you find online, you can rest easy.

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