cksum, sum - display file checksums and block counts
cksum [-p | -t | -x | -c [checklist ...] | -s string | file
[-a algorithm] [-o 1 | 2]
sum [file ...]
The cksum utility writes to the standard output a single
line for each
input file. The format of this line varies with the algorithm being used
cksum The output line consists of three whitespace separated fields: a
CRC checksum, the number of octets in the input, and
name of the
file or string. If no file name is specified, the
is used and no file name is written.
sum The output line consists of three whitespace separated fields: a
CRC checksum, the number of kilobytes in the input,
and name of
the file or string. If no file name is specified,
input is used and no file name is written.
The output line consists of three whitespace separated fields: a
CRC checksum, the number of 512-byte blocks in the
name of the file or string. If no file name is
standard input is used and no file name is written.
The output line consists of four whitespace separated fields: the
name of the algorithm used, the name of the file or
parentheses, an equals sign, and the cryptographic
hash of the
input. If no file name is specified, the standard
input is used
and only the cryptographic hash is output.
The sum utility is identical to the cksum utility, except
that it defaults
to using historic algorithm 1, as described below.
It is provided
for compatibility only.
The options are as follows:
Use the specified algorithm instead of the default
algorithms include cksum, md4, md5, rmd160,
sha384, sha512, sum, and sysvsum. Algorithms specified by the -a
option are case-insensitive.
-c [checklist ...]
Compares all checksums contained in the file
checklist with newly
computed checksums for the corresponding files.
of the digest used, the file name, and an OK or
FAILED for the
result of the comparison. This will validate any of
checksums. If no file is given, stdin is used.
-o 1 | 2
Use historic algorithms instead of the (superior)
-p Echoes stdin to stdout and appends the checksum to
Prints a checksum of the given string.
-t Runs a built-in time trial.
-x Runs a built-in test script.
Algorithm 1 (aka sum) is the algorithm used by historic BSD
the sum algorithm and by historic AT&T System V UNIX systems
as the sum
algorithm when using the -r option. This is a 16-bit checksum, with a
right rotation before each addition; overflow is discarded.
Algorithm 2 (aka sysvsum) is the algorithm used by historic
AT&T System V
UNIX systems as the default sum algorithm. This is a 32-bit
and is defined as follows:
s = sum of all bytes;
r = s % 2^16 + (s % 2^32) / 2^16;
cksum = (r % 2^16) + r / 2^16;
Both algorithm 1 and 2 write to the standard output the same
the default algorithm, except that the size of the file in
bytes is replaced
with the size of the file in blocks. For historic
block size is 1024 for algorithm 1 and 512 for algorithm 2.
blocks are rounded up.
The default CRC used is based on the polynomial used for CRC
in the networking standard ISO 8802-3: 1989 . The CRC
is defined by the generating polynomial:
G(x) = x^32 + x^26 + x^23 + x^22 + x^16 + x^12 +
x^11 + x^10 + x^8 + x^7 + x^5 + x^4 + x^2 + x + 1
Mathematically, the CRC value corresponding to a given file
is defined by
the following procedure:
The n bits to be evaluated are considered to be the
a mod 2 polynomial M(x) of degree n-1. These n bits
are the bits
from the file, with the most significant bit being the
bit of the first octet of the file and the last
bit being the
least significant bit of the last octet, padded with
zero bits (if
necessary) to achieve an integral number of octets,
followed by one
or more octets representing the length of the file as
a binary value,
least significant octet first. The smallest number of octets
capable of representing this integer are used.
M(x) is multiplied by x^32 (i.e., shifted left 32
bits) and divided
by G(x) using mod 2 division, producing a remainder
R(x) of degree
The coefficients of R(x) are considered to be a 32-bit
The bit sequence is complemented and the result is the
The other available algorithms are described in their respective man
pages in section 3 of the manual.
The cksum and sum utilities exit 0 on success or >0 if an
md5(1), rmd160(1), sha1(1)
The default calculation is identical to that given in pseudo-code in the
following ACM article:
Dilip V. Sarwate, "Computation of Cyclic Redundancy Checks
Lookup", Communications of the ACM, August 1988.
The cksum utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.2-1992
A sum command appeared in Version 2 AT&T UNIX. The cksum
Do not use the cksum, md4, sum, or sysvsum algorithms to detect hostile
binary modifications. An attacker can trivially produce
which have the same checksum as the standard versions.
Use a cryptographic-strength
checksum (such as MD5) instead.
OpenBSD 3.6 April 30, 2004
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