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sha1sum ./path/to/directory/* | sha1sum 

the above was posted as a way to compute a sha1sum of a directory which contains files. This command fails if the directory includes more directories. Is there a way to recursively compute the sha1sum of a directory of directories universally (without custom fitting an algorithm to the particular directory in question)?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Thanks to this SO post

find . -type f \( -exec sha1sum "$PWD"/{} \; \) | sha1sum

Warning: This code is untested! Edit this question if it's wrong and you can fix it; I'll approve your edit.

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Sorry; I couldn't resist! ;-) Recursion is fun. Of course there's a way. I'll write up a proper answer now. –  allquixotic Aug 6 '12 at 20:12

I generally like the "find | xargs" pattern, like so:

find ./path/to/directory/ -type f -print0  | xargs -0 sha1sum

You have to use the "-print0" and "-0", in case there are spaces in file names.

However, this is very similar to the "find -exec cmd {}" pattern.

See a discussion comparing the two patterns here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/896808/find-exec-cmd-vs-xargs

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This seems to work for me:

find . \( -not -name . \) -type f -exec cat {} + | sha1sum

EDIT: this will only sha1sum all of the files contained in the directory tree. If a directory's name was changed, this wouldn't catch it. Maybe something like:

find . -exec sha1sum {} + 2>&1 | sha1sum

Would do it. About the same answer as the other one though

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Rather than have ONE enormous file containing all of the hashed information I was looking for a way to make a file in each folder of a tree. I took some inspiration from the comments here. Mine is a bit more complex than what is posted here. I use file rotation but this is the least complex for new players. This version will have it overwrite the old check sums with new ones. It may be good to keep 2-3 versions depending on how frequently you run it and your need for 'depth'.

[user@host bin]$ cat mkshaindir 
cd $1
sha512sum * >.sha512sum

[user@host bin]$ find /var/tmp -type d -print0 | xargs -0 -i  mkshaindir  {}

Note that mkshaindir, for my purposes, is a separate component because there may be a need for me to make a hash of files in a new folder, or of one that was recently changed. This can all be combined in to one script if needed.

The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.

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