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From Rahul Akolkar <>
Subject Re: [all] md5 checksum file formats
Date Sun, 18 Dec 2005 03:39:07 GMT
On 12/17/05, Phil Steitz <> wrote:
> We seem to be converging on a "standard" (mentioned in
> /releases/release.html as an ASF standard, but I can't find it
> documented anywhere) for md5 checksum files that takes the form
> hash *<name>
> I am curious as to where the extra stuff comes from (i.e., why we
> decided to add the * and the file name).   Looking around apache, I
> find
> httpd uses
> hash <name>
> (note no "*")
> ant, struts, tomcat, geronimo use
> hash
> commons components are split between just having the hash and adding
> on the "*name".
> It seems silly to me to add the extra contents, since this is just
> duplicating the file name inside the file.  Of course, I am sure there
> is a good reason for this and I just don't know it, so maybe someone
> can clue me in or point me to a link where this is documented?

Don't know if there is a link that documents this in the
domain, but I'd recommend we stick with:

hash *<name>


 * This retains the input file information even if the checksum file
is purposely or accidently (such as during download) renamed.

 * Some verification tools may require the filenames since a checksum
file can contain entries for more than one input file (one per line).

 * I once happened across a Windows based tool that distinctly looked
for the filename at the 35th character in the line, 32 for md5
checksum, a space, a file type demarker and the filename (though I
don't recollect its name, so this may sound like a urban legend ;-).

The * before the <name> is a file type marker, and indicates the
checksum is of a binary file. This is documented, for example, in the
Linux md5sum man page [1].

Thus, adding the extra content, though not strictly necessary, is good
practice nevertheless.



> Thanks!
> Phil

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