Emacs has built-in support for computing cryptographic hashes. A cryptographic hash, or checksum, is a digital fingerprint of a piece of data (e.g., a block of text) which can be used to check that you have an unaltered copy of that data.
Emacs supports several common cryptographic hash algorithms: MD5, SHA-1, SHA-2, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384 and SHA-512. MD5 is the oldest of these algorithms, and is commonly used in message digests to check the integrity of messages transmitted over a network. MD5 is not collision resistant (i.e., it is possible to deliberately design different pieces of data which have the same MD5 hash), so you should not used it for anything security-related. A similar theoretical weakness also exists in SHA-1. Therefore, for security-related applications you should use the other hash types, such as SHA-2.
secure-hashalgorithm object &optional start end binary
This function returns a hash for object. The argument
algorithm is a symbol stating which hash to compute: one of
sha512. The argument object should be a buffer or a
The optional arguments start and end are character
positions specifying the portion of object to compute the
message digest for. If they are
nil or omitted, the hash is
computed for the whole of object.
If the argument binary is omitted or
nil, the function
returns the text form of the hash, as an ordinary Lisp string.
If binary is non-
nil, it returns the hash in binary
form, as a sequence of bytes stored in a unibyte string.
This function does not compute the hash directly from the internal representation of object’s text (see Text Representations). Instead, it encodes the text using a coding system (see Coding Systems), and computes the hash from that encoded text. If object is a buffer, the coding system used is the one which would be chosen by default for writing the text into a file. If object is a string, the user’s preferred coding system is used (see Recognize Coding in GNU Emacs Manual).
md5object &optional start end coding-system noerror
This function returns an MD5 hash. It is semi-obsolete, since for
most purposes it is equivalent to calling
md5 as the algorithm argument. The object,
start and end arguments have the same meanings as in
If coding-system is non-
nil, it specifies a coding system
to use to encode the text; if omitted or
nil, the default
coding system is used, like in
md5 signals an error if the text can’t be encoded
using the specified or chosen coding system. However, if
noerror is non-
nil, it silently uses