Linux sha256sum command

Updated: 05/02/2021 by Computer Hope
sha256sum command

On Unix-like operating systems, the sha256sum command computes and checks a SHA256 encrypted message digest.

This page describes the GNU/Linux version of sha256sum.


The sha256sum command displays or checks SHA256 (256-bit) checksums. With no FILE, or when FILE is - (a dash), it reads the digest from standard input.


sha256sum [OPTION]... [FILE]...


-b, --binary Read in binary mode.
-c, --check Read SHA256 sums from the FILEs and check them.
--tag Create a BSD-style checksum.
-t, --text Read in text mode (default).

There is no difference between binary and text mode option on GNU system.

The following four options are useful only when verifying checksums:

--quiet Don't print OK for each successfully verified file.
--status Don't output anything, status code shows success.
--strict Exit non-zero for improperly formatted checksum lines.
-w, --warn Warn about improperly formatted checksum lines.
--help Display this help and exit.
--version Output version information and exit.

The sums are computed as described in FIPS-180-2. When checking, the input should be a former output of this program. The default mode is to print a line with checksum, a character indicating input mode ('*' for binary, space for text), and name for each FILE.


sha256sum example.iso

Running the above command would give the SHA256 checksum of the example.iso file in the current directory. Below is an example of how the output may appear with the full SHA256 checksum followed by the file name.

d14a028c2a3a2bc9476102bb288234c415a2b01f828ea62ac5b3e42f example.iso

md5sum — Checks the MD5 message digest.
sha224sum — Checks the SHA224 message digest.
sha384sum — Checks the SHA384 message digest.
sha512sum — Checks the SHA512 message digest.