How to check the integrity of the iso


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Checking is important! A method that's often used to verify the integrity of an iso file that you've downloaded, is the SHA256sum method.

On a website where you can download an iso file from, for example an iso of Linux Mint or Ubuntu, there's often also a text file which contains the correct SHA256sum of that iso. You can compare this with a digital fingerprint of the iso.

When you calculate the SHA256sum from the iso file after you've downloaded it, you can compare the outcome with what it should be. The file is only then intact, when both "fingerprints" are exactly the same.

Note that the method I describe below, only provides a corruption check. Not an authenticity check. So it only protects you against an iso that has accidentally been corrupted during the download process, not against a deliberate falsification. Therefore: make sure you download your iso from a reliable mirror!

Such a calculation can be done as follows. An example makes it easy.

Suppose you've downloaded the iso of Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon, 64-bit. This file is called linuxmint-18.1-cinnamon-64bit.iso. Simply leave the iso file in the folder Downloads.

Then launch a terminal. (You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Type (copy/paste):

cd Downloads

Press Enter.

Then copy/paste this command line into the terminal:

sha256sum linuxmint-18.1-cinnamon-64bit.iso

Press Enter.

Finally, compare the outcome with what it should be.

Tip: launch a simple text editor like Xed, Gedit or Leafpad. Then copy/paste both lines of gibberish into a text document, one below the other. That makes comparing them a lot easier.


The right sha256sums are here:

Linux Mint 18.1 (all desktops)

Ubuntu 16.04.x

Xubuntu 16.04.x

Lubuntu 16.04.x



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