Checksum for Linux

Well, it's done, basically. Currently it's in alpha, and only brave souls will want to play with it, so there's no web page, no download, nothing! But there is working code, and if you want to play with it in this state, mail me, and you get to be one of the first beta testers.

There's no installer or anything like that; here's what you get..

A Bash script - this is the main Checksum program. It uses the built-in *nix hashing tools to create and verify the actual hashes, and either kdialog or zenity for the GUI elements (or both, in hybrid mode). Although designed to be activated via service menus, it also works fine in a shell. Checksum's behaviour can be modified be either switches or named symlinks, whichever you prefer; generally it's completely transparent.

Service menus - these add extras to your right-click menus so you can checksum and verify files, folders and volumes directly from within KDE (Konqueror, Dolphin, etc). I've also created a few custom optional menu items, i.e. "Checksum Music Files". Feedback on which of these you like best, is welcome.

And full instructions! Basically, you will need to drop things in, and setup file types by hand, though this is fairly easy to accomplish. The whole install shouldn't take more than a minute or two on KDE (KDE4+, KDE3.5 or less is not and will not be supported, at least intentionally).

I have no knowledge of Gnome, though I do intend to make Checksum Gnome-friendly, so if use Gnome and want to help get Checksum running sweet on your desktop, definitely get in touch.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know Checksum for Linux exists, has already had a good few TB of testing, and is working very well, albeit spartan-like, which is actually more how I originally envisaged checksum for Windows. This time around, I aim to remain true to that form - although all the main Checksum goodies are there; one-click hash or verify, MultiHashing™, generic .hash file handling, configurable file masks, MD5/SHA-* support, Intelligent appending, read-only fall-back, etc.; I don't plan to go to any great lengths to have Checksum hold user's hands - if you want to do crazy stuff with Checksum on Linux, it will let you!

Checksum for Linux is free and open source, GPL v3.

So there you have it; notified; and if you want to get on board, simply mail "linux" at this domain.

for now..


ps. I almost forgot! Checksum for Linux also comes with a "Windows HashFile Converter", which basically switches out the DOS line breaks and back slashes of all hash files (and playlists, optionally) in a path, so they can be used on a *nix system. Although trivial, it is capable of converting an entire drive at once, which is handy. Of course, checksum for windows will still be able to handle the hash files just fine, afterwards.

Linux root user, me.

It's your computer, so the ubermost user, the one with the ability to do absolutely anything to any file on your machine, should be under your control, and not that of any passing stranger. If you agree, and you have a default *buntu (read: Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.) install, you'll want this next tip..

create a root password..

In truth, I have no idea what sort of crazy limbo state the root user exists in before you give him a password; but I do know that any Tom Dick and Henry can reboot your box into recovery mode and drop into a root shell with the simple yet elegant hack that is pressing the Enter key. Clearly this is not something you want, so do..

sudo passwd root

Enter your regular admin login password, and then the new root password x2. All done.

A temporary root shell..

While I'm on the subject of being root, you have probably noticed that all the best commands, the really juicy stuff needs to be done as root. This is for a reason, of course, and with security in mind, the "sudo" construct is a handy way to get root for a single command. But it quickly gets tedious if you need to perform more than a couple of commands. The solution..

sudo -i

This basically opens up a new sudo shell, where you can perform as many commands as you like, as root, without having to prepend every one of them with "sudo". Remember to log out of this root shell if leaving your workstation unattended (the usual Ctrl+D is fine).

mc in da house..

And because I like to do stuff in threes, here's another cool way to get a root shell in your Linux box; use mc. If you don't have mc installed, do..

sudo aptitude install -y mc

Note the use of the "-y" switch, so you don't get a chance to change your mind about this; mc rocksl And no *NIX machine is complete without a copy. Once aptitude is done (about 1.2 seconds later) do..

sudo mc

and behold!


F9 (activate menu)
Down Arrow (drop it down - redundant, but we're about to fix that)
Left Arrow (to get to the configuration menu)

Now you are in the prefs, enable..

Panel options..
 Drop down menus
Pause after run..
Other Options..
 Use Internal Edit
 Lynx-like motion


Back in mc, save your setup..

F9 (now the menu drops down automatically!)
(if you are on the "Save Setup" item!)

Okay, now you have the meanest, greenest, handiest file manager on Earth. You will note that below the nice two-pane display, is a command-line. You did "sudo mc", so that command-line has got root. And it gets better..


Opens a root shell. You can use Ctrl+O to flip back and forth between the two (regular mc and the root shell). And of course, the root shell follows mc's navigations, so you can use your Lynx-like motion (right and left arrows take you in and out of folders - simple, but devastatingly effective!) to get to any folder, enywhere, and then Ctrl-O to flip to a full-window root shell in that very directory. Pretty cool.

You got root root root!


ps. In case you didn't know; you get to your "shell" via some kind of terminal emulator. In Kubuntu, or any KDE, that's usually "Konsole", which is probably the best terminal emulator I've used. You can open a tty console with Ctrl+Alt+1(-6), too, and login as root; though these days there's rarely a need. And of course, you can get to a root shell via recovery mode, right at the start of bootup. And unless you set a password on the root account, so can anyone else!

All or nothing, or something in between..

Clearly, something is very wrong with this blog. So, I aim to plant a tree somewhere in the wide lush valley between working furiously and telling you nothing, and doing nothing but tell you what I'm doing. Then I'll water it, I guess.

These days, I'm pretty much always on Linux. This is, in itself, a technical challenge, sadly. And as we brave souls canter along the path towards making Linux the best operating system on the planet; which it will be, or something very very like it; I plan to expand the remit here to encompass at least some of these meanderings. Yeah, I mean Linux tips. Because that loopy arrow was starting to annoy even me!1

Having finally exhausted my Slackware fetish in favour of something with a decent-sized userbase, foolproof package management system, and "funcy" graphical boot-up, I find myself in Kubuntu, which is that so-popular distro, "Ubuntu", except with a "K" in front of it. And as all cyberworldy geekoids know, when a word has a "K" arbitrarily slapped in front of it, it can only mean one thing... it's been KDE-ified.

KDE is the best desktop environment on the planet at this time, syat. This is attracting some excellent software, and todays tip, or should I say... <trumpet> "Todaaaaays Tip", is..

Not really a tip at all, just a simple recommendation.

You know how uTorrent is the best Torrent client on the planet, right? Well, some dudes took it, copied it, and made it even better; added plugin functionality, the works! They also took out the "u", and guess what letter they stuck in there instead? That's right!

So if you want the really really best Torrent Client, go KDE, and install kTorrent.


ps. actually, depending on your needs, there is another torrent client which could be considered better than kTorrent. But it's also for Linux, so there!

1. If all goes to plan, you may never know what I mean by that!

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