Verify downloaded distribution?

Verify downloaded distribution?

Post by Michael Doughert » Thu, 16 Sep 1999 04:00:00

Still a very green Linux user after a few real hours spent with Red Hat
5.1, I thought I might as well download the newest RH distribution.  (The
implication from their website is that these are precisely the same files
as those distributed on the RH6 CD, and I thought I could therefore burn
my own CD, and everything would be splendid.)

When the download completed, I was checking the directory contents against
the ls-lR file in the root directory of the distribution; and noticed that
some obvious portions were not downloaded, apparently owing to my FTP
program being overwhelmed and acting badly.  So, finally, the question:
once I think I've gotten all the files I don't have already, is there
already a systematic way to verify the distribution's integrity?  A way to
automatically check hash values of my files against hashes of known good
files would be fantastic; but even a way to automatically check files for
existence and proper size would go a long way.

Mike D.


1. How to verify downloaded source without reading code

I've always felt safe downloading source code for well known programs
from well known ftp sites.  Now I'm working at a place where that isn't
enough, and where anything non-commercial is suspect.  Can anyone point
me to:

1) a complete set of arguments about why this is not a problem,

2) some strategies (short of reading every line of code) for checking
for potentially dangerous programs,

3) some automatic methods (preferably free!) for checking source,

4) or some ftp sites that do special things (?) to ensure safe source.

This is probably asking a lot, but I appreciate any input.  How have
people solved this problem in the past?


Geoff Orr

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